Arsenal chase Ashley Williams but is Bendtner coming back?

Fernando Llorente to join Juventus, so will Bendtner head back to the Emirates?

BY Bill Mann LAST UPDATED AT 07:15 ON Thu 24 Jan 2013

ARSENAL and Liverpool could soon square up over Swansea City defender Ashley Williams. The Daily Mirror says the two clubs have both been impressed by the 28-year-old's performances for the Swans this season, and a "tussle" is brewing for his signature.

Williams, who last night helped Swansea reach the League Cup final by defeating Chelsea in their semi-final, comes with an £8m price tag and that's considered good value by both Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers and Arsenal gaffer Arsene Wenger.

The Mirror says that Rodgers is well acquainted with Williams having managed Swansea before moving to Anfield last year, while Wenger is a long-term admirer of the Wales captain. Sources claim the Arsenal boss has had Williams "watched several times this season" by his scouts and an offer is likely as the Gunners look to shore up their fragile defence.

Arsenal's interest in Williams could explain why the Metro reports that Arsenal defender Bacary Sagna future at the Emirates is increasingly uncertain. The French full-back has been linked with a move away from north London for much of this season, and his performances of late will have done little to convince Wenger that he should hang on to the 29-year-old.

The Metro alleges that Sagna has become despondent at the number of star players that have jumped ship in the last couple of seasons, and quotes an interview he gave with French football magazine Atlantique this week. "That is a very difficult question,' said Sagna, when asked if he intended to remain with Arsenal until his contract expires next year. "I don't want to give an answer now, because a lot can happen in football."

With Wenger's eye on Ashley Williams he might be prepared to sell Sagna if a club comes up with an offer of "at least £5 million".

Add another name to the list of stars who won't be joining Arsenal this January. The latest player linked to the Gunners but who is off elsewhere is Athletic Bilbao striker Fernando Llorente, who has agreed to join Italian giants Juventus at the end of the season.

The burly Spaniard was rumoured to be a target of both the Gunners and their arch rivals Tottenham after falling out with his current employers, but he has decided to turn his back on the Premier League and join Juventus, says the Mirror.

The even worse news for Arsenal is that the arrival of a quality striker in the form of Llorente means that Juve are unlikely to want to keep on-loan striker Nicklas Bendtner when the season ends. Understandably the Italians are likely to send the misfiring Dane back to Emirates where he can resume his career in the Gunners reserves.

He could be joined by Andrei Arshavin, who was expected to leave the Gunners and join Reading. However, Royals boss Brian McDermott has played down the link according to ESPN.

The Newcastle Chronicle reports that Argentine outfit San Lorenzo have called it a day in their bid to prise Fabricio Coloccini from Tyneside. San Lorenzo had been exploring the possibility of taking the strapping central defender back to the land of his fathers but in the end the move collapsed because they couldn't meet Newcastle's asking price.

"Finally, after long negotiations, we announce that Coloccini will not join the squad," San Lorenzo said in a statement issued via Twitter. The news will come as a blow to the 31-year-old Argentine who is reportedly keen to leave England for personal reasons.

Finally, Talksport claims that former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba is "nearing a switch" to AC Milan. The veteran frontman is currently in action in the Africa Cup of Nations but Talksport reports that while the 34-year-old is busy finding the net for the Ivory Coast, his representatives are in talks with the Italian giants.

It's said AC Milan are ready to stump up £6.75m for Drogba in an 18-month deal, and that Shanghai Shenhua are open to the move. Drogba moved to China last summer but things haven't gone according to plan and rumours began emerging at the end of last year that he wished to finish his career in Europe. · 

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