Arsenal tussle with Man Utd in race for Antoine Griezmann

Antoine Griezmann

Hotshot winger Griezmann catches the eye of high-spending clubs, but Arsenal are in pole position

BY Bill Mann LAST UPDATED AT 08:36 ON Fri 13 Dec 2013

ANOTHER day and another exotically-named star linked to Arsenal. This time it's Antoine Griezmann with the Daily Express adamant that the Gunners are "set to fight off" Manchester United next month and bring the Real Sociedad hotshot to the Emirates.
The fleet-footed winger, bursting with talent at the tender age of 22, has netted nine times for the Spanish outfit this season and apparently his form has "impressed scouts" from the Premier League leaders.

United have also been dazzled by Griezmann's displays in La Liga but the Express is convinced that Arsenal are in pole position to sign the wide-man in the New Year. The paper says that Griezmann will cost £20m, chicken feed for both Arsenal and United, and Sociedad know it.

"We want to keep him for as long as possible," a club source whispered to Spanish rag Marca. "But we have a battle to convince him to stay - we know clubs are interested in him."

Still with United and the Daily Star claims Galatasaray playmaker Wesley Sneijder is once again the subject of interest from Old Trafford and Chelsea. With both clubs struggling for form this season, the prospect of signing the deft Dutchman appeals but for the moment Sneijder is "coy" on the possibility of a move to the Premier League.

"I know only as much as you do, just the reports in the newspapers, which seem to come out every time the transfer window is about to re-open," said the sceptical Sneijder to Dutch paper NOS. Asked if he might be open to a move to England, he replied: "I am happy here, but you never know for certain what will happen in football."

Indeed you don't, just ask Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas. Not so long ago he was the toast of Tottenham after their strong start to the season but in recent weeks his stock has fallen faster than Ashley Young in the penalty area after a string of poor results.

As a result, claims Talksport, Villas-Boas is contemplating a January move for Steaua Bucharest captain Alex Bourceanu, with the possibility more rugged Romanians could follow as he looks to shore up his side for the second half of the season.

"There are a couple of Romanian players who are very interesting, particularly at Steaua, but I cannot mention them for obvious reasons," explained Villas-Boas. "It's always a market that we have to be aware of."

Finally, the Daily Mail reports that Bayer Leverkusen have pipped Chelsea to the hand of Germany Under-19 international Julian Brandt. A star this season for German club Wolfsburg, the 17-year-old is tipped to be the next great goal machine in the Bundesliga and apparently the Blues had Brandt on their New Year wishlist.

But the Mail says Leverkusen have snuck in under the radar and agreed a five-year deal that will be formally announced next month. "Julian Brandt is one of the most talented players in German football," said Leverkusen's sporting director Rudi Voller in admitting they'd beaten the Blues to the booty. · 

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