Arsenal eye Kenneth Vermeer, Fagner and... Thierry Henry
Ajax keeper and Wolfsburg defender both on radar as Gunners legend trains with his old club
RUMOURS are rife in the Dutch press that Arsenal are about to make an offer for 26-year-old Ajax keeper Kenneth Vermeer.
According to broadcaster Sport1, the Gunners despatched scouts to Holland last week to watch Vermeer make his international debut against Germany. The Dutch shot-stopper kept a clean sheet in the goalless encounter, and apparently the Arsenal scouts have made a favourable report on his display to Arsene Wenger.
Sources in Holland claim Arsenal will offer Ajax £5m for Vermeer in the New Year transfer window even though the keeper is contracted to the Dutch club until 2015. Sport1 says Ajax are likely to sell - good news for Wenger who still has concerns about the strength in depth of the Arsenal goalkeepers.
Still with the Gunners and caughtoffside.com says they are eyeing up Wolfsburg defender Fagner. The 23-year-old Brazilian has been a "sensation" since arriving in the Bundesliga in July, and is seen by many to be the ideal replacement in Brazil's national side for the ageing Dani Alves.
A specialist right-back, Fagner has apparently caught the eye of Wenger but nutty as the professor is would he be mad enough to gamble on another Brazilian defender after the nightmare that is Andre Santos?
Meanwhile the Metro is just one of several papers to report that Emmanuel Frimpong has gone on loan to Charlton Athletic to "save his Arsenal career". The 20-year-old midfielder, recently recovered from a long-term knee injury, joins Athletic until 3 January in a move he hopes will enable him to work his way back to full fitness.
The Ghanaian-born playmaker picked up his injury last season on loan at Wolves, and in recent weeks has featured just twice for the Gunners – both times in the Carling Cup – and it's believed Frimpong is becoming increasingly concerned about his chances of making it at the Emirates. But with Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey having both benefited from loan spells, Frimpong hopes he'll come back from Charlton a better player.
Still with Arsenal and the Daily Star refuses to give up on the rumours linking Schalke midfielder Lewis Holtby to the Gunners. The half-English midfielder may be playing for a team that has four points off Arsenal in the Champions League, but apparently it is still his dream to play in the Premier League for a team like the Gunners. Perhaps the Star believes he really hankers after a stab at the Europa League.
On a more positive note and Goal.com reports that Thierry Henry could be set to reprise last season's loan spell at the Emirates, during which he proved that even an out-of-shape 30-something is a better bet up front than Marouane Chamakh.
The ageing New York Red Bulls striker will once again train with Arsenal during the MLS close season and could step into the breach in January. Presumably he is motivated by the chance to make the current Arsenal strikeforce look even more average than usual and remind the Emirates faithful, and Theo Walcott, what a first class finisher actually looks like.
Talksport reports that Manchester City have been "encouraged" in their pursuit of Montenegrin forward Stevan Jovetic. The Fiorentina star was first linked to the Sky Blues in the summer but although nothing came of that move, Talksport claim that the Italian club will "evaluate" his situation in May.
The 23-year-old is known to be coveted by Juventus, thanks in no small measure to the six goals he's scored in this season's Serie A, but Fiorentina could be persuaded to sell if the right offer comes along at the end of the season. "He's our top player," Fiorentina sporting director Daniele Prade is quoted as saying. "He will remain until June, then in the summer we will evaluate. We have ruled out any transfer in January."
Finally, the Mirror says that Liverpool have begun negotiations with Chelsea over a possible deal for striker Daniel Sturridge. Apparently Reds boss Brendan Rodgers has made "overtures" to Stamford Bridge and is hopeful a deal can be done in the New Year for the £15m-rated England frontman. Sturridge is said to be up for a move north after failing to hold down a regular spot in the Chelsea starting line-up under Roberto Di Matteo. ·