Man Utd on alert over Sneijder, Firminio could spark scramble
Dutch midfielder falls out with Galatasaray, and Inter set their sights on Spurs winger Erik Lamela
Could Dutch master Wesley Sneijder finally succumb to the charms of the Premier League after years of wooing? According to the Daily Star the 30-year-old could be on his way to England after falling out with current club Galatsaray.
The midfielder has demanded talks with his club after he was dropped for Galatasaray's 3-0 loss to Trabzonspor on Saturday. And waiting in the wings to pick up the pieces are Manchester United.
Sneijder's agent Guido Albers said his client was unhappy about his current situation. "We'll have talks with the board on Wednesday in Brussels. We're going to speak about Wesley and we'll discuss this important event," he said. "I really do not know why he did not start in the team. Sneijder wants to stay, but he continues to sit on the bench. Nobody wants to sit on the bench."
As Arsenal fans brace themselves for more bad news tonight when Borussia Dortmund come to town for their Champions League clash, the Daily Star reports that the Gunners are also staring defeat in the face in their pursuit of Juventus midfielder Sebastian Giovinco.
The 27-year-old playmaker has been reportedly unsettled in Turin this season, prompting speculation that a new year move could be on the cards. According to the Star Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea have "been repeatedly linked" with Giovinco, but that was before the intervention of agent Andrea D'Amico.
"It's fantasy football," he declared when asked if the Italian international was poised to jettison Juventus in January. "At this moment everything is standing still, and as the player himself already confirmed, I doubt there is a chance that he may move in January."
Nonetheless there remains a glimmer of hope for the trio of Premier League clubs with D'Amico admitting that he is still in the dark about the possibility of a contract extension with Juventus. "[They] have not contacted us about this subject. There may be developments in the next few months, but of course I cannot know that now."
Meanwhile the Daily Express claims that the usual suspects, Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea, are tailing Hoffenheim's Brazilian winger Roberto Firmino, along with Manchester United. The paper says the quartet of clubs have been handed a "huge boost" in their quest for the twinkle-toed 23-year-old with the news that Inter Milan have called off the chase and instead are focusing their efforts on signing Tottenham's Erik Lamela.
Inter were favourites to land Firmino but the Express says the Italian outfit have been "priced out of a move" and so will move for Argentine Lamela, who is reportedly looking to leave White Hart Lane. As for who is in pole position to sign Firmino, reports claim United have "already had a £20m bid accepted by Hoffenheim", but the German club have yet to accept and will be hoping a bidding war breaks out between the rival English clubs.
Hands up who remembers Michu, the Spanish sharpshooter who sizzled for Swansea in his debut season at the Liberty Stadium? Michu scored 18 league goals in his first campaign with the Swans in 2012-13, leading to speculation that Arsenal could come calling. Those rumours fizzled out, as did Michu's form the following season, as he found the net on just two occasions. Swansea farmed out the frontman to Napoli in the summer but a niggling ankle injury has disrupted his Serie A sojourn and Talksport reports that the Italian club are on the brink of terminating the loan and sending him back to Swansea.
Finally, either Metro has got one of the scoops of the season on its hands or they've gone as ga-ga as a Gooner. The paper claims that Liverpool are set to break the bank in the New Year with the ailing Anfield side targeting Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech, Porto striker Jackson Martinez and Norwich winger Nathan Redmond "in a £47m triple deal". Apparently Reds boss Brendan Rodgers will fork out £7m for Cech, then cough up £30m for Martinez, and snap up England Under-21 wideman Redmond is for £10m.