Arsenal 'agree fee' for Khedira as Chelsea muscle in on deal
Personal terms yet to be agreed as Chelsea wait in the wings. Liverpool eye Jay Rodriguez
With three World Cup winners in the Arsenal squad and the FA Cup in the trophy cabinet no-one could claim the Gunners are strangers to success any more, but could they be about to bolster their ranks with a Champions League and World Cup winner?
Arsene Wenger is said to be hot on the heels of box-to-box midfielder Sami Khedira, who is expected to quit Real Madrid this summer, and the Daily Mail reports that Arsenal's are in with a shout of landing German star, although admittedly the shout in question comes from Lukas Podolski.
Back home after winning their success in Brazil, Germany's squad have been doing the media rounds and during one interview Real Madrid midfielder Khedira was asked about his future. At which point Gunners frontman Podolski interjected with a shout of "Arsenal!". The Mail adds that another of Arsenal's Germans, Mesut Ozil, one of Khedira's best mates, is "believed to have already spoken" to the 27-year-old about the London life".
A more reliable source may be Sky Sports, which notes that according to reports in Spain a fee of around £20m has been agreed for the player, although personal terms must still be thrashed out.
That could be a major stumbling block, and it is also where Cheslea come into the equation. Master spoiler Jose Mourinho, who worked with the German at Real Madrid, has apparently tried to muscle in on the deal, according to Metro, and even called Khedira to urge him to join the Blues rather than the Gunners.
One player who definitely is heading to Stamford Bridge is Felipe Luis. The Brazilian left-back, not be confused with the busted flush who once managed Chelsea and Brazil - Luiz Felipe Scolari, has agreed personal terms with the Blues and will follow in the footsteps of Diego Costa from Atletico Madrid. Once in London he will replace Ashley Cole, says the Daily Telegraph.
The signing of 20-year-old Serbia international Lazar Markovic has been completed by Liverpool after what the Daily Mirror described as a "complex contractual situation with a consortium of investors" was finally resolved.
The Reds have been chasing the versatile attacker, capable of playing anywhere up front, for months but the Mirror alleges the deal was complicated by the fact Markovic was half-owned by Benfica while the rest of him was the property of an investment group "consisting of backers which included leading agent Pini Zahavi".
The investment group has links with Chelsea and it's believed Jose Mourinho was sniffing around the Serbian youngster earlier in the year. But if he was, the Special One has lost out to Liverpool counterpart Brendan Rodgers, who is desperate to rebuild his squad in the post-Luiz Suarez era.
Markovic was instrumental in helping Benfica achieve a domestic treble last season, as well as guiding the Portuguese outfit to the Europa League final, and he told the Liverpool website of his delight in his new challenge. "I am very happy that I have joined such a great club... I have seen what the players are like, I have seen what the supporters are like, and I cannot wait to start playing here."
Meanwhile Rodgers may be about to raid Southampton's squad for the third time this season. According to the Daily Star, the Saints are fearful that Liverpool are poised to swoop for frontman Jay Rodriguez. The Reds have already plucked Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana from the south coast this summer, while Manchester United have helped themselves to teenage defender Luke Shaw, leaving the Saints wondering if they'll have any players left for the start of the new season next month.
To try and stop him leaving, the Star says that Southampton will offer Rodriguez "a bumper new five-year contract" designed to fend off interest from Liverpool and also Tottenham, whose new boss Mauricio Pochettino, knows Rodriguez well from his time in charge at St Mary's. The 25-year-old Rodriguez, who netted 17 times last season, has two years left on his current deal and is recovering from a knee injury.
Elsewhere and the future of Chelsea striker Demba Ba is unclear with the 29-year-old close to agreeing a move to Turkish outfit Besiktas. However, the Daily Mirror claims that the deal will only go through if the Blues accept Besiktas' wish to take Ba on a season-long loan with the option of a permanent deal next summer if things work out.
It's no secret Chelsea would prefer to sell the former Newcastle forward this summer, so they would no longer have to pay his £80,000-a-week salary, but the Mirror says that Besiktas "are ready to cover" most of that fee and have sent officials to England to finalise the deal this week. ·