Arsenal offer Andrey Arshavin to Russian clubs for free
Gunners in last ditch effort to offload winger, is Ronaldo leaving Real Madrid?
THE TRANSFER windown may be shut and Andrey Arshavin may have been included in Arsene Wenger's Premier League squad, but that does not mean he will be an Arsenal player for long. The Russian winger, who has gone from hero to zero since arriving at the Emirates in 2009, could still be offloaded to a Russian club on a free transfer before their transfer window closes on Thursday.
Arsenal have spent most of the summer trying to palm Arshavin off on Zenit St Petersburg, where he spent much of last season on loan, or cash-rich Anzhi Makhachkala but neither wanted to buy him, while the player did not help his cause by insulting Russian fans at Euro 2012, which has made him about as popular in his homeland as he is in north London.
But, according to The Daily Telegraph, Arsenal are so keen to get rid of him they are now prepared to forego a transfer fee rather than pick up his wages for the season and wait until his contract runs out next summer.
In Spain, rumours are gathering pace that Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid will not be an item for much longer. Paris Saint-Germain have made it plain they won’t be responsible for the break-up – leaving the path clear for a bid from Manchester City.
The Metro reports that PSG were the first to be linked with the 27-year-old former Manchester United striker the moment he admitted he had a case of the Bernabeu blues. “I am sad,” said Ronaldo at the weekend, “and the people at the club know about it. It's about professional issues. I can't say any more.”
But PSG sporting director Leonardo has said they won’t be trying to perk up the Portuguese poseur. “We're very happy with our transfer market dealings,” he’s quoted as saying in the Metro. “Many things are said about PSG, too many, maybe. Ronaldo is a Real Madrid player. We don't talk about others teams' players - that's respect.”
Wise words from the learned Leonardo but according to the Metro there are no such qualms at the Etihad where Manchester City are reportedly lining up a January offer. Just how much cash it would take to prise Ronaldo from Real remains to be seen but it’s likely to be more than Liverpool are planning to offer Fernando Llorente.
According to Spanish rag AS, the Reds aim to offer the Athletic Bilbao goal-getter a tempting “pre-contract offer” the moment the January transfer window opens. The Spanish striker has less than a year left on his existing contract and Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers apparently sees Llorente and Luis Suarez as a dream pairing. Isn’t that what Kenny Dalglish said about Suarez and Andy Carroll?
Before Liverpool fans get too excited perhaps they should take a gander at ESPN. For they claim that Athletic Bilbao president Josu Urrutia “ is hopeful” Llorente will commit to the club by signing a new contract.
“Maybe we can make him change his mind,” said Urrutia, before firing a Bilbao broadside at the likes of Liverpool and Juventus, who have also been sniffing around Llorente of late. "There is no negotiation possible for players we are interested in keeping. I do not listen to offers for someone I do not want to sell."
Still with Liverpool and if confirmation was needed that the Reds’ reputation is falling fast it comes with the news that Alessandro Del Piero has plumped for Sydney FC over Anfield.
Talksport reports that the veteran Italian striker had appeared on Liverpool’s radar in recent days with Rodgers set to make “an audacious move” for the former Juventus marksman. But the 37-year-old has apparently chosen to end his career in Oz with Sydney set to make a formal announcement today.
And just to rub salt into the Reds’ wounds, Stoke have snapped up Michael Owen on a one-year loan deal. As we revealed yesterday, Liverpool were being urged to hire their former star to plug the gap in their strikeforce - but the Potters have pinched the 32-year-old from under their noses. A statement on the official Stoke website announced they’d “won the race to sign England international striker Michael Owen on a free transfer”.