Arsenal and Liverpool join race for Milner, Pogba to Real Madrid?
Ancelotti is keen on Juventus star Pogba, as Man City midfielder Milner moves closer to Emirates exit
Another day closer to the end of the transfer window and still we wait for significant action from anyone other than Manchester City, who have signed Wilfried Bony and appear to be about to say farewell to James Milner. Manchester United feature heavily today's rumours as they hunt a defender and try and keep hold of their goalkeeper, but there is more frustration for the Gunners:
• Arsenal can kiss goodbye their hopes of signing Palmero striker Paulo Dybala this month but the Italian club's president Mauro Zamparini has declared the 21-year-old might be on the move in the summer. Arsenal had been tipped to lure the Argentine hitman to the Emirates in January after Manchester United's attempt to land the South American sharpshooter failed. But the Daily Mirror reports that in an interview with Italian broadcaster Rai radio, Zamparini announced: "He will renew his deal and sign a three-year deal, and if he continues to play that well in the next six months then a big club from abroad will sign him. Where will he go? Abroad. In order I would say England, France, Germany and Spain, because the two big clubs in Spain [Real and Barca] already have a lot of forwards."
• Are Real Madrid on the brink of signing Paul Pogba from Juventus? Daily Mail reports that the former Manchester United midfielder is now a Real target after the Turin club's general director, Giuseppe Marotta, disputed Real coach Carlo Ancelotti's claim that he had no interest in signing Pogba. "Ancelotti asked me some questions about Pogba," explained Marotta to Sky Italia. "He says he's not interested. Well, that's a white lie. I'm sure he has his reasons to say it's not true." Asked if he was confident Juve could keep Pogba – who has also been linked with Chelsea, Arsenal and Man United – Marotta replied: "We will do everything within out limits to hold on to Pogba... but we have to bear in mind that we cannot compete with the wages that are being paid elsewhere."
• Swansea are preparing to spend some of the £25m plus they are to receive from Man City for Wilfried Bony and have agreed a deal for Spurs defender Kyle Naughton, according to the Daily Telegraph. Annoyingly for Naughton "the deal comes on the eve of Tottenham's Capital One Cup semi-final first leg on Wednesday against Sheffield United, Naughton's former club", says the paper. Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino has also denied that strikers Roberto Soldado and Emmaneul Adebayor will leave the club this month.
• Man City midfielder James Milner is "weighing up three proposals from clubs in Spain and Italy, including a particularly attractive pre-contact offer that he would be free to sign this month", reports The Guardian. The 29-year-old can leave the Etihad this summer and his chances of signing a new deal are "receding by the week" according to the paper. If Milner chooses to stay in the Premier League he will likely move to either Arsenal or Liverpool adds the Guardian, which says Milner is more interested in playing time that money.
• Tottenham are reportedly eyeing up former Arsenal target Josip Drmic in what the Daily Express says might turn out to be a "swap deal involving Roberto Soldado". The Gunners were linked with the 22-year-old Drmic in the summer but the Swiss striker preferred to stay in Germany, joining Bayer Leverkusen from Nurnberg. But the Express says Drmic has failed to settle at Leverkusen and that's alerted Tottenham and Hamburg. What might seal the deal for Spurs is the possibility of Soldado being offered in exchange for Drmic. Apparently there "have been conversations" between the two clubs and Tottenham are seriously considering giving Leverkusen the 29-year-old Spanish frontman.
• The future of 16-year-old Martin Odegaard has caused a flurry of interest in the press recently but it seems the speculation could soon come to an end with The Guardian reporting that the 16-year-old attacking midfielder is set to join Real Madrid. The two Manchester clubs, along with Arsenal, Liverpool, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, have been linked with the Norwegian teenage sensation but the Guardian – taking its cue from newspaper Drammens Tidende – says Odegaard "will play for the B team until the summer", whereupon he'll move up into the Real senior squad.
• Manchester United "will make a £30m summer swoop" for Paris Saint-Germain centre-back Marquinhos. The Sun's claim comes just a few hours United denied they were the club that had made an unsuccessful bid for Valencia defender Nicolas Otamendi, after claims that they had tabled a £27m offer. According to the paper the 20-year-old Brazilian Marquinhos has struggled to break into the Paris Saint-German side this season after the French club signed him from Roma. PSG are therefore keen to cash in on him and United are said to be ready pay over the odds to shore up their suspect defence.
• Manchester United have also been linked with a move for their former defender Gerard Pique, now at Barcelona. The 27-year-old Spain international spent four years at Old Trafford as a youngster but made just a handful of appearances before moving to Spain. Before joining United as a 17-year-old Pique was a youth team player at the Spanish club during Van Gaal's two stints as a manager there. The Daily Express says United are preparing a £15m offer after being snubbed by former Man City defender Stefan Savic.
• With Real Madrid circling David de Gea, the Daily Express claims that United have slapped a £50m price tag on the Spanish goalkeeper's head. The paper says the 24-year-old keeper is being courted by Real, who want him as the long term successor to as Iker Casillas. But United have moved to ward off interest with the valuation and by "offering him a £200,000-a-week five-year contract worth about £52m".