Arsenal and Anzhi tussle over Valencia defender Adil Rami
Rami's not the only defender to catch Wenger's eye – he's also said to want Nathaniel Chalobah
WITH Arsenal being linked to every defender who knows how to kick a ball – and even one or two who don't – the Metro says the latest name to be thrown into the ring is Valencia's Adil Rami.
Apparently the 27-year-old Frenchman is Arsene Wenger's "top target", though he faces competition from Anzhi Makhachkala who are also keen to land the strapping centre-half. The Metro reports that the wealthy Russian club are ready to offer Valencia £13m in return for Rami, while the player himself could be tempted to head east for an annual wage of £3m.
That would be out of Arsenal's price range, but Wenger is said to be quietly confident that Rami will choose the Emirates so he can experience the thrill of playing in the Champions League, or failing that the Capital One Cup.
Still with the Gunners and the Evening Standard claims that Wenger has got his eye on Nathaniel Chalobah, the England Under-21 international who is highly tipped to make the senior squad in the next season or two. The versatile 18-year-old, comfortable in either defence or in midfield, is on Chelsea's books but has spent this season on loan at Watford, where he's impressed Arsenal scouts.
According to the Standard, the Blues see Chalobah as one for the future and in order to ward off Arsenal they are "set to open talks" with the teenager to tie him down to the Bridge.
Chalobah's existing deal expires at the end of next season and it's rumoured that Arsenal are trying their darnedest to lure him away with the promise of first-team football next season. Chelsea for their part will apparently reassure Chalobah that he is an important cog in their wheel.
Talksport says that Fiorentina are trying to "steal a march" on the trio of Premier League clubs interested in 21-year-old Jordy Clasie. The Feyenoord star has been linked to Manchester United, Tottenham and Arsenal in recent months after a string of eye-catching performances in midfield.
But Talksport claims that Fiorentina have launched a pre-emptive strike by offering Feyenoord £5m for the player described by some in Holland as the "Dutch Xavi". Clasie's contract with Feyenoord expires in 2015 and Fiorentina hope that by tabling a bid now they will beat off competition from the trio of English clubs.
Finally, the Daily Mail says that Juventus have "earmarked" Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez as their plan B if they fail to prise Luis Suarez from Liverpool. The Italian giants have made no secret of their wish to install the Reds' frontman in Turin, pairing Suarez alongside Fernando Llorente who is set to join from Athletic Bilbao, but Liverpool are keen to keep hold of the Uruguay ace.
So Juventus - according to the Mail - are hoping that they can sign the 24-year-old Hernandez, who is rumoured to be unsettled at Old Trafford after falling behind Robin van Persie and Danny Welbeck in the pecking order. ·