Will Arsenal pay £8m for Tiote, Alderweireld or Manolas?
Gunners linked to Newcastle midfielder and Spain and Greece-based defenders
The Premier League might be a place for technicians, but there are few engineers knocking around in the game – at least not since the Royal Engineers beat Old Etonians 2-0 to win the 1875 FA Cup – but now, according to the Daily Star, Newcastle midfielder Chieck Tiote wants to "engineer" a move from the north-east to north London.
Apparently the 28-year-old playmaker has decided to call time on his St James' Park career and is hopeful of attracting interest from Arsenal. The Ivory Coast international has been linked with the Gunners in the past and the Star says that Arsene Wenger could view Tiote as a cheaper option than Sami Khedira and William Carvalho, both of whom have been rumoured to be Arsenal targets in recent weeks.
Another factor that may work in Tiote's favour, says the Star, is that Newcastle boss Alan Pardew is prepared to "let the tenacious midfielder leave the club for a mere £8m".
Are Arsenal trying to compile the squad most middle-class first names in football? Already boasting a Theo, Jack, Olivier, Laurent and Calum, now comes news that Arsenal are chasing Atletico Madrid's Toby Alderweireld. According to the Express the Gunners see the Belgian international as a like for like replacement for Thomas Vermaelen, and not just in terms of cosy names. Alderweireld also shares the same nationality and position as the departing Vermaelen.
What’s more, the centre-back has struggled to establish himself in Spain and the Express claims that Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool are all "on alert" with the paper saying that the Spanish outfit could let Alderweireld go for as little as £8m.
Then again, if Goal.com is to be believed it's not Alderweireld who Arsenal are after but Olympiakos defender Kostas Manolas. The website claims that the Gunners "have opened talks" with the Greek side and a deal is expected to be agreed soon. And how's this for a freaky coincidence? Goal.com adds that Arsenal "have been quoted a fee of £8m" by Olympiakos for the 23-year-old Manolas. Have we missed something this week or has Sepp Blatter passed a law forbidding Arsenal to bid more than £8m for a player?
In other news Talksport claims that Manchester United have tabled a bid of £16m for Sporting Lisbon left-back Marcos Rojo. Taking its cue from Portuguese rag, Sport, Talksport declares that Louis van Gaal is determined to land the strapping six footer as he continues to overhaul the Manchester United squad.
With Alex Buttner and Patrice Evra having been sold, Van Gaal wants Argentine international Rojo to bolster his back four as the Dutchman beds in his new 3-5-2 formation. According to Talksport, United have "offered around £9.5m up front, with £6.5m to be paid off in future instalments". But there is a caveat: Sporting Lisbon only own a quarter of Rojo, the rest of him belongs to sports investment group Doyen and it's not sure if they'll agree to a deal.
Rojo is not the only one on Van Gaal's radar, and the Daily Mail predicts an £80m splurge that would also bring Ajax defender Daley Blind and Real Madrid forward Angel di Maria to Old Trafford.
United's rivals Liverpool are not to be outdone and have unveiled a new left back of their own, after finally signing Alberto Moreno of Sevilla for £12m. The Guardian notes that the player was identified by Liverpool at the start of the summer, but deal has been a long time in the pipeline. It was finally agreed after Sevilla arrived in Cardiff for the Super Cup and the personal intervention of Reds chief executive Ian Ayre.
Finally, the Daily Mirror reports that there is still hope Southampton might have enough players to start the new season. Having had their squad pillaged by the great and the good of the Premier League, the Saints are "on the verge" of signing Hull striker Shane Long for £12m. Apparently Saints boss Ronald Koeman targeted Long after failing to land Manchester United strike Javier Hernandez, who rejected an approach from the south coast club. The Mirror says that Long, a Republic of Ireland international, will make Hull a tidy £4.5m profit on top of the £7.5m they paid West Brom for his services at the start of the year. ·