Arsenal face Gundogan fight, and could miss out on Benzema
Time is running out for Arsenal to start signing players, as Wayne Rooney sticks with Man United
IT'S LESS than a week until the summer transfer window slams shut but the rumours concerning possible Arsenal targets show no sign of abating. Gunners gaffer Arsene Wenger has said in the wake of Arsenal's 3-1 defeat of Fulham that he won't be rushed into any rash signings. "If I want to add something it has to be special," he tells the BBC.
So who is special? One player who apparently falls into that category is Borussia Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Gundogan, but according to Metro Arsenal will have a job on their hands to lure him away from the Bundesliga. The 22-year-old, who has also attracted interest from Manchester United, has been linked by the German press with a move to the Emirates, but Dortmund general manager Hans-Joachim Watzke says he's confident the German international playmaker will stay put. "I really think he will stay with us," said Watzke. "This is the right club for him at this stage of his career."
Gundogan's contract with the club expires at the end of next season and there was talk that Dortmund might be tempted to cash in on the youngster but Metro says the club will look to offer him a lucrative extension in return for his loyalty.
Meanwhile as Arsenal prepare for tonight's Champions League play-off second leg against Fernebache, the Daily Star claims that they are monitoring Real Madrid keeper Iker Casillas. The shotstopper is allegedly angling for a way out of the Bernabeu after new coach Carlo Ancelotti opted to play Diego Lopez between the sticks in Real's first game of the season. The 32-year-old Casillas, a World Cup winner with Spain in 2010, is hugely respected in Spain and believes he's worth more than a place on the bench. The Star says that Wenger is feeling his pain and a deal could be agreed to suit all parties.
There was less positive news about another Wenger target, £40m man Karim Benzema, who was singled out for praise by Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti after Real Madrid's 1-0 win over Granada. That suggests that he is firmly in his manager's plans, although the same might not be true of German star Mesut Ozil, who stormed off down the tunnel after being substituted on 65 minutes, notes The Independent.
One man not going anywhere this summer is Wayne Rooney, according to the Daily Mail. The paper insists that Rooney will not put in a transfer request, effectively ending Chelsea's pursuit of the player, and has adopted a more positive attitude in training since the season began.
Jose Mourinho issued an ultimatum after the 0-0 draw between United and Chelsea on Monday, making it clear that the player should make his intentions known if he wanted to leave Old Trafford. But that, claims the Mail, is not going to happen and Rooney will now spend a tenth season as a United player.
Dutch rag De Telegraaf says Ajax midfielder Eyong Enoh, who spent part of last season on loan at Fulham, is caught between a rock and a hard place – or should that be Palace? The 27-year-old midfielder is being courted by Greek outfit Olympiakos as well as Crystal Palace, but can't make up his mind. Though the thought of playing for Olympiakos in the Champions League is attractive to Enoh, there's no denying the Palace has a unique charm of its own. "Olympiakos plays in the Champions League and is a big name in Greece. My agent is talking with them," said the Cameroon star. "Crystal Palace has reported their interest. I'm honoured by their interest, but first I'll talk with Olympiakos."
Finally the interminable tale of Gareth Bale has taken another twist with Sky Sports reporting that Tottenham are considering offers for the Welshman from more than one club. It appeared at the weekend that an £86m deal between Spurs and the Spanish giants was done and dusted, but Sky reports that no agreement is yet in place. Indeed, the broadcaster goes on to claim that Spurs chairman Daniel Levy is weighing up offers from other clubs although Bale himself is unaware of any interest other than Real's.
So the identity of the mystery suitors is not known, although Sky claims there were enquiries a few weeks ago from one English club and two more in Europe. The Daily Mail says that Manchester United boss David Moyes was "coy" when asked if he had made an attempt to hijack Real's bid for Bale. Speaking after his side's goalless draw with Chelsea, Moyes said: "Manchester United will always be interested in the best players and we are always looking to try to improve the team." ·