Are Arsenal still after Suarez, as Chelsea target Liverpool striker?
Wenger rules out new Suarez bid, maybe, as Blues prepare for another raid on Anfield
ON THE eve of Arsenal's showdown with Liverpool Arsene Wenger has ruled out any more attempts to sign striker Luis Suarez from the Reds, although Chelsea are now said to be the ones after the Uruguayan hitman.
Arsenal's interest in the player appears to be over, although that depends on your interpretation of the word "no". Speaking before tomorrow's match at Anfield, Wenger was quizzed by reporters over his efforts to sign the player in the summer. "Suarez was never our player; the deal did not come off," he said. "Would I bid again? At the moment no."
Most media interpreted that as an admission that Suarez would not be on his way to the Emirates any time soon. Metro, however, saw things differently and insisted that by refusing to talk in absolutes, Wenger had "refused to rule out making a new bid".
But if the Arsenal boss does have a change of heart, he will have to do battle with Chelsea, who are once again planning on raiding Anfield for their best player. Although this time Roman Abramovich will be hoping his money goes on something rather more productive that a new Fernando Torres.
Once again it is Metro that carries the news. It explains that the Blues have made Suarez "their top summer transfer target following talks this week" and will make an offer of £55m at the end of the season.
As we reported yesterday, Arsenal's transfer policy increasingly revolves around signing players who have a 'Z' in their name, and the latest star to fit the bill is Heerenveen youngster Hakim Ziyech. According to Sports Direct News the Gunners and Barcelona are both chasing the 20-year-old Dutchman whose seven goals and seven assists in 22 first-team appearances this season have made him one of Holland's hottest properties.
It's believed Arsene Wenger considered making a move for Ziyech last month before embarking on the ill-fated attempt to snap up Julian Draxler from Schalke. SND claims that Wenger is still keen on signing the sizzling sharpshooter but may face stiff competition in the summer from Barcelona.
Talking of strikers, the Daily Mail says that Edinson Cavani's representatives were in London on Thursday, fuelling speculation that the Uruguay forward – currently sidelined with a thigh injury - is contemplating a summer move away from Paris Saint Germain.
It's alleged that Cavani is unsettled in the French capital, and is growing increasingly frustrated with being "used in a wider role alongside Zlatan Ibrahimovic". It's no secret that Manchester United have been sniffing about the 26-year-old Cavani with the Mail going so far as to claim that Alex Ferguson asked former Old Trafford defender Laurent Blanc to check on his form for PSG last month.
However, United will have to fight Chelsea for the hand of Cavani and it may come down in the end to which club is prepared to meet PSG's asking price. As the Mail points out, the South American goal machine only arrived in France last summer in a £54m deal from Napoli, and there's no way the French champions will let him go for anything less than that figure. It's believed that Cavani's management team will hold a series of meetings over the next few days to "ascertain interest" and the Mail says that Arsenal may yet ask to be involved in any discussions. But could the fact Cavani hasn't got a 'Z' in his name prove a stumbling block?
Is Stoke keeper Jack Butland about to go on a loan move from the Britannia Stadium? Yes, claims website Tribalfootball, which says that the 21-year-old is desperate for game time ahead of the summer World Cup. The England shotstopper is second choice at Stoke behind Asmir Begovic and that's left him frustrated. "Now that the transfer window is closed a loan move to the Premier League is not on the cards, so I'll either see what happens at Stoke or assess my options in the Championship," he said. "I need to be playing in order to give myself a chance of going (to Brazil)."
Finally, Nemanja Vidic has confirmed he will leave Manchester United at the end of this season. As we reported on Thursday, Inter Milan have been strongly linked with the Serbian central defender although the Daily Mirror says that Napoli, Turkey's Galatasaray and French side Monaco are also chasing the 32-year-old. "It's the last year of my contract and I have had eight wonderful years here," said Vidic in announcing his decision. "My time at this great club will always rank as the best years of my career... however, I have decided that I will move on at the end of this season. I want to challenge myself again and try to make the best of myself in the coming years." ·