Arsenal join Griezmann hunt, Man Utd get Carvalho boost

Gunners to enter the hunt for £25m forward as Moyes target drops Old Trafford hint

BY Bill Mann LAST UPDATED AT 08:49 ON Mon 3 Mar 2014

AS ARSENAL'S season goes from bad to worse the Daily Express claims that the Gunners have joined the race to sign Antoine Griezmann. The Real Sociedad forward has been linked with Manchester United, Chelsea, Tottenham and Juventus in recent months but the Express claims Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is now "monitoring with a view to making a move in the summer". 

Griezmann has been Sociedad's standout performer in the Champions League this season and it's believed the Spanish will cash in over summer, selling the player for £25m. The 22-year-old's skills are such that the Express says Wenger "hasn't ruled out paying such a fee" if Arsenal finish a ninth consecutive season without silverware.

Beaten by Stoke on Saturday, Arsenal have slipped to third in the Premier League, four points behind leaders Chelsea, while their chances of progressing in the Champions League are as slim as those of Alan Pardew winning March's manager of the month. That leaves only the FA Cup, with Arsenal facing Everton in the sixth round on Saturday.

Asked by French television programme Telefoot at the weekend if he was tracking Griezmann, Wenger replied: "Yes, we follow him in great detail." But Wenger may be left disappointed with the French striker apparently favouring a move to PSG in the summer, saying recently, "I will finish this season at San Sebastian... after that, Paris would be truly impressive."

Liverpool have emerged as strong contenders to land Spurs centre-back Jan Vertonghen if he decides to quit Spurs this summer. The Belgian has hinted that he could call time on his White Hart Lane career if the club fail to qualify for the Champions League.

With Liverpool likely to finish in the top four and also on the lookout for a new defender, Metro tees up the prospect of a move and says Brendan Rodgers is "ready to pounce".

Some good news for Manchester United fans at long last. According to Sky Sports Sporting Lisbon midfielder William Carvalho has hinted that he would be open to a move to Old Trafford in the summer, even though he is also wanted by Chelsea and Real Madrid.

The 21-year-old Angolan-born midfielder has a £37.5m release clause in his contract, meaning he would not come cheap for David Moyes. However he seems interested in a move.

And asked about his future, he said: "It could be Manchester United or Real Madrid. It's just nice to have a great European club after me, but at the moment I'm just totally focused on Sporting... At the end of the campaign, we will see what happens."

Meanwhile the Daily Mirror reports that Arsenal reject Johan Djourou is on the radar of Hull gaffer Steve Bruce. The paper says Bruce is "lining up a £2.6m summer swoop" for the 27-year-old Swiss defender, who has been on loan at Hamburg this season. The centre-back never cut the mustard at the Emirates but apparently Bruce believes Djourou will bolster his back four next season. However, Djourou has stated recently how much he has taken to life in Hamburg and hinted that he hopes to turn his short-term stint in the Bundesliga into something more permanent.

Still with defenders and the Daily Star claims that PSV Eindhoven right-back Santiago Arias is the latest target of Manchester United manager David Moyes. The 22-year-old Arias, who joined PSV from Sporting Lisbon, comes with an £8m price tag and so would be a cheaper option for Moyes than his other target – Everton's Irish international Seamus Coleman.

Arias is expected to enhance his reputation at the World Cup playing for Portugal and Moyes is said to be keen to wrap up a deal sooner rather than later in case some of Europe's powerhouses start sniffing around. Inter Milan are already said to have shown an interest in Arias and Juventus are also rumoured to be tailing the youngster.

Finally, Goal.com claims it has it on good authority that Premier League leaders Chelsea are in the driving seat to sign 18-year-old Southampton defender Luke Shaw. United and Manchester City have both been linked with the teenager and Goal.com says the Saints are bracing themselves for a £20m "tug-of-war" transfer struggle in the summer. While money is no object for any of Shaw's suitors, Goal.com claims the Blues have a "significant geographical advantage" because Shaw's folks live in the leafy south London suburb of Raynes Park, which is just a short drive from the club's Cobham training base. Thus with mum and dad just round the corner, Shaw junior could pop home and get his washing done after training if he signs on for the Blues. · 

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Santiago Arias is Colombian and will be playing for Colombia in the World Cup, not Portugal

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