Spurs line up £30m Willian and Lamela as Bale exit nears
Spurs spree could signal Bale exit, meanwhile Newcastle reject Arsenal Cabaye bid
WHILE Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger watches the sharks begin to circle and prepares for a last minute trolly-dash around Europe, down the road at Spurs Andre Villas-Boas is doing his very best to ensure that there will be no St Totteringham's Day celebrations for the Gunners this season by continuing to strengthen his squad.
Today he is reportedly close to sealing a deal for Anzhi Makhachkala's Brazilian forward Willian, who has been spotted in London. The Evening Standard reports that not only are the Lilywhites on the verge of landing Willian, they are also hoping to pick up Roma pair Erik Lamela and Miralem Pjanic, with sources in Italy suggesting there could be a deal for Argentinian forward Lamela within the next 24 hours.
But all this spending must mean something, and the Standard suggests that Willian's arrival could coincide with the departute of Gareth Bale.
If, as expected, Spurs pay £30m for the 25-year-old Brazilian it will take their summer spending to £90m, and Real are convinced that the London club will finally sell their star man to recoup that amount.
The Daily Mail also believes the Spurs spree means that Bale will be off. And it notes that news of the proposed Willian deal comes after Sky Italia report that a fee of £80m plus £20m-rated left back Fabio Coentrao has been agreed between Spurs and Madrid.
The paper also claims that the deal for Lamela is also close and he will also cost in the region of £30m.
So, what's happening over at the Emirates? With the Arsenal faithful more fractious than an anti-fracking protest, the club appears to have finally got the message that fresh blood is needed at the Emirates.
As we reported yesterday, the Swansea pair of Michu and Ashley Williams are being linked with a move to the Gunners while Newcastle have knocked back a £12m bid for Newcastle midfielder Yohan Cabaye, with Magpies manager Alan Pardew slamming Arsenal for the timing of their approach.
"It's tough for his head to be turned on the eve of a game [against Manchester City]," seethed Pardew. "I think it's just a very difficult situation. It wasn't us who gave him the news... It's pretty obvious that I'm upset about it. I'm not exactly sure of the terms of the offer but it's below our valuation."
The latest players to find themselves being touted as possible targets for Arsene Wenger are Sevilla midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia and Schalke right-back Atsuto Uchida. The Daily Star claims that the Gunners have been "told by Sevilla" they'll have to meet Kondogbia's £17.2m release clause if they want to prise the highly-rated 20-year-old from La Liga.
Apparently Arsenal had believed the release clause was £8.5m but that assumption - a bit like a pass from Aaron Ramsey - turned out to be wide of the mark. "Kondogbia is not on the market," declared Sevilla president Jose Maria del Nido. "But whoever wants him has to pay his €20m (£17.2m) clause."
As for Uchida, goal.com says Arsenal are "waiting for a response from Schalke" after making a £6m bid for the Japanese international. It's been rumoured in the past that Wenger sees the 25-year-old Uchida - capped 60 times by his country - as the long-term successor to Bacary Sagna and a player who can also "can fit in with the Gunners' playing style". Whatever they might be.
Meanwhile Sky Sports says Scott Parker has "snubbed a move" from Tottenham to QPR so he can carry on in the Premier League with Fulham. The 32-year-old Parker, who joined Spurs from West Ham in August 2011, was the subject of a bid by Rangers last week which was to Tottenham's liking.
But Parker had the final say - and that was to reject the idea of dropping down to the Championship even if it would mean a reunion with Harry Redknapp, his former boss at Spurs who now calls the shots at QPR.
Instead Parker has signed a three-year deal with Fulham for an undisclosed fee. "Fulham is an established Premier League club and I look forward to trying to help the team progress even further," said Parker. ·