Arsenal face Gnabry fight, but will they move for Pogba?
Young German Gunner still wanted by his former club, but Juventus fear for the future of Pogba
STUTTGART have admitted they've been sucking up to the family of young Arsenal star Serge Gnabry in the hope of luring him back to the Bundesliga, two years after he quit. The 18-year-old Gunners midfielder scored his first goal for his English employers in the recent win over Swansea and has impressed since stepping in for the injured Theo Walcott this season.
Gnabry arrived at the Emirates in 2011 after leaving the Stuttgart youth academy and the club's sporting director, Jochen Schneider, has told German rag Bild he hopes he returns. "After his goal in Swansea I sent his father a text to congratulate him," simpered Schneider. "We will continue to monitor his progress."
Asked if he hoped to re-sign Gnabry, Schneider sighed as heavily as a Swansea defender and said: "If he continues to go down the path he is currently going and becomes a starter for Arsenal, it will get difficult."
Talking of youngsters, Arsenal are said to be one of several clubs drooling over the talents of teenage striker Kekuta Manneh, who has become the youngest player to score a hat-trick in the American MLS.
The 18-year-old notched a treble for the Vancouver Whitecaps in their 4-1 win over Seattle Sounders, reports the Daily Star, and although he might be new to some people, Premier League scouts are well acquainted with the Gambian prodigy.
"He spent a week with Chelsea back in 2010 and Arsenal scouts were sent out to the States to watch him in 2011," notes the paper. "Manneh didn't do enough to seal a move but interest in the youngster remained high."
Liverpool have also invited him to Merseyside and were linked with him over the summer, adds the paper. It could be all go in January.
Meanwhile the website of discount sports retailer Sports Direct has put two and two together and come up with an interesting answer after listening to Juventus president Andrea Agnelli fret over the financial power of the Italian league. And it involves Paul Pogba moving to Arsenal.
Talking at a conference in London Agnelli said: ""If I was to judge it from a footballers' point of view, Italy is no longer the final destination but a transit destination. I am trying to think what will be of us in two or three years' time if we get a massive offer for one of the best talents we have today, Pogba, the French 20-year-old.
"Would we be able to retain him? I don't know. I don't think at the moment we have the strength to retain such a player."
That, says the website, could be all the incentive the Gunners need to launch an audacious swoop for the former Manchester United trainee, who walked out of Old Trafford last summer. Only time will tell.
Liverpool have officially joined the race to sign Swansea star Michu. At least that's what the Daily Star claims, taking as their source Italian broadcaster Tuttomercato. Apparently the Reds are ready to battle the Gunners for the hitman, currently on duty with the Spanish squad. The 27-year-old Michu, who arrived at the Liberty Stadium in 2012 on a bargain £2m deal from Rayo Vallecano, has been heavily linked to Arsenal in the past few weeks and there has even talk Arsene Wenger was going to put in a bid on deadline day.
That never happened, presumably because Arsenal forked out £42.5m for Mesut Ozil, and were unable to stump out the £30m allegedly demanded by Swansea. But the Star says Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers is closing in on Michu and will make the Swans an offer they can't refuse.
Elsewhere and Tribal Football reports that West Brom boss Steve Clarke has dismissed speculation suggesting Saido Berahino could be bound for Stamford Bridge in the New Year. Rumours have emerged in recent weeks that the 20-year-old Berahino – who's scored against both Arsenal and Manchester United this season – is being headhunted by Chelsea gaffer Jose Mourinho. But Clarke rubbished the idea of a January deal when he pitched up at the Asian Football Awards. "It's just speculation and the speculation is rubbish," fumed Clarke. "He's under contract with West Brom until the end of next season, so we've got plenty of time to sort out Saido's future."
In other news Metro claims that new Black Cats boss Gus Poyet intends to keep it in the family at the Stadium of Light by making his son Diego his first signing as Sunderland manager. Poyet was appointed Sunderland's new gaffer on Tuesday – signing a two-year deal to replace Paolo Di Canio – and the former Brighton chief knows he has a job on his hands to lift his side off the bottom of the Premier League.
To that end he is lining up a move for 18-year-old Diego, currently a midfielder at Championship side Charlton. Metro says the petit Poyet is a star for the future and notes that in the past both Arsenal and Manchester United have tried to sign him. But Gus will get his man – or rather his boy – by offering Charlton £2m, a sum the London side will apparently find tough to turn down.
Finally, the Daily Mirror reports that Real Madrid have pulled off another sensational swoop. Not content with paying Spurs £86m in August for injury-prone Welshman Gareth Bale, the Spanish giants have just clinched a deal for Japanese ace Takuhiro Nakai. As the Mirror points out, it might be a name unfamiliar to many, except for those football fans with a thorough knowledge of Japanese nine-year-olds.
Yes, the playground playmaker has yet to reach double figures but Real scouts believe he's one for the distant future and will put him into their youth academy. Nicknamed Pipi, Nakai has become an internet sensation thanks to clips of his ball skills uploaded onto YouTube. ·