Arsenal fear Barcelona Ramsey raid, as Gunners chase Sanabria
Gunners face another Barca battle as Spaniards scout midfield star, and Wenger hopes for striker deal
NOT satisfied with plundering Cesc Fabregas from the Emirates, could Barcelona be on the brink of another act of grand larceny? According to the Daily Mail inspirational Gunners midfielder Aaron Ramsey, who is enjoying an incredible season, is being tailed by the once great Catalan side with the paper reporting that Barcelona have "dispatched scouts to Arsenal's last four games" as well as Wales's recent matches with Belgium and Macedonia.
With the Barcelona squad apparently in decline - they have lost two games in the last week - there are changes afoot at Camp Nou with Spanish media claiming that there will be a mass clear out in the summer orchestrated by club president Sandro Rosell. However, the Mail says Barcelona will have their work cut out to prise Ramsey from the Emirates. Not only is Ramsey "loyal" to manager Arsene Wenger for the support he received from the club following his horrific leg break three years ago, but word has reached Barcelona that it would take a bid of £50m plus to make the Gunners part company with Wales's finest.
But we live in a tit-for-tat world, and it's not impossible that the latest rumours about Ramsey may have something to do with Arsenal's pursuit of Barcelona youngster Tonny Sanabria. Website Give Me Sport quotes reports in the local Spanish media, which claim Arsenal fixer Dick Law has travelled to Spain to try and seal a deal for the 17-year-old Paraguay international, who appears intent on leaving Barcelona.
Under the terms of his contract Arsenal could get their hands on Sanabria for a "paltry" fee in the summer, explains the website. But with AS Roma also circling the young forward the Gunners have been prompted to make their move in January.
The fate of Juventus magician Paul Pogba is a hot topic in Italy with rumours flying that Arsenal will try and lure the 20-year-old midfielder to the Emirates in January. As we reported back in October, Arsene Wenger has long been an admirer of Pogba, who arrived in Turin on a free transfer from Manchester United in the summer of 2012, but according to Goal.com Juventus are desperate to hang on to the French playmaker. Now comes a declaration from Juve captain Gianluigi Buffon to the effect that Pogba is poised to sign a new deal.
Talking to Italy’s Tuttosport about Pogba, the veteran goalkeeper claimed: "You will see soon that he will also renew [his contract]." Asked how he was so sure, Buffon pointed to the Arturo Vidal, the Chilean star who has recently signed a new deal with Juventus. "If a player who has [had] as many offers as Arturo decides to tie himself to Juventus for such a long time, it's a very clear signal." What the signal was exactly, Buffon didn’t say but he remains convinced Pogba will follow suit despite the rumours linking him to Arsenal.
Elsewhere and Metro reports that Turkish powerhouse Besiktas have opened talks with Liverpool over a deal for striker Samed Yesil. The 19-year-old goal machine, who was signed from Bayer Leverkusen in 2012, has been plagued by injuries since moving to Merseyside and it’s believed Reds boss Brendan Rodgers will give his consent to the move in the best interests of the teenager.
On paper the Reds are short of firepower, but with Luis Suarez – who scored four in Liverpool’s 5-1 demolition of Norwich on Wednesday - in the form of his life things don't look too bad for Rodgers, and Yesil was hardly seen as an adequate replacement for injured Daniel Sturridge. Consigned to the Liverpool Under-21 side in recent months, Yesil is qualified for Germany and has scored 20 goals in 21 matches for their U-17 side. Metro says Besiktas will pay Liverpool £2m in return for the player.
According to the Manchester Evening News Manuel Pellegrini will not be selling any of his squad next month. The Sky Blues boss believes all his players are integral to their chances of winning the league, despite rumours of late suggesting a number of players could be on their way out of the Etihad in the New Year. Among those said to be on the brink of a bunk are goalkeeper Joe Hart, defenders Micah Richards and Joleon Lescott, and frontman Edin Dzeko. But Pellegrini assured the MEN: "They will remain here in the squad... the English players, Spanish players, Argentinean players are all part of our squad and we need all of them." ·