Arsenal and Liverpool woo French striker Clement Grenier
Arsenal remain the favourites, but Liverpool are also making overtures to the unsettled Grenier
ACCORDING to the Daily Star, Arsenal and Liverpool are making eyes at Clement Grenier in the hope that the Lyon attacking midfielder will succumb to their advances.
The paper says the 22-year-old French international is "unsure" whether it's in his best interests to remain in Lyon and he could be tempted by a suitable offer from either Liverpool or Arsenal. Asked by the Star if he was going to head north to the greyer climes of England, Grenier replied that he had been in "contact" with the two clubs but "after that it remains personal."
The Gunners remain favourites to sign Grenier with Arsene Wenger having already had one £8m bid rejected by Lyon last summer. But it's believed a second offer could bear fruit with the player himself offering only the most half-hearted of rebuttals, declaring: "For now, I'm focused on Lyon."
To other news and there's a welcome return to one of Transfer Talk's old favourites, Leandro Damiao, the Internacional striker, who has been on the brink of a move to England practically from the day he was born.
First Tottenham, then Southampton and in due course Liverpool were all linked to the 24-year-old Damiao but despite the rumours he has resolutely remained in Brazil.
Now Metro is trying to persuade us that Damiao is poised to snub England's finest in favour of a move to Santos. Apparently Internacional chief Giovanni Luigi insists the club is "open to offers" for Damiao, but he added that as yet no approach had been made for the Brazilian international from England.
Brazilian outfit Santos are now in "pole position" to sign the striker with Internacional ready to accept their £12m bid this week if no better offer from England is forthcoming.
If Southampton have pulled out of the race to sign Damiao that may be because the Saints are marching towards Cheikhou Kouyate. The Senegalese defender has been on their wish-list for months, as he has Newcastle's, but it appears both clubs will have to bide their time before making a play for the Anderlecht ace.
According to Talksport, the 23-year-old Kouyate has admitted he wants to test his mettle in the Premier League but not before he's helped Anderlecht win a fourth Belgian league title.
"I want to finish the season here," he said in conversation with Belgian rag La Derniere Heure. "I do not want to leave this team now. I will [seek] a transfer at the end of the season." It's believed that Anderlecht will allow Kouyate to leave in return for £5.5m in crisp readies.
Finally, goal.com reports that Juventus have given up the ghost of Aleksander Kolarov. The Italian champions were first rumoured to be eyeing up the Manchester City defender in the summer but though that proved nothing more than idle speculation, stories have re-emerged of late suggesting Juventus will make a concrete off next month.
That was before the club's director general Giuseppe Marotta opened his heart to Italy's Mediaset. "There is no negotiation taking place at the moment and we have no intention of starting one up," Marotta revealed. Though he did admit Kolarov would be of "value" to any team, the Juventus chief added: "We are not interested in him." ·