Monday, 8 June 2015

Football transfer rumours: Zlatan Ibrahimovic on his way to Arsenal?

Will Zlatan Ibrahimovic be swapping Paris St-Germain for Arsenal? probably not, eh?
 Photograph: Sipa/Rex Shutterstock
London-based football journalists were choking on their Cheerios with excitement this morning following the news that one-man quote factory Zlatan Ibrahimovic could be making their jobs that much easier by bringing his repertoire of flicks, finishes and swaggering bombast to the capital this summer. Not just on holiday, either, but in a permanent arrangement also involving Arsenal and £11m.

And he could be joined on his way to England from Paris St-Germain by Ezequiel Lavezzi, the twinkle-toed Argentinian whose future appears to involve a three-way choice involving Valencia, Tottenham and Liverpool, with the latter considered marginally the more likely destination. Spurs are preparing for that potential disappointment by lining up another French-based forward, in the shape of Monaco’s Anthony Martial. Reports in England suggest an £18m deal is close, while rumours in France say it is actually complete. And as if geography, history and the imminent arrival of a Ligue 1 striker is not enough of a link between Gunners and Spurs, their former centre-back Sol Campbell due to officially declare his candidacy for London’s mayorship today. “It’s about giving something back,” he roared.

Spurs are certain to sell this summer, as well as buying, and are braced for a double north-west-based raid on their first team, with Liverpool making a £10m bid for Nabil Bentaleb and, more worrisomely, Hugo Lloris declaring a desire to play for Manchester United. “For the moment there is a goalkeeper at United and we are watchful of his situation,” admitted the Frenchman. “You have to keep a certain calm with all this. If things should happen then they’ll happen naturally.”

Leicester are winning a three-way battle to snaffle free-scoring free agent Bakary Sako, who smashed 15 goals in the final season of his contract at Wolves, with West Bromwich Albion and Aston Villa the two sides set for disappointment. The Baggies are more hopeful of bringing in Marseille striker André-Pierre Gignac, also on a free, and there’s also talk of a move for the Crystal Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey, but most likely to win the race to the Hawthorns is Cristian Benavente, Real Madrid’s Peruvian attacking midfielder, who is all set to arrive for £3.4m, though his current employers will sneak a buy-back clause into any agreement.

Having had a £250,000 offer for Barnet’s 17-year-old wonderkid Matt Stevensturned down, Swansea have decided they’re sufficiently keen on the Bees’ youngest-ever first-team player – and author of 50 goals for their under-18s last season – to offer the full million. He’d still be cheaper than another of their striking targets, Chelsea’s Loïc Rémy, who has decided he’d prefer to play a bit more frequently, even if it means winning the league somewhat less often. Southampton and Crystal Palace might also be tempted to hand the Frenchman a weekly £80,000, with the latter also chasing his countryman and former Marseille team-mate Rod Fanni, a 33-year-old full-back, who will be available for nothing once his contract expires at the end of the month.

West Ham’s negotiations with Sampdoria over the £6m-rated 23-year-old Spanish midfielder Pedro Obiang just got a bit more complicated after the Italian side declared their interest in Enner Valencia. The Hammers want at least £30m for the four-goal Ecuadorian forward – twice what they paid for him less than a year ago, and a bit more. Should they get what they want, they could spend half the windfall on Charlie Austin, QPR having slapped precisely that price tag on their freshly-capped forward’s bonce. Southampton and Aston Villa are also said to be keen.

Rivalling French strikers in this morning’s popularity stakes are people from Mexico, with Southampton having identified Espanyol’s £8m-rated Héctor Moreno as the ideal replacement for Toby Alderweireld, who is likely to make his move from Atlético Madrid to England permanent this summer, but rather than returning to the club where he spent last season on loan is expected to end up with either Chelsea or Tottenham. Meanwhile Moreno’s international team-mateJavier Hernández is wanted by David Moyes at Real Sociedad.
The Guardian