Higuain and Paulista to Arsenal, Man U to offload Fletcher?
Gunners linked to South American striker and defender, but could miss out on Ipswich prospect Mings
Arsenal have finally landed a new signing after securing the services of Polish teenager Krystian Bielik this week, but they and Man City are the only two of the Premier League big beasts to have added to their squads so far this January. And with less than two weeks remaining until the window slams shut time is running out. But there are plenty of deals still in the offing...
• According to the Daily Express Napoli "have already begun preparations" for the departure of Argentine star Gonzalo Higuain to Arsenal and have identified Porto's Jackson Martinez as his replacement. The news will come as a blow to Tottenham, long linked with Martinez, but the Express claims that Napoli are resigned to losing the 27-year-old Higuain to the Gunners. Citing Italian newspaper Il Mattino as its source, the Express says that Napoli will still expect a "substantial offer" from Arsenal before they are prepared to sell the South American striker.
• Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has confirmed that the Gunners are in talks to sign Villarreal defender Gabriel Paulista. Sky Sports reports that 24-year-old centre-half has a £15m release clause in his contract with the Spanish club but adds: "Wenger refused to confirm if Arsenal are willing to meet that in January, but concedes he is keen to secure the Brazilian." The Gunners could also face visa problems if they sign the defender, as he is not an international.
• Meanwhile the Daily Mirror reports that Newcastle United are looking to steal Arsenal's thunder by swooping this month for highly-rated Ipswich defender Tyrone Mings. It was reported earlier in the month that the 21-year-old Mings was inked in as an Arsenal player but the Mirror says Newcastle are determined to sign him, and will look to do so before the January transfer window closes because they know there will be more competition for his signature in the summer.
• Manchester United stalwart Darren Fletcher could be on his way out of Old Trafford this month, says the Manchester Evening News, which reports that manager Louis van Gaal has refused to rule out selling the midfielder. The 30-year-old has started just five games for United this season and, as the MEN points out, has been linked with moves to West Brom, West Ham and Valencia during this transfer window.
• Real Madrid midfielder Asier Illarramendi might have been hailed as the "new Steven Gerrard", but he's unlikely to play for Liverpool, according to the Daily Star. The paper says that the Spanish international's future is up in the air following claims that the 24-year-old is "unhappy in Madrid". It's rumoured Reds boss Brendan Rodgers is a big fan of the player but so are Inter Milan and Arsenal with the Star claiming the box-to-box midfielder "has caught the eye" of Arsene Wenger. Apparently Illarramendi would prefer Inter and Arsenal to Liverpool and the Italian club are the early favourites to win the race with coach Roberto Mancini reportedly lining up a big money offer for the Real Madrid star.
• James Milner is becoming ever more popular as his Man City contract runs down. The Daily Mail reports that Valencia are the latest club to enquire about the availability of the City and England midfielder. The paper says that Inter Milan and Liverpool have already asked about signing the 29-year-old who has yet to pen a new deal with the Sky Blues as fears grow within the club that Milner is after a fresh challenge and more game time.
• Are New York Cosmos are trying to "hijack" Sampdoria's move for Everton striker Samuel Eto'o? That's what Talksport believes, with the broadcaster claiming that the Cameroonian veteran may not now be moving to Italy. Rumours earlier in the month suggested Eto'o was intending to join Sampdoria after just six months at Goodison Park, but that was before what Talksport describes as "strong interest" from Cosmos. The New York outfit already have one ageing great in their ranks – former Spanish ace Raul – and it's believed Cosmos are poised to make Eto'o an irresistible offer to join him Stateside.
• Sky Sports reports that Real Madrid have confirmed the signing of Norwegian teenager Martin Odegaard. The 16-year-old midfielder, chased by several clubs over the past few months, took his medical this morning and was unveiled this afternoon.