Arsenal target keeper Trapp and close in on Brazilian Silva
Gunners are concerned about the fitness and form of their current crop of goalkeepers
Arsenal are hoping to spring a Trapp next month - Eintracht Frankfurt goalkeeper Kevin Trapp, to be exact. According to the Daily Star the Gunners are stalking the 24-year-old gloveman but so are "a host of European sides".
Trapp has been in top form in the Bundesliga this season and at £4m he's a bargain that Arsene Wenger has his eye on in the Christmas sales. The Star says that the Gunners are growing increasingly concerned about David Opsina's health while the form of Wojciech Szczesny flickers like a set of cheap Christmas lights. Among the clubs vying for Trapp's signature are Juventus, Fiorentina, Napoli and Inter Milan but Wenger is hopeful the number of German stars at the Emirates could swing the deal his way.
Meanwhile the International Business Times says that the Gunners have been given a boost in their pursuit of Lucas Silva. European champions Real Madrid had been favourites to land the Brazilian midfielder but Real president Florentino Perez has pooh-poohed the idea that they could be on the brink of bringing him to the Bernabeu. Speaking to Spanish radio station Cadena Ser, Perez declared: "Unless there are extraordinary circumstances, we will not bring reinforcements in the winter transfer market. Right now there are none."
Though Perez didn't rule out a move for the Brazil Under-21 international in the summer, IBT says Arsenal have already agreed to pay Cruzeiro their asking fee of £12m. Despite the fact Silva has made no secret of his wish to play for Real, Cruzeiro are expected to accept the north London club's offer next month.
Elsewhere the Daily Mirror says that Liverpool – who on Thursday saw Mario Balotelli hit with a one game ban for injudicious Instagram posts – are leading the chase for Aston Villa and England midfielder Fabian Delph.
Reds boss Brendan Rodgers is aware that Steven Gerrard is nearing the end of his shelf-life and apparently the 25-year-old Delph is the man he wants to fill the great man's boots at Anfield. Delph is out of contract at Villa Park in June and the Mirror claims that the club "may cash in" on the playmaker next month so that he doesn't leave on a free transfer in six months' time
Finally BBC Sport says that Hatem Ben Arfa won't be extending his stay at Hull beyond Christmas. The 27-year-old midfielder was relegated to the bench during Hull's 2-0 defeat to Chelsea at the weekend and manager Steve Bruce has decided to terminate the Frenchman's season-long loan from Newcastle when the option comes up next month. "Sometimes transfers don't work, especially with a loan deal," reflected Bruce. "His views of the game are different to mine. At any club you need to have a certain work ethic to get in the team. That's the frustrating thing."
Where Ben Arfa will end up next year is anyone's guess but it won't be Newcastle after Magpies boss Alan Pardew confirmed that "he won't be coming back here, that's all I can say".