Arsenal want Angel Di Maria on top of their Christmas tree

Angel di Maria

Gunners gearing up for a big money move for Real Madrid ace, but miss out on Calhanoglu

BY Bill Mann LAST UPDATED AT 08:36 ON Wed 18 Dec 2013

COULD Arsenal be hoping to put a very special angel on top of their Christmas tree (formation)? Possibly, according to the Daily Star, which claims the Gunners are gearing up for a big money offer for Real Madrid star Angel Di Maria. 

The paper says the future of the Argentine winger "remains uncertain" with Arsenal, Manchester United and Monaco all monitoring Di Maria's situation at the Bernabeu. Asked if the Gunners had made a formal approach for the South American sorcerer, Real president  Florentino Perez replied: "We have not received any offer for the sale of Angel Di Maria. This is the truth of this subject."

The player's agent, Eugenio Lopez, appears to be stirring the pot, however, declaring that although Di Maria is contracted to Real until 2018, "many clubs want him".

He then added with the ambiguity that one admires in agents: "There is a presidential angle to this but I will not talk about it." That didn't stop the Star claiming that Arsenal are the favourites to sign the 25-year-old Di Maria next month.

Still with Arsenal and Talksport claims that the Gunners are set to miss out on Turkey international Hakan Calhanoglu after Hamburg decided to offer the 19-year-old midfielder a new and improved contract. Arsenal and Liverpool have both been tracking the teenage dynamo in recent months but their interest has put the willies up Hamburg and as a consequence they will look to tie down Calhanoglu for the foreseeable future.

"We want to extend his contract until 2018," said Hamburg sporting director Oliver Kreuzer. "We know he appeals to many clubs, but he's alright here in Hamburg and he sees his immediate future with us and not with other clubs. We are optimistic about reaching an agreement."

In other news, Metro claims Manchester United have their eyes on a wizard, but it's not believed to be Gandalf. Rather the paper says the once great Old Trafford outfit have identified Dorin Rotariu as the player to weave some magic in the second half of the season.

Described by Metro as a "wing wizard", the 18-year-old Dinamo Bucharest winger has been in stellar form this season and now United manager David Moyes intends to make a move for Rotariu in the New Year.

Finally, Italian sources report that AC Milan defender Cristian Zapata has rubbished suggestions he could be poised to move to Old Trafford in the New Year. In recent weeks rumours have emerged linking the 27-year-old Colombian to Manchester United. It was even claimed that England coach Phil Neville had run the rule over Zapata on United's behalf.

But asked if he was set to move to England and mid-table mediocrity, the strapping six-footer replied: "I do not know anything. I am just thinking about Milan. I have a contract until 2016 and I want to stay here." · 

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Great though Angel is, the pressing matter is a repeatedly consistent 20 goal striker. One who can turn a game in the mould of Henry, RVP, Bergkamp etc. We are not struggling for wingers.

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