Arsenal after Carvalho, Promes and Ntep – the new Sanogo?
Sporting Lisbon youngster Carvalho is being touted as the next Patrick Vieira, but would cost £40m
AS ARSENAL prepare to make life hell for Hull at the Emirates this evening, Portuguese rag Abola reports that the Gunners are making eyes at highly rated Portuguese international William Carvalho.
Long likened to a young Patrick Vieira, the Sporting Lisbon playmaker has impressed in Portugal since returning from a loan spell with Belgium outfit Cercle Brugge. Drafted into the Portugal squad for the first time last month, 20-year-old Carvalho is tipped to star in next summer's World Cup and apparently Arsene Wenger feels the youngster would bolster Arsenal's midfield.
But of the Gunners' gaffer is serious about signing Carvalho he'll have to cough up £40m in cold hard cash. Sporting Lisbon don't want to lose Carvalho but with the club not in the best of health financially, it's believed they will sell and might even be talked down a few million quid.
Still with Arsenal and will they be going to the Promes? According to Sports Direct News, the Dutch media is reporting that FC Twente youngster Quincy Promes is being courted by the Gunners and rivals Manchester City after a string of standout performances in this season's Dutch league. The 21-year-old winger has scored eight goals and racked up eight assists and SDN claim it won't be long before he graduates from the Holland Under-21 side to the senior squad.
According to the reports emanating from the Netherlands, both Arsenal and the Sky Blues are "monitoring" Promes but a bid is more likely in the summer after they've had a longer look at the player, who is a headline writer's dream.
After the huge impact made by Arsenal's summer signing Yaya Sanogo who would blame Arsene Wenger for continuing to monitor young French strikers at Auxerre? Everyone, you say? Well, that hasn't stopped the Nutty Professor from keeping his eye on Sanogo's former team-mate Paul-Georges Ntep.
Talksport claims that the 21-year-old Ntep is generating interest across Europe after breaking into the Auxerre first team and scoring five goals so far this season (which is five more than the injury-prone Sanogo has managed). But the player appears keen to join Sanogo at the Emirates, if his comments to French paper L'Equipe are anything to go by.
Asked if he would be interested in a move to Arsenal, he replied: "Yes, but to do what?
"If this is a club where I am going to sit on the bench, then where is the progression? I'm not saying I want to go to a big club to start immediately but at least that can happen in the medium term."
If Arsenal chasing an unproven youngster is an inevitable feature of the transfer window, then so is Barcelona treading on the toes of a Premier League club. This January it could be Chelsea and Liverpool in the firing line.
First up, and it seems that the cheeky Catalans have identified Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois as the man they want to replace Victor Valdes at the end of the season. The Daily Mail says that the 21-year-old, who is currently on loan at Atletico Madrid, is at the top of Barcelona's list of transfer targets.
Barca want a deal at the end of the season, but could approach Chelsea in January after Courtois broke his silence over his long-term future and made it clear he did not want to play second fiddle to Petr Cech at Stamford Bridge.
Next in line are Liverpool, whose hopes of signing youngsters Martin Montoya and Cristian Tello have been dealt a blow after Barcelona vice-president Josep Bartomeu announced that he wanted the pair to stay at Camp Nou. According to the Daily Star he encouraged the pair to resist the overtures of other clubs and said: "We like their ambition. They should continue to fight."
Back at the Emirates and Arsene Wenger has told Talksport that he's not losing sleep over the future of Thomas Vermaelen. Rumours have emerged in recent weeks that the Arsenal captain will seek a move out of the Emirates in January after losing his place in the starting line-up, but when asked if he set any store by the stories, Wenger replied: "I'm not concerned that he might move in January because if he wants to do that he will come and see me, which he has not done."
Elsewhere, the Daily Mirror says Dimitar Berbatov "wants out" of Fulham in the wake of the sacking of Martin Jol. The Cottagers' boss was given the boot at the weekend and replaced by Rene Meulensteen, a man Berbatov knows from their time working together at Manchester United. But despite this connection the 32-year-old Bulgarian striker is angling for a January transfer. The Mirror says the news has come as a "huge blow" to Meulensteen, who takes charge of his first game in charge tonight at home to Tottenham. It's reported that Turkish club Trabzonspor are favourites to sign Berbatov with club president Ibrahim Haciosmanoglu quoted as saying: "Berbatov has been on our agenda. We want better and better quality and are endeavouring to add that to our squad."
Finally, the Daily Mail claims that Liverpool are stalking Burnley striker Danny Ings as manager Brendan Rodgers looks to strengthen his goal-scoring options after Daniel Sturridge's ankle injury. Apparently Rodgers is concerned he might lack strength in depth up front and England U21 international Ings has come to his attention. The young frontman has scored 15 goals in 21 games this season but the Mail warns that he won't come cheap. With Burnley chasing promotion from the Championship to the Premier League, the Lancashire club would expect big bucks in return for selling the 21-year-old Ings. ·