Arsenal and Liverpool chase Lazio teen, Khedira battle hots up
Teenage striker Diao was schooled at Barcelona and could move on from Lazio in January
If a week is a long time in politics, a day seems like ages for Transfer Talk. Just 24 hours ago Liverpool and Arsenal were reportedly at loggerheads over Brazilian Anderson Talisca, but now comes news that the two clubs have switched their attention to Keita Balde Diao. The 19-years old Lazio frontman is inevitably dubbed a "wonderkid" by the Daily Star and the paper goes on to say that Liverpool are "ready to trump Arsenal" by making a big money bid for the Spaniard.
Apparently Diao is "growing frustrated" with his lack of first team opportunities at Lazio and is open to offers. Pressed on the possibility of a January move, the teenager's agent, Ulisse Savini, replied: "It's premature to start having conversations like this after only three games, but if he does end up losing the next few months we will have to re-think things."
The Star claims that Liverpool are determined to elbow Arsenal out of the way in the race to capture Diao and the Reds are poised "to offer a deal closer to the £15m asking price" demanded Lazio. Diao came up through the Barcelona youth academy and is said to have been scouted by Arsene Wenger in recent months.
Elsewhere and it's not just Roy Keane's beard that is causing confusion in the football world. While the fiery former Manchester United hardman seems to be auditioning for a Saddam Hussain lookey-likey, the Star reports that the battle to sign Real Madrid playmaker Sami Khedira has taken another twist. Arsenal were rumoured to be in pole position to sign the Germany international, until Chelsea appeared on the scene, but now comes news that AC Milan are also "keen" to capture Khedira. The Star says that Milan boss Filippo Inzaghi has made a late play for the hand of the 27-year-old and is cautiously optimistic a deal can be brokered in January.
Meanwhile the Daily Express says that Marek Hamsik's future at Napoli is looking ever more uncertain with the Slovakian midfielder allegedly unhappy with the Italian outfit. His agent, Juraj Venglos, didn't pull any punches when asked about his client's future at Napoli. "Future? I prefer not to talk about that," he huffed. The Express adds that the comments will put a spring in the step of Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea, all of whom have been linked to Hamsik in recent months.
Finally, Metro says that Real Madrid gloveman Iker Casillas "could be ready to move to England" with Liverpool thought to be his preferred destination. The 33-year-old veteran said, somewhat intriguingly, that he would "love to have an experience abroad", adding: "I've thought about leaving Spain. I don't want to rub anyone the wrong way or create a bad air." According to Metro Liverpool are still pursuing Victor Valdes but will turn to Casillas if the move for the former Barcelona keeper (now a free agent) falls through.