Arsenal offer Sanogo as bait to land Brazil enforcer Romulo
Gunners keen on Spartak Moscow star Romulo, and also chase defender Howedes
What with his red and white tunic, it's a given that Father Christmas is a Gooner and according to the Daily Mail he'll be delivering a couple of gifts to Arsenal in the coming weeks. The first is Spartak Moscow's £8m-rated midfielder Romulo, first linked with Arsenal last January but said to be on their radar again this new year.
The Mail claims that the "player's agents have made contact with Arsenal" in the hope of finalising a deal next month. Apparently Brazilian outfits Flamengo and Internacional would like to sign their compatriot on loan but he wants "a permanent move to Arsenal". All that remains to agree are the fine details and it seems that Spartak are willing to let Arsenal have Romulo for "£8m plus Yaya Sanogo on loan". The Mail says that the French striker is "not keen" on a move to Moscow but given that Sanogo couldn't hit a barn door with a snowball at six paces he might not have much choice in the matter.
The second Christmas arrival could be Krystian Bielik of Legia Warsaw, who is so young he probably still believes in Santa. The paper claims the Gunners have offered £1.6m for the 16-year-old starlet.
Meanwhile the Mirror says that Arsenal are "stepping up an interest in Benedikt Howedes". The 26-year-old German World Cup winner would cost Arsenal around £15m but his versatility – he can play either left-back or centre-half – is what's attracted Arsene Wenger and he's had his scouts watch Howedes in action for Schalke against Stuttgart last week. Howedes has two years to run on his existing contract but the Mirror claims that because he's mates with Arsenal centre-back Per Mertesacker he could be enticed away from Schalke.
In other news Goal.com says that Manchester City have officially given up the ghost on Borussia Dortmund's Marco Reus and instead have turned their attention to Real Madrid playmaker Isco. The Sky Blues have accepted defeat in their pursuit of Reus after they received confirmation that the German star was angling for a move to Real Madrid. That being the case, Isco's future is now increasingly uncertain and Goal.com reports that the 22-year-old Spanish international is seriously considering his options at the Bernabeu. Goal.com says that Isco experienced a "difficult first season" at Real last term and still remains below Gareth Bale in Carlo Ancelotti's pecking order. Consequently, claims the website, City are poised to "reignite their interest" for a player they first attempted to sign last year.
Perhaps Isco is in City's sights because James Milner could soon be on his way out of the Etihad. That's The Sun's opinion, at least, as the paper claims that talks over a new Manchester City contract "have broken down". As a result, adds the paper, former City gaffer Roberto Mancini is looking to lure Milner to Inter Milan. City are apparently only prepared to offer "a small pay rise" to the 28-year-old Milner.
The Sun explains that the England star's £5m-a-year City deal ends this summer, and the midfielder "will now listen to pre-contract offers from clubs" as early as next month. Inter boss Mancini signed Milner from Aston Villa in a £26m deal in 2010 and the Sun says he's eager to have Milner playing in the Serie A. But Arsenal and Liverpool are also monitoring the situation at City and could make a move themselves next month.