Arsenal braced for Mertesacker move as Wenger eyes N'Koulou
Meanwhile, Rooney gossip puts Robert Lewandowski on alert for Man United move
YESTERDAY the news that Arsenal centre-back Per Mertesacker was being courted by another club would have raised cheers among fans at the Emirates but, after putting in a commanding performance against Bayern Munich as the Gunners kept a clean sheet, he may have won over some of his doubters.
But he has also been impressing the scouts from Wolfsburg, who are said to be considering a move for the 28-year-old German international this summer. Talksport notes that Mertesacker has come in for all sorts of stick from English fans this season, but is still well regarded in his homeland. The website also suggests that Arsena's pursuit of Swansea defender Ashley Williams could pave the way for the giant German's exit.
Another defender on Arsenal's wishlist is Nicolas N'Koulou of Marseille. The 22-year-old full-back has impressed for the French club in Ligue 1 this season, but, according to Metro, they are in financial trouble and may be forced to sell the Cameroonian international. Wenger is an admirer of the player, who already has 33 international caps, and with money to burn this summer, could step in with an offer.
Uncertainty over the future of Wayne Rooney, despite Alex Ferguson's assurance to the press following the Real Madrid game that the striker would still be at Manchester United next year, has led Robert Lewandowski to keep "a close eye" on what is going on at the club.
The Sun claims the Polish striker is monitoring the situation as he would "love a move to Old Trafford" in the summer. Currently with Borussia Dortmund, the Polish hotshot was one of the players targeted by Ferguson last year before he settled for Robin van Persie. The 24-year-old remains on Fergie's mind apparently and the Sun claims a bid could be forthcoming in the summer.
Bayern Munich are also said to be keen on Lewandowski, but would any self-respecting striker really want to join a club who can't even beat Arsenal on their home patch?
Talksport reports that Barcelona are poised to steal Manchester United and Manchester City target Marquinhos from under the noses of the two Premier League clubs. The 18-year-old defender only joined Roma from Corinthians in 2012 but such has been his form that some of Europe's top clubs are on his tail.
According to Talksport, Roma are likely to listen to offers for the talented teenager, particularly as they only paid £2.6m for him and current valuation is in the region of £20m. Barcelona are the front-runners to land him as they look to replace the ageing Carles Puyol. However, United are keen, and so is City boss Roberto Mancini and reports suggest a bidding war could break out at the end of the season.
The Metro claims that Tottenham are still intent on bringing Joao Moutinho to the Lane for next season. The Portuguese playmaker has been on the Lilywhites' wishlist for ages and it was rumoured a deal was close to being agreed last summer before Porto got cold feet at the 11th hour.
Now it's thought the 26-year-old is desperate to work once more with Andre Villas-Boas, the Tottenham manager he came to know during his time in charge of Porto. That connection could help clinch the deal for Spurs despite the alleged interest of AC Milan and the Russian club Zenit Saint-Petersburg.
Spurs will reportedly part-finance the deal by having a summer clear-out, with the likes of Heurelho Gomes, Bongani Khumalo and David Bentley all to be sold off to the highest bidder.
Finally, German rag Bild claims that Daniel Ginczek has "opened the door" on a summer move to West Ham after admitting he is not sure he wants to sign on for another stint at Borussia Dortmund. The 21-year-old is on fire this season, scoring 12 times on a loan spell for second division St Pauli.
Dortmund are said to be considering their options but the Germany Under-21 star is tipped to move to the Hammers where he thinks he can best enhance his international ambitions. ·