Arsenal after Niguez and Vucinic, Liverpool close in on Salah
Young Spaniard Niguez also wanted by Chelsea and Man Utd, as Gunners Morata hopes finally end
TWO'S company, three's a crowd, but try telling that to the agent of Saul Niguez. The Atletico Madrid playermaker was being chased by Arsenal but now Chelsea and Manchester United are also in the hunt and the Daily Mirror claims that whoever lands the Spanish Under-21 international "will have to pay a staggering £20m".
According to the paper Gunners gaffer Arsene Wenger has already met Niguez's agent and is "keen" to see the 19-year-old move to London. Currently, on loan at Rayo Vallecano, the teenager midfielder is regarded as one of the most promising players in Europe, and now Chelsea and United have joined the race to sign him.
But the Mirror claims the three English clubs will have to pay over the odds because of a clause in his contract that stipulates Atletico will only be obliged to sell if a club tables a bid of £20m. It's reported that Niguez is partial to Arsenal but Chelsea are stepping up their interest with their scouts present in Spain last week to watch him in action.
Meanwhile the Daily Mail says that Wenger is on the trail of Juventus striker Mirko Vucinic with a loan deal his preference. However the Turin club would rather sell the 30-year-old Montenegro striker and that might scupper the deal.
The 30-year-old Montenegro striker isn't exactly in his first flush of youth and Wenger is unlikely to meet Juve's £10m asking price for the veteran frontman. The Mail claims that Arsenal's transfer negotiator Dick Law has "been in touch" with Juventus and the player's agent, Alessandro Lucci, is primed to fly to London this week to discuss a possible move.
It's believed Wenger sees Vucinic as an ideal short-term replacement in the wake of the season-ending injury to Theo Walcott. For his part, Vucinic is now playing third fiddle to Carlos Tevez and Fernando Llorente at Juventus and would allegedly welcome a fresh challenge in England.
Arsenal's keen interest in Vucinic may or may not be connected to the latest bulletin from Real Madrid over the future of Alvaro Morata.
The 21-year-old striker's on-off move to Arsenal (or Liverpool, or Juventus, or Inter Milan) has been one of the ongoing saga's of the transfer window, but now, at least according to the Daily Express, the story has come to an end.
Speaking after Real Madrid spanked Real Betis 5-0 at the weekend the youngster announced: "Despite all the stories that have emerged, I am happy here... I have spoken with the club and the coach and told them I want to stay here."
Over at Anfield there is talk that Liverpool are about to make an offer for exciting Egyptian winger Mohamed Salah of Basel. The Daily Telegraph says the Swiss club believe the player is worth £12m, but Liverpool are not so sure.
Negotiations are expected to step up a level over the next few days says the paper, which adds that Rodgers wants to keep some of his transfer kitty in reserve to purchase another defender. Working in Liverpool's favour is the fact that Saleh is keen to join the Reds, provided a fee can be agreed, says the Daily Mail.
In other news the Sunday People reports that Tottenham have identified Christian Benteke as the man to carry them through to the end of the season. Apparently manager Tim Sherwood and head honcho Daniel Levy have agreed that the big Belgian net-buster could breathe fresh life into the Lilywhites.
Spurs were seen sniffing around Benteke last summer but that came to naught, a bit like Andre Villas-Boas's time in charge of Tottenham. Now new boss Sherwood is going to launch a fresh bid with the People saying the club will "offer cash plus players straight away". However, it may be that Villa will agree to sell for £15m only in the summer once Benteke has helped them to, hopefully, hang on to their Premier League status.
Finally, the Daily Star says Manchester United manager David Moyes has been "handed a sensational £150m transfer budget", and he's already made striker Edinson Cavani his top target.
With the United board desperate to see the Red Devils rise up the table, Moyes has been given his war chest with instructions to buy big so that the club avoids further humiliation such as that visited on them against Chelsea on Sunday.
Although the 26-year-old Cavani only moved to Paris Saint-Germain last summer from Napoli in a £55m deal, the Star alleges that he is "eyeing a move to the Premier League". The problem isn't so much with PSG as with the French league and Cavani would rather test himself in England like his Uruguay international team-mate Luis Suarez.
But the Star says United might not have it all their own way, because Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City are also said to be monitoring the situation in Paris. ·