Arsenal miss out on Draxler, Vucinic, Ntep as window shuts
Wenger gets fingers burned as main targets reject Gunners, but is Schneiderlin coming?
THE transfer window slams shut at midnight tonight but already the Gunners have got their fingers caught in the frame. First Sky Sports claim that Schalke have announced that they "are not interested" in selling Julian Draxler to Arsenal, and then Goal.com suggest they have also lost out on Blaise Matuidi after the midfielder decided to sign an extension with Paris Saint-Germain. Rumours emerged on Wednesday linking the London club to the 26-year-old Matuidi but Goal.com claims that PSG have convinced him that his future lies with them and consequently he'll sign on for another stint in the French capital.
Meanwhile Talksport believes that those two are not the only players to escape Arsenal's clutches because, contrary to popular belief, Mirko Vucinic will not be leaving Juventus for the Emirates. Speaking exclusively to Talksport Alessandro Lucci, who represents Vucinic, revealed that his client was happy in Turin: "There is no chance that Vucinic will join Arsenal," said Lucci. "He has decided to remain with Juventus."
And it gets worse for recently deposed Premier League leaders with Insidefutbol reporting that the Gunners have also missed the boat on bagging Paul-Georges Ntep. Apparently the young Auxerre star has decided his futures lies with Rennes of the French first division and on Thursday Ntep agreed a deal. The club announced the news on its Twitter feed, gloating: "PG Ntep has signed a contract for three-and-a-half years. This afternoon, he participated in his first training session." The 21-year-old, who has scored 11 goals in 22 games, was said to be flattered by Arsenal's interest but believes he needs regular game time with a team like Rennes rather than bench duties in England.
It's not all bad news, however, for Arsenal with Goal.com stating that though Wenger has drawn a blank with Matuidi he's increasingly hopeful of landing Southampton's £15m-rated Morgan Schneiderlin. With Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere both struggling with injuries, the Nutty Professor is in need of a midfielder and has "turned their attention" to the 24-year-old Schneiderlin. The defensive midfielder is said to have impressed Wenger during their 2-2 draw with the Saints on Tuesday and an offer is likely to be tabled today.
Elsewhere and Sky Sports says it "understands" that Crystal Palace have agreed a loan deal for Blackpool winger Thomas Ince. Son of Paul has attracted a lot of interest from the second tier of the Premier League with Swansea, Stoke, Hull and Sunderland all vying for his signature. But Sky says the youngster has plumped for Palace and he "could be handed his debut" in Sunday's Premier League clash against Arsenal at the Emirates. Which, as the broadcaster helpfully points out, they will be showing live.
In other news the Daily Star reports that Norwich City have successfully negotiated the signing of former Everton defender Joseph Yobo from Turkish side Fenerbahce. The 33-year-old Nigerian international returns to the Premier League after more than three years in Istanbul.
BBC Sport have announced that AC Milan have signed QPR midfielder Adel Taarabt on loan "with a view to a permanent transfer in the summer". The 24-year-old Taarabt has been on loan at Fulham since the summer but will spend the rest of the season at the San Siro. And the Beeb also runs with a story claiming Manchester City are primed to pounce for Porto pair Eliaquim Mangala and Fernando. It's not as if the Sky Blues need reinforcements, what with their annihilation of most opposition these days, but apparently manager Manuel Pellegrini thinks France defender Mangala and the 26-year-old midfield magician that is Fernando could make them even more dominant. ·