Arsenal 'not interested' in Zaha as Man United close in on deal
But Wenger keeps fans guessing as he seeks new faces. Will United ditch David De Gea?
NOT for the first time this January, Arsene Wenger appears to have changed his tune over a Gunners transfer target, while insisting that he still wants to bring in two new faces before the window closes at the end of next week.
This time the player in question in Wilfried Zaha, the Crystal Palace youngster who has been setting the Championship alight all season. After rumours that Arsenal were interested in the 20-year-old winger, Manchester United took the lead in the race to sign him. Then, last week, Arsenal publicly declared that they had watched the player, sparking talk of a bidding war.
Now, according to the Evening Standard, Wenger has washed his hands of the player, perhaps after realising that he could not compete with United's financial muscle. "I don't know if he will go to Man United," said the Gunners boss. "If he goes to Man United, good luck to him. We were never in for Zaha. Never."
However, he went on to add that he still wanted to bring in new faces, but tantalised Gunners fans by declaring: "I don't give you any names." Which conveniently allows the press to go on speculating about the likes of David Villa, Yoann Gourcuff and Yann M'Vila.
Time is running out for Manchester United keeper David De Gea after the Spanish keeper made another blunder in their 1-1 draw to Tottenham on Sunday. According to the Daily Mail, it's believed that United will sell De Gea if a club comes in with an acceptable offer now that manager Alex Ferguson realises the young keeper is "unlikely to ever settle on or off the pitch in England".
It was De Gea's lame punch that led to Tottenham's injury-time equaliser at White Hart Lane, the latest in a long line of goalkeeping gaffes that have tested Ferguson's patience.
The 22-year-old De Gea became the most expensive goalkeeper in the history of British football when he arrived at Old Trafford from Atletico Madrid in a £17.8m deal 18 months ago. But he has never found the consistency needed and the Mail claims it his struggle to meet "the physical demands of the Premier League" that have alarmed United.
The Metro reports that Chelsea midfielder Florent Malouda could be the "subject of a surprise bid" from west London neighbours QPR. The 32-year-old French international has fallen out of favour this season at the Bridge and hasn't played for the Blues since the Champions League final triumph last May.
Allegedly things have got so bad for the playmaker that he's been "banished" to the youth squad, Chelsea's version of being sent to Siberia, despite being a member of their 25-man Premier League squad at the start of the season.
Now the Metro says he could be on his way to Rangers providing he agrees to a "significant" cut in wages, though Malouda could instead decide to sit tight at Chelsea until his contract expires in May and he becomes a free agent.
There's growing uncertainty over the future of Liverpool shot-stopper Pepe Reina with Talksport claiming that the Reds are poised to table a £5m offer for Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa.
The 27-year-old Ochoa has been in fine form between the sticks for French side Ajaccio since joining them from Club America in 2011. An experienced international, he has caught the eye of Liverpool scouts and Talksport are confident an offer will be made by manager Brendan Rodgers.
Will Reina replace Victor Valdes at Barcelona? The Spaniard's dad has been fanning the flames in a provocative interview with La Xarxa. Asked by the paper if his son and Barcelona was a match made in heaven, Reina the elder replied: "I think he's at the height of his career. And I think he'd be the ideal goalkeeper for Barcelona, without any doubt."
The Liverpool keeper came through the Catalan club's youth academy and Miguel Reina said the family owed them a debt of thanks. "Barca made my son a man from when he arrived there when he was 12 years old until he left."
It looks like Manchester City will be lumbered with Mario Balotelli until at least the end of the season after the madcap striker's agent pooh-poohed the idea of a January move.
Sky Sports reports that contrary to rumours last week that the Italian was on the brink of a move to AC Milan, Balotelli is set to remain at the Etihad. "There is no negotiation for Balotelli with any club, no meeting, zero," Mino Raiola told Italian radio station GR Parlamento. "Manchester City won't sell Mario, let alone loan. There are zero chances he moves." ·