Arsenal set to land striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar for £4m

Gunners close to bargain deal with Schalke over striker as they eye young Real Madrid midfielder

BY Bill Mann LAST UPDATED AT 07:23 ON Mon 10 Dec 2012

ARSENAL have all but agreed to a deal to acquire the Dutch striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar. The Metro claims that Huntelaar, who has scored 58 goals in his last 68 Bundesliga games for Schalke, will join the Gunners next month in a deal that will cost the struggling London club only £4m.

Citing its source as French sports daily L'Equipe, the Metro claims Schalke will accept a knockdown price for the 29-year-old so that he doesn't leave on a free transfer when his contract expires at the end of this season.

The Metro claims Huntelaar is "keen" to try his hand in the Premier League after spells with Ajax and Real Madrid. Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has been tracking Huntelaar for several weeks, ever since he scored for Schalke in their 2-0 Champions League defeat of Arsenal in October.

Also in Arsenal's sights is Real Madrid prospect Jose Rodriguez. But the Gunners could be about to miss out on the teenager as Jose Mourinho is set to offer him a lucrative long-term contract when he turns 18 next weekend.

According to Talksport it will include a £9.6m release clause which is designed to stop Rodriguez following the likes of Juan Mata and Roberto Soldado out of the club.

The website claims midfielder Rodriguez turned down a five-year contract offer from Arsenal in October last year but says Wenger is still a fan of the player.

Another youngster making waves is Crystal Palace wonderkid Wilfried Zaha and the Mirror reports that the race to sign him is hotting up with Manchester United proposing a bold move to steal a march on their rivals.

The Mirror claims that in order to secure the services of the 20-year-old winger, United will sign Zaha in January and then loan him back to Palace for the rest of the season. That way, United get their man and Palace get the player to help in their bid to win promotion to the Premier League.

Though Zaha is said to be an Arsenal fan, the Mirror says Palace could well agree to the plan if United cough up around £15m.

Meanwhile goal.com reveals that West Ham boss Sam Allardyce is becoming concerned that he might not be able to prevent Mohamed Diame leaving in the New Year. Arsenal are reportedly "interested" in the Senegal star, who only moved to the Hammers in the summer, and apparently a clause in his contract means he could soon be on the move again.

The twinkle-toed playmaker has been instrumental in West Ham's fine start to the season - dampened yesterday by a 3-2 defeat at home to Liverpool - and as a result some of the Premier League's big boys have begun circling the 25-year-old.

Asked about the possibility of Diame leaving in a few weeks' time, Allardyce replied: "There is always a situation where you are powerless to keep a player. Because of the size of the fee, you can't turn it down." Goal.com suggests that Diame could go for as little as £4m with Allardyce admitting he's dreading next month's transfer period.

In other news, The Sun claims an exclusive with a report that Marouane Fellaini has "pledged his future" to Everton.

The Belgian midfielder, who helped the Toffees to a 2-1 victory over Tottenham on Sunday, has been linked with Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain in recent months, but the 25-year-old assured the Sun that he's planning to stick around on Merseyside for the foreseeable future.

"My head is exclusively with Everton," he said, adding that he was aware of the rumours suggesting he could be on his way out of Goodison Park. "Although I'm happy to be praised for my performances, my future is with Everton. We are playing well enough to fight for a European place, even the Champions League." · 

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