Arsenal want Berbatov, Remy as Man U eye Everton pair
Former Spurs frontman could provide cover at the Emirates as Wenger waits for French striker to sign
A LITTLE over a day into the January transfer window and already the rumours are flying faster than Luis Suarez after a brush with a defender.
First there is the shock news, carried in The Sun, that Arsenal are preparing a £2m swoop for former Spurs striker Dimitar Berbatov, currently with struggling Fulham.
The 32-year-old Bulgarian would boost Asene Wenger's attacking options as he chases a first Premier League title in ten years, notes the paper. And the Gunners are certainly in need of a striker, with Olivier Giroud and his unpopular understudy Nicklas Bendtner both struggling with ankle problems. According to the Sun the former Spurs star would be happy to join the Gunners on an 18-month deal with the option of an extra year. Fulham could do business as Berbatov wants out and has only six months left on his contract.
But could the possible arrival of Berbatov just be a stop-gap as the Gunners wait for their real target to become available? It seems that way if you believe the Daily Express, which claims that Wenger is really after QPR striker Loic Remy, currently on loan with Newcastle United. QPR are prepared to sell, but would not be able to do so until the end of the season, explains the paper.
Another of the more outlandish early January rumours also comes from the Daily Express, which claims that Real Madrid are closing in on Chelsea veteran Ashley Cole. The 33-year-old is in the twilight of his career with Jose Mourinho opting to deploy Cesar Azpilicueta as his left-back for much of the season. With Cole out of contract at the end of the season, the Express claims that Bernabeu boss Carlo Ancelotti, who knows Cole well from his time in charge at Stamford Bridge, will make his move this month.
Whether Chelsea will sell remains to be seen but with the Blues recently posting losses of nearly £50m for the last financial year, it's likely they will listen to what Real have to say rather than see the England defender leave on a free six months down the line.
Still with Chelsea and the Daily Star reports that the Blues have already pulled off their first signing off the transfer window, namely Burkina Faso international Bertrand Traore (above). The 18-year-old attacking midfielder arrives at the Bridge on a four-and-a-half-year contract having said his goodbyes at Association Jeunes Espoirs De Bobo-Dioulasso.
"I can play in the No. 10 position, I can play on the wings and I'm good on the ball," babbled the teenager as he announced the move. "I can shoot well and am strong in a one vs one situation, so I can score goals."
Elsewhere and Metro reports that Everton gaffer Roberto Martinez has dismissed suggestions that the club could be about to sell Ross Barkley to Manchester United for a cool £50m. The 20-year-old midfielder has been in sparkling form for the Toffees in the first half of the season and it's believed David Moyes is monitoring the youngster, a player he helped bring on during his tenure at Goodison Park. But asked if there was any possibility of selling Barkley this month, Martinez replied in the negative, adding. "We are in a strong position financially... [and] when you have to make financial decisions the squad will not benefit but when you make football decisions then you are in a strong position."
And according to Goal.com, Barkley isn't the only Everton player United are sniffing around after. Moyes is also said to be interested in defender Leighton Baines. To that end Everton have told the Red Devils that they can have the 29-year-old – but only if they hand over £25m. Goal predict that United will baulk at the figure and turn their attention instead to Real Madrid's Fabio Coentrao.
Finally the Evening Standard reports that Chelsea aren't the only London club to have been busy in the opening 36 hours of the transfer window. West Ham have also got themselves a bargain with the Hammers announcing the signing of teenage striker Jaanai Gordon from Peterborough. The 18-year-old Gordon has been on trial with the East Londoners of late and his signing was expected after manager Sam Allardyce heard nothing but favourable reports from his assistants.