Podolski slaps down Spurs as Man Utd prepare huge Khedira deal
German winger dismisses talk of a move to Tottenham, but Gunners may offload him to Galatsaray
He may be as popular with Arsene Wenger as a BBC sports reporter but Lukas Podolski is the new darling of the Arsenal faithful after taking to Twitter to scotch rumours he could be primed to join Tottenham.
It's no secret that the 29-year-old German frontman wants more regular game time after falling out of favour with the Nutty Professor, and recently speculation has been growing faster than the Arsenal injury list that Podolski could be on his way out of the Emirates in the new year. But posting a link to the rumour on Twitter on Monday, the World Cup winner wrote: "Hell will freeze over before this transfer would happen. #Poldi #aha #AlwaysAGunner #NeverCheatYourClub #AFC #Redarmy."
The tweet would seem to end speculation that a £10m deal between the two north London rivals is in the pipeline but Talksport claims that Turkish outfit Galatasaray continue to loiter with intent and could yet swoop in January if Podolski has still not won over Wenger.
Meanwhile the tussle over the future of Real Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira rumbles on. The latest team to get involved in the race for his signature is AC Milan, according to the Daily Mail at least. Arsenal, who spent all summer wooing him, Chelsea, who have a connection through former Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho and now Manchester United are all said to be keen. And according to the Daily Express, United are prepared to blow their rivals out of the water by offering the player a deal worth £5.5m a year.
In other news the Daily Star says that Arsenal are "closing in" on Marcelo Brozovic and have even opened negotiations with Dinamo Zagreb over a new-year switch. The Croatian international has been linked with a move to the Emirates of late and it looks like the 21-year-old is eager to organise a January transfer. The Star says that Wenger "held talks with Brozovic's agent", Miroslav Bianic, at the end of last week, hoping to steal a march on Inter Milan and Liverpool who are also said to be keen on the midfielder.
Talking of Liverpool, the Daily Express says that the Reds "have been handed a boost" in their pursuit of Fiorentina goalkeeper Norberto Neto. It wasn't so long ago – yesterday, in fact – that the Fourth Estate were swearing blind that Victor Valdes was on his way to Anfield but that story came and went like an Arsenal title challenge and now it's Neto rumoured to be on his way to Merseyside as back up to first-choice Simon Mignolet.
The Express says Liverpool gaffer Brendan Rodgers favours a move for Neto over Valdes because of the latter's wage demands. The 25-year-old Neto, out of contract at the end of the season, could come for as little as £20,000-a-week in wages, nearly a quarter of what the 32-year-old Valdes likes to pocket for seven days work. Juventus had been linked with Neto but the gloveman moved to strangle the story at source, declaring: "I don't think I would go to Juventus [because] I would never give that disappointment to our fans."
Finally, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United might all have to bite the bullet as far as Marco Reus goes after Bayern Munich Chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge hinted he's about to pounce for the Borussia Dortmund star. Goal.com reports that Bayern have signed Mario Gotze and Robert Lewandowski from Dortmund in the last two seaons and they claim that now the German champions "want to pay the 25-year-old's buyout clause next summer", which is believed to be in the region of £20m.
Asked if there any truth in the story, Rummenigge told German football magazine: "We'll discuss the matter internally and calmly. Then we will come to a decision...at the end of the day, the player has to decide too. His release clause is well known. There's nothing more to say."