Arsenal eye veteran free agent Yepes to shore up defence
Centre-back, who captained Colombia at World Cup, has been released by Atalanta at the age of 38
Arsenal may be about to welcome a sixth new player since last season to the Emirates after being linked with a move for free agent Mario Yepes. The Daily Express reports that the ageing centre-back, now in his 39th year, was released from Italian outfit Atalanta at the end of the last season and has yet to find gainful employment, though given his age it won't be long before he can claim a pension.
Yet despite his advanced age, the Express claims that Arsene Wenger is contemplating a short term deal for Yepes because of his experience. Having had spells at River Plate, Paris Saint-Germain and AC Milan, Yepes also captained Colombia to the quarter finals at the World Cup in Brazil and Wenger believes he can use his savoir faire to back up the likes of Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny and Calum Chambers.
Meanwhile Sky Sports report that Fifa have granted Celtic special dispensation to sign striker John Guidetti from Manchester City. The 22-year-old Swede will join the Bhoys on loan for a season after the game's governing body looked favourably on his case after the Scottish champions failed to complete the necessary paperwork before Monday's transfer deadline.
"After checking the documentation received and the information contained in the international transfer matching system managed by Fifa, the Scottish Football Association was informed today that the envisaged loan deal may proceed," burbled a Fifa spokesman.
In other news Talksport reports that Manchester United have finally secured a work permit for Marcos Rojo and the 24-year-old could play in the Red Devils' next Premier League match against Queen's Park Rangers on Saturday week. The Argentine defender agreed terms with United in the summer but his transfer from Sporting Lisbon was held up by red tape until yesterday when Rojo returned to Portugal to sign the necessary documentation.
Finally, Metro says that Brazilian legend Ronaldinho could be on his way to England – to join Basingstoke Town. Described as an "ambitious" club by Metro, Basingstoke are currently lying third in the Conference South having edged out Ebbsfleet United 1-0 in a tense encounter last Saturday.
Apparently the club believe they have much to offer the 34-year-old playmaker who was released by Atletico Mineiro in the summer. With Ronaldinho still without a club, Basingstoke hope they can entice the toothy Brazilian to their Camrose ground with a promise of a place in their starting XI – or at the very least a spot on the bench – against the likes of Concord Rangers and Hemel Hempstead Town.
"Discussions have been had, and there is an offer on the table. Now it is up to Ronaldinho to decide whether he wants to take us up on it," said Basingstoke marketing director Simon Hood. "He is on a free transfer and if he wants to get into English football, I cannot think of a better way to do that than by signing for Basingstoke Town."