Arsenal transfer news: Renato Sanches prompts £60m war with Man Utd
A pair of underperforming Premier League powerhouses are squaring up over Benfica star Renato Sanches.
According to the Daily Star "Arsenal are looking to beat Man United to the £60m international star", having heard that the Red Devils are stalling over the fee demanded by the Portuguese club.
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Apparently Arsene Wenger sent his scouts to Portugal at the weekend to watch the 18-year-old produce a man-of-the-match performance in the 2-1 win over Academica de Coimbra. As a result the Frenchman is keener than ever to sign the teenage midfielder but he knows he'll have to see off competition from United.
The Red Devils have been tracking Sanches for much of the season and the Star says they've even entered into dialogue with Benfica. The problem is Sanches "has a £60m release clause in his contract" and United are hoping to pay "considerably less".
What are they ready to offer? According to Portuguese newspaper A Bola a pitiful £40m, which may allow Arsenal to sneak in ahead of their rivals if they table a bid more to Benfica's liking.
From Benfica to Boca and Talksport reports that the Gunners have joined the hunt for 18-year-old Rodrigo Bentancur. The midfielder has been in sparkling form this season for Boca Juniors and the Argentine outfit are gearing up for a wave of offers to come their way in June. Real Madrid are known to have expressed an interest and Talksport predicts that the South American club will "demand a fee of around £15m for the youngster".
Arsenal transfer news: Battle with Barcelona over Marquinhos
Goodness knows the Gunners need some bolstering in their back four after another shambolic defensive display saw them squander a 2-0 lead to end up drawing 3-3 with West Ham on Saturday. And who is Arsene Wenger going to turn to in the summer transfer market? According to the Daily Mirror, the Frenchman has identified Paris Saint-Germain's Marquinhos as the man to shore up the Gunners' rearguard.
Arsenal will face competition from Manchester United who are on "red alert" for the player after allegations he "was angry at being left on the bench" for last week's Champions League clash with Manchester City.
The 21-year-old Marquinhos is said to be frustrated at his lack of opportunities in Paris, but the Mirror warns Arsenal and United that the French champs "will look to make a significant profit" on the £25m that they paid for the South American when they bought him from Roma in 2013.
But Arsenal's hopes may be ended by their old enemy from Spain. The Daily Express says that Barcelona have agreed to sign Marquinhos. Citing sources in Spain, the paper says that the Catalan club have got their man by offering him "a £2.4m signing on fee even though they are yet to agree a transfer with PSG".
The future of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain lies either in Manchester or Southampton, depending on which paper you read. The Daily Star says that the Saints are trying to resign the player they sold to the Gunners in 2011, while The Sun reckons Pep Guardiola intends to make the Ox one of his first acquisitions when he takes up the reins at City in the summer.
Perhaps that's why the Mirror says that Arsenal are stepping up the chase for Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Granit Xhaka. Apparently Wenger has "made an opening offer worth around £24m" for the Swiss playmaker having watched him dozens of times this season. Monchengladbach are believed to want £32m for Xhaka but the Mirror claims Arsenal are "confident of reaching an agreement with the Bundesliga side".
Arsenal transfer news: £90m for Morata, Manolas and Xhaka
Is the Nutty Professor going to go mad in the summer transfer market? The Daily Mirror says so, claiming that Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has three big names in his sights and is ready to splash the cash to beat off his rivals in a spending spree that could top £90m.
First up is Juventus star Alvaro Morata, the Spanish sharpshooter who arrived in Turin from Real Madrid in 2014. According to the Mirror Wenger "has revived his interest" in the 23-year-old Morata, having first considered making a move for him when it became apparent Real Madrid were thinking of letting him go.
As usual, Wenger failed to move quick enough to nip in ahead of Juventus, but it seems Real could come to his rescue. The Mirror says they have a £23m buy-back clause for Morata "and are aware of Arsenal's interest... [so] they could take him back from Juve and then sell him on to make a big profit."
Wenger also missed the boat on Greek defender Kostas Manolas when he left Olympiacos in the summer of 2014 because he "baulked" at the £12m asking price. But the Mirror says the 24-year-old, now with Roma, is again on Arsenal's wishlist and Wenger now realises he will "have to pay a lot more than £12m" to get his man.
Is he prepared to do so? Yes, trumpets the Mirror, which adds that the Gunners gaffer finally realises his defence isn't up to scratch and he is determined to land Manolas especially as the Greek blocker is also being tailed by Chelsea. However, Wenger will pay dearly for his inaction in 2014, as the player is now likely to cost some £30m.
Finally, Wenger is closing in on Borussia Monchengladbach's Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka as he looks to replace the ageing trio of Mikel Arteta, Mathieu Flamini and Tomas Rosicky. The Mirror says Arsenal are "confident" of agreeing terms for the 23-year-old playmaker although they'll have "to pay in excess of £30m".
Meanwhile, Spanish rag Sport claims Arsenal are also sniffing around Barcelona ace Arda Turan. The 29-year-old Turkish winger arrived at the Camp Nou last year but has struggled to adapt to life with the Spanish giants and rumours emerged earlier in the week that he could be moved on by coach Luis Enrique in the summer. According to Sport, Arsenal have expressed an interest in Turan but so have the Chinese Super League with one club said to have made him a "multi-million" offer.
Arsenal transfer news: Gunners chase Green and 'new Pirlo' Locatelli
Aston Villa are bound for the Championship and it's no surprise to learn that the Premier League clubs have already started picking over the bones of their squad with the Daily Express reporting that winger Andre Green is being circled by Arsenal and Liverpool.
The 17-year-old winger has made his senior team debut this season at Villa Park, one of the few bright moments in an otherwise gloomy season for the Midlands outfit, and his composed performances have attracted interest from Arsene Wenger.
He has sent his scouts to watch the teenage wideman in action and the Express says that an offer is in the pipeline, although there's also expected to be a bid table from Anfield. While the Daily Mirror says that Manchester City and Spurs are also interested in the "starlet".
Moving from 'starlets' to 'wonderkids', and Arsenal are said to be interested in Manuel Locatelli of AC Milan, described as the "jewel of the San Siro youth system".
At 18, the midfielder is naturally described by The Sun as a "wonderkid", and the paper notes that he has also been likened to a young Andrea Pirlo.
Locatelli has yet to make his first team bow with AC Milan but he recently inspired his youth side to the San Nicola Trophy, a three-way tournament featuring Inter, Bari and Milan.
It's his lack of first-team opportunities, however, that could open the way for Arsenal to make an audacious swoop for the teenage playmaker. The Sun says the Gunners "are monitoring" Locatelli and could come calling in the summer with the promise of first-team action next season.
Arsenal transfer news: Alexis Sanchez hunted by Real Madrid and PSG
Have Real Madrid made a mistake in putting Cristiano Ronaldo on the market? According to The Sun he's available at a bargain price of £48m with the Spanish giants wanting to bring in a younger frontman to build for the future.
But one of their main targets to replace him is Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez, and Talksport reports that the Chilean "will reject any approach from Real Madrid" this summer.
The 27-year-old arrived at the Emirates from Barcelona in 2014 and has become a hit with the Arsenal faithful on account of his 36 goals in 80 games. But in recent weeks rumours have emerged linking the South American sharpshooter with Real, but Talksport claims that Sanchez "is happy at Arsenal and has no plans to leave at the end of the season".
Then again, the Daily Express claims that Paris Saint-Germain have "identified" Sanchez as the man to replace Zlatan Ibrahimovic next season. Chilean paper AS says that PSG coach Laurent Blanc sees Sanchez as just the man to fill the boots of the Swedish striker when he moves on in the summer.
Meanwhile the Daily Star says that the Gunners have got their gaze firmly fixed on the Portuguese pair of Danilo Pereira and old favourite William Carvalho. Taking its cue from Portugal paper A Bola, the Star says that Arsenal scouts watched the 24-year-old Pereira in action for Porto on Monday night, while Sporting Lisbon midfielder Carvalho has long been on Arsene Wenger's wishlist, although the Nutty Professor will have to meet his £35m buyout clause if he's serious about prising him from Portugal.
Arsenal transfer news: Wenger to call time on Jack Wilshere?
Has he played Jack-the-lad once too often? Following reports on Monday that Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere had been caught up in what The Sun describes as a "brawl outside London's Cafe de Paris", the paper says this latest incident may be a lark too far for the Gunners.
The paper says that manager Arsene Wenger is "disappointed and upset with the player over his conduct", and he is "rapidly running out of patience with his wayward star".
Not only has Wilshere a history of ill-advised antics away from the football field, but he's hardly been seen on it in the last year, leaving many people at Arsenal wondering if the time hasn't come to cut the 24-year-old midfielder adrift.
The Sun says Wilshere - who been sidelined with injury for eight months with a fractured leg - has two years left on his £80,000-a-week Emirates deal and is in early discussions about a possible extension.
But according to the paper those contract talks "are in jeopardy following his nightclub row", and there remains the possibility that should a suitable offer land on Wenger's desk in the summer he could sell Wilshere, once regarded as the Arsenal youth team's crowning glory.
One young Gunner definitely not going anywhere for the foreseeable future is Alex Iwobi, with Metro claiming that the 19-year-old, who has scored in his last two Premier League appearances for Arsenal is in talks about a new deal.
The paper says that Wenger wants to tie the teenager hotshot "to a long-term contract at the Emirates Stadium", and that will mean a basic salary of £30,000 a week over five years. The Nigerian winger has shown a maturity beyond his years in recent games, prompting Wenger to declare: "They [the fans] have seen how quickly he's improved and how well he's played. It's surprising how quickly he's integrated into our game."
Arsenal transfer news: Is Arkadiusz Milik a better bet than Higuain?
With just a few weeks until the summer transfer season starts, Metro claims Arsenal have settled upon their priority signing - Ajax's Arkadiusz Milik.
Though the 22-year-old has been linked with Barcelona and Liverpool this season, the Gunners are in a strong position to land the Polish marksman with manager Arsene Wenger having had him scouted on several occasions.
Milik only arriving at Ajax last summer, in a £2m deal from German outfit Bayer Leverkusen, but with 16 goals this season his market value has quadrupled. That still represents a bargain when compared to the price tags slapped on Gonzalo Higuain and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, two of the other strikers said to be on Arsenal's summer shopping list. Metro says Wenger will table an offer to Ajax as soon as the market opens for business.
Meanwhile it's claimed that Henrikh Mkhitaryan is house-hunting in London as he prepares to join Arsenal. Rumours emerged last week, linking the Armenian ace with the Gunners, and The Sun says that he's "already told close friends that he is ready to leave Borussia Dortmund". Apparently the German outfit have tried to persuade Mkhitaryan to stay, even offering him a new £6.4m contract, but the 27-year-old midfielder wants to join Arsenal, though the Sun says he also wants to receive £8m a year for his troubles.
The paper adds that his wage demands "will not frighten off Wenger", who has been scouting Mkhitaryan for months and is determined to sign him ahead of interest from Juventus. He'll get a chance to see him in action on Thursday when Dortmund take on Liverpool in the Europa League quarter-final first leg.
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