Arsenal fight Liverpool over Sanchez, Balotelli 'desperate'

Chilean forward Alexis Sanchez

Liverpool could land Chile winger in massive Suarez swap deal, as Arsenal eye midfielder Khedira

BY Bill Mann LAST UPDATED AT 08:42 ON Mon 30 Jun 2014

He may be out of the World Cup but could Alexis Sanchez soon be in the Arsenal squad? According to Goal.com, the red hot Chilean forward, who so nearly helped his country defeat Brazil in Saturday's last 16 thriller, is poised to make a £32m move to Arsenal from Barcelona. Arsene Wenger has made the 25-year-old his number one target after Barcelona let it be known they are prepared to sell Sanchez as they freshen up their squad ahead of next season. 

Liverpool, Manchester United and Juventus are also said to be monitoring the situation but the Gunners cleverly manoeuvred themselves into pole position by allegedly sending a negotiating team to Madrid before the World Cup to open talks. Goal claims that the "seriousness of Arsenal's pursuit" was evident in the fact that chief executive Ivan Gazidis and contract negotiator Dicky Law were involved in those negotiations. The only potential stumbling block, according to Goal, is that Sanchez has yet to be convinced that the Emirates – and the Premier League in general - is the arena in which he can best show off his skills.

Whether or not he likes the Premier League, Sanchez could find himself at Liverpool next season, claims the Daily Mirror, which explains that he could become the £30m makeweight in a mammoth deal for Luis Suarez. But while there is little debate over how much Sanchez is worth, the value of bitey Uruguayan Suarez is rather less clear cut.

Liverpool want £80m for the player, who is currently banned from playing or even training, until the end of October. Perhaps taking that into account Barcelona value him at a measly £50m. The Spaniards are also anxious to avoid a repeat of the bad behaviour that has seen the player banned for more than 30 games since 2010.

The contract Barcelona offer Suarez will be worth £160,000 a week but will also contain special clauses to ensure that he behaves well both on and off the pitch.

Talking of bad boys, Metro believes that Arsenal's pursuit of Mario Balotelli could be back up and running, despite comments from his club AC Milan that they were not willing to sell.

The paper says that Balotelli is ready to force through an exit after being made a scapegoat for Italy's failure at the World Cup and "has no desire to return to Serie A next season". The paper adds that Balotelli is "desperate to get the ball rolling on a deal" after reading reports that the Gunners were interested in other strikers.

Meanwhile the Daily Mirror says that the Gunners are "eyeing" Real Madrid star Sami Khedira. The 27-year-old playmaker, whose Germany team face Algeria tonight for a place in the Wold Cup quarter-finals, has been at the Bernabeu for the past four season. According to the Mirror Arsene Wenger is "preparing a £23m bid" for Khedira because he believes he will complement compatriot Mesut Ozil, a teammate of Khedira's in the Germany side and once also at Real Madrid.

Pay £60m or shove off! That's the stunning message from Juventus to Chelsea as the Blues circle Paul Pogba. The 21-year-old France international, currently out in Brazil helping guide Les Bleus past the tough challenges of Honduras and Switzerland, has become of the hottest properties in European football after abandoning Manchester United in 2012 when he saw the writing was on the Old Trafford wall.

The Daily Mail claims that new United boss Louis van Gaal is keen to resign Pogba - "but not at that price". That's prompted Chelsea gaffer Jose Mourinho to sit up and take notice, despite having signed Arsenal reject Cesc Fabregas earlier in the summer. Apparently the Special One sees the French playmaker "as a good investment", because his Premier League academy status (gained during his spell at United) will keep the club the right side of Uefa's Financial Fair Play rules.

Finally, the Daily Star reports that James Rodriguez has intimated he's got his heart set on a move to Real Madrid despite the interest of Manchester United. The Colombian hitman scored a scorcher to put paid to Uruguay's hopes of tasting World Cup glory on Saturday night, and that's only raised his stock even higher with his World Cup goal tally now standing at five.

The Star says that the 22-year-old was chased by United 12 months ago but signed instead for Monaco in a £36m deal. When it was put to him that a move to Old Trafford could now be more attractive, Rodriguez replied: "I would love to play in Spain. It would be a dream to play there, it is the best league in the world." · 

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