Arsenal fight Spurs for Lopez and try to lure Didier Drogba

Sep 12, 2012
Bill Mann

Atletico Madrid star refusing to sign new contract but Spanish club will want £14m for sale

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SPANISH international Adrian Lopez is refusing to sign a new contract with Atletico Madrid leading to speculation that Arsenal and Tottenham are lining up bids. According to Talksport, the 24-year-old striker is not happy with the deal offered by Atletico and as a result the two north London clubs are "ready to pounce".
Lopez, who won the European Under-21 Championship with Spain in the summer, was one of the revelations of last season, forming a strong partnership with lethal Colombian hitman Radamel Falcao as they romped to victory in the Europa League.

Talksport claims that Lopez is beginning to realise the riches on offer and is so far refusing to remove the lid from his pen. That's causing concern in Madrid although the club is letting it be known that should either Arsenal or Spurs come calling, they'll need to have £14.4m in readies to meet their asking price.

But if Arsenal fail to land Lopez they could instead turn to an old warhorse in the form of Didier Drogba, who may be regretting his lucrative move to Shanghai Shenhua at the end of last season. Since he arrived a boardoom power struggle has blown up and now he could be on the way out.

The Sun claims that Arsenal are looking into ways of bringing the 34-year-old back to London as a replacement for the now departed Robin van Persie. One problem could be his wages, the Ivorian is said to be earning £200,000 a week in China, and if Arsenal could afford that sort of money they could have probably kept Van Persie in the first place.

Elsewhere the Daily Mail reports that Juventus are set to table a £10m offer for unsettled Arsenal winger Theo Walcott. The player turned down a new contract with the Gunners that only offered him £75,000 a week, and he is said to be holding out for more. Liverpool, Manchester City and Paris St Germain are also said to be interested in the 23-year-old, who was forced to quit the England camp with a virus this week.

Juventus are also reportedly "monitoring" born-again Chelsea striker Fernando Torres. Last season, his first at the Bridge, the Spanish striker couldn't hit a barn door at six paces but Torres looks a different player this season and that's led to interest from the Italian champs.

Talksport claims that "sources in Italy" are saying that the Old Lady of Turin will be making a play for Torres the moment the January transfer window opens.

Having failed to land Robin van Persie in the summer, Juventus had to settle for Arsenal reject Nicklas Bendtner. But it appears they've already discovered that Bendtner ‘s eye for the goal is as poor as Andrew Marr's for a snapper. Reports from Italy indicate that Juventus are confident of prising Torres from Chelsea and are willing to pay whatever it takes. confirms that Fulham have completed the signing of Greek midfielder Giorgos Karagounis on a free transfer. The 35-year-old, the skipper of the Greece national team, has been round the block a few times having enjoyed spells at Panathinaikos, Inter and Benfica. But it's that sort of experience that prompted Fulham boss Martin Jol to sign up Karagounis for the rest of the season.

In an interview with the official Fulham website, the veteran playmaker expressed his happiness at the move, gushing: "I'm looking forward to working under Martin Jol and playing alongside some fantastic players at this club."

Finally, the Daily Mirror reports that Liverpool have sent scouts to Argentina to run the rule over Luciano Vietto. The 18-year-old, described as a "starlet" by the Mirror, scored a stunning hat-trick recently for Racing Club Avellaneda and that's led Reds boss Brendan Rodgers to despatch his scouts to South America.

Juventus are also believed to be interested in the teenage midfielder and his price tag of just £4m is likely to tempt a host of other European clubs in the New Year.

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