Arsenal plot double swoop on Serie A for Hamsik and Destro
Gunners will offload Podolski and Campbell in January to finance raids on Napoli and Roma
As Arsenal fans revel in their good fortune in the wake of their Champions League draw, there could be more good news ahead if the Daily Express is to be believed. It claims that the Gunners are poised for a "sensational Serie A double swoop" next month for Roma striker Mattia Destro and Napoli's attacking playmaker Marek Hamsik (above).
The Express says that to fund the transfer Arsenal will sell strikers Lukas Podolski and Joel Campbell in January although the paper says that may in itself not produce the cash needed to prise their prey from Italy. Apparently Hamsik's agent "has been in England" to sound out Arsenal about a potential move, although Manchester United and Chelsea are also said to be interested in a player who comes with a £20m price tag. As for Destro, who has failed to nail down a place in the Roma starting XI this season, it seems that he could be Arsenal's for as little as £15m.
One player that Arsenal won't be getting their paws on in the new year is Norwegian sensation Martin Odegaard, possibly the most over-hyped player currently doing the rounds. At only 15, the Stromsgodset midfielder has been linked with just about every major club in Europe, plus Liverpool, but according to the Daily Star there has been a "shock twist" in the tale. Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Manchester United were thought to be the frontrunners to sign Odegaard but the Star claims that the rather less glamorous German outfit Hoffenheim have "offered a deal" to the youngster. Whether the Norwegian will accept the offer remains to be seen, but Hoffenheim sporting director Alexander Rosen declared: "I seriously believe that we could be a very nice stepping stone for Martin".
Manchester United may not be do disappointed to miss out on a 15-year-old, when they could instead be about to land World Cup star Juan Cuadrado. The Colombian is said to be "desperate" to leave Italian side Fiorentina. The Daily Star claims United were keen to sign him in the summer but could not afford the winger, but the paper explains that if he demands to leave next month it could force Fiorentina into accepting a lower price. The only problem is that Barcelona are also said to be in the hunt.
In other news, Talksport announces that Tottenham target Manolo Gabbiadini is set to snub Spurs and sign for Napoli. Currently with Sampdoria, Gabbiadini has caught the eye in Serie A this season and the 23-year-old has consequently been linked with a number of clubs. Talksport quotes Italian rag Gazzetta dello Sport, which declares that Napoli "will purchase him for a fee of around £11m".
Finally, the Daily Mirror reports that Roma "have no intention" of cashing in on Kevin Strootman in January. The 24-year-old midfielder has been mooted as a Manchester United target ever since Louis van Gaal took charge of the Red Devils after the Wold Cup, a tournament Stootman would have graced but for a knee injury that kept him out of the Dutch squad. As he recovers, Stootman has been heavily linked with both United and Chelsea, with the latter reportedly ready to offer Roma £30m for the playmaker.
But when he was asked about the possibility of a move to England next month Mauro Baldissoni, Roma's general director, told Italian radio station Radio Anch'Io Lo Sport: "Our president (James Pallotta) has already spoken about this and he gets angry with the rumours that link him to Manchester United... Kevin is a young player with experience, and we want to build our future with players like him."