Arsenal Kallstrom chaos, will RVP join Draxler this summer?
Swedish loan signing already crocked, but Wenger may be planning summer double swoop
WE ALL know how it feels to buy something from a well-known Swedish furniture store, only to wish a day or so later we hadn't. Well, that's how Arsenal are reportedly feeling a little over 48 hours after snapping up Swedish midfielder Kim Kallstrom on loan from Spartak Moscow.
The Gunners secured a deadline day for the 31-year-old veteran even though they were aware he had had been suffering from a back niggle throughout the season. A medical on Friday revealed nothing untoward, however, and the deal went through.
According to Goal.com, Kallstrom could be sidelined "for up to six weeks" after the back injury flared up during his first training session at the Emirates. Apparently manager Arsene Wenger agreed with training staff a five-day programme to get the player fit for the Gunners' crucial Premier League trip to Liverpool next Saturday.
But, claims goal.com. Kallstrom had a "one-on-one session with an Arsenal fitness coach on Saturday morning [and] aggravated his back problem within 30 minutes".
The BBC contradicts Goal.com and reports that Kallstrom's back problem came to light during his medical, but the Gunners went ahead with the move anyway. However, Wenger hinted that he was not best pleased by the outcome. He said: "I wouldn't have signed him if we had another two or three days, but it was on Friday at 5pm."
The Sun alleges that Arsenal are so dismayed by the turn of events that they are trying to send "Kallstrom back to Spartak Moscow", claiming he should never have been loaned out to them in that condition. Asked about that rumour after Arsenal's win against Crystal Palace on Sunday, Wenger replied only that Spartak will for the moment continue to pay his wages. But he did admit that "the best-case scenario" is that Kallstrom will not be fit before the end of February.
Better news for Arsenal fans in the Daily Mail with the paper reporting that Robin van Persie "could make a shock return" to Arsenal in the summer. It's no secret that Manchester United manager David Moyes intends to purge his squad at the end of the season and bring in fresh talent in a bid to rebuild the Red Devils' crumbling empire.
According to the Mail, Wayne Rooney is almost certain to remain at Old Trafford and that will allow Moyes to sell Van Persie without worrying about weakening his firepower. The paper also alleges that there is "an uneasy relationship" between the new United boss and the Dutchman with Van Persie "upset" by the departure of Alex Ferguson and his fellow Dutchman, coach Rene Meulensteen, who was instrumental in convincing him to swap Arsenal for United in the summer of 2012.
Additionally, the Mail says the Van Persie clan have not adjusted to life in Cheshire set and they would prefer a return to London. Whether Wenger would take Van Persie back remains to be seen; injuries have disrupted his campaign this season and, at nearly 31, his best years look to be behind him.
Another player for who a summer move to the Emirates looks like a distinct possibility is Schalke forward Julian Draxler, who was the subject of frenzied speculation during the transfer window and continues to be now that it is shut.
Arsenal were said to be trying to finalise a deal for the 20-year-old on deadline day, but nothing materialised. But the Evening Standard reports that the Gunners did make an offer for the player, despite Arsene Wenger's efforts to play down the story. The paper quotes Draxler himself, who told Sky Germany: "The fact is, [Schalke president] Horst Heldt had offers for me this winter... I'm happy about that. On the other hand, it shows the respect I enjoy at this club, even if Heldt refuses without me being asked."
If Arsenal do try and sign him in the summer they may face competition from Bayern Munich says Metro. But the paper adds that Wenger has hinted that he will return with a better offer by stating that he is "not against spending".
Still with Metro, and the paper claims that Everton starlet Ross Barkley will "commit his long-term future" to the Toffees by signing a new deal any time now. The young playmaker has been in top form for the Toffees this season, and though Chelsea and Manchester United have been linked to Barkley, Metro says he will soon sign a new and improved contract, tying him to Goodison Park and also earning himself a considerable hike on his current £15,000-per-week wages.