Arsenal have Pato bid rejected, but Morata deal looks closer

Reports in Brazil say offer for Corinthians front man has been rejected, but Wenger has other targets

BY Bill Mann LAST UPDATED AT 08:39 ON Mon 2 Dec 2013

ARSENAL fans hoping that the Gunners will be able to identify and secure their transfer targets without undue drama this January have been dealt a blow after it was claimed that they have had a £6.5m offer for striker Alexandre Pato rejected by Corinthians.

The Independent says reports in Brazil indicate that Wenger has been rebuffed by Pato's current club, even though he has fallen out with the fans. The former AC Milan striker has been linked with the Gunners for some time, and Brazilian newspaper Lance! now claims that there has now been a concrete offer for the 24-year-old. However, it adds that a second bid of £10m would satisfy Corinthians and persuade them to sell.

However, there is good news for Gunners fans hoping that Arsene Wenger can find an alternative to Nicklas Bendtner as back-up to Olivier Giroud this January. The Daily Star reveals that moves to bring Real Madrid forward Alvaro Morata to the Emirates on loan in January are progressing well. The paper claims that the 21-year-old has rejected the advances of deadly rivals Spurs in favour of joining the Gunners.

Might Micah make a move to Arsenal in January? Yes, claims the Daily Star, which report that Manchester City defender Micah Richards is being stalked by the Premier League leaders.

Apparently Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is "on full alert" (is it possible to be on 'half alert'?) and is ready to crack open the Emirates piggy bank to secure the services of 25-year-old Richards. It's not the first time Arsenal have been linked with Richards but the Star says the former England man is "frustrated at not commanding a regular role" in the Sky Blues now that Pablo Zabaleta has jumped ahead of him at the Etihad.

Though Richards has 18 months to run on his contract at City, it's believed he is weighing up his options and could make a switch in the New Year in the hope of getting regular game time at Arsenal and maybe forcing his way back into the England reckoning ahead of the World Cup. City have slapped a £10m price tag on Richards and the Star says Inter Milan and Roma are also monitoring his situation.

Another defender who could soon be going places is Ashley Cole. According to the Daily Mirror the Chelsea left-back is mulling over a move to the MLS at the end of the season with New York Red Bulls leading the race for his signature. Cole, who turns 33 this month, is out of contract at Chelsea in the summer and rumours suggest he is unlikely to be offered an extension because of his age.

That's prompted Cole to consider heading Stateside, and apparently the Red Bulls have a vacancy for one of their three designated 'marquee' players. The thought of teaming up with Thierry Henry, Cole's ex team-mate at Arsenal, appeals to the Chelsea man and a decision is expected in the next few weeks.

Still with the Blues and it seems to be a case of out with the old and in with the new at the Bridge as Chelsea guv'nor Jose Mourinho lines up what the Daily Express describes as a record-breaking £30m offer for Southampton defender Luke Shaw, on the receiving end of a 3-1 defeat at the Bridge on Sunday.

The £27m that Manchester United forked out in 2004 for Wayne Rooney when he was at Everton is the existing record for a teenager, but Chelsea are desperate to get their hands on Shaw, an England under-21 international who has been linked with Arsenal and Spurs this season. The Express claims that Chelsea have already had two bids knocked back for the 18-year-old Shaw and will come again in January, only this time with a £30m offer that the Saints are unlikely to turn down.

And talking of wonderkid whippersnappers, the People would have us believe that Manchester United have pipped Real Madrid to the hand of Ryan Gauld. Dubbed the 'Mini Messi', the 17-year-old Dundee United dynamo has set the Scottish Premier League on fire this season, admittedly, not that hard to do.

Now the People claims that United have offered Dundee £3m "and three money-spinning pre-season friendlies" in return for Gauld as they look to make up the nine point deficit between themselves and Arsenal. Dundee United had wanted £6m for Gauld but they will probably settle for United's offer, with the first of the three friendlies set for next July. · 

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