Arsenal transfer news: Isco to kick start £70m summer spree
With the balance of footballing power shifting dramatically in London this season, could Arsenal be about to reclaim ground on Spurs by taking advantage of Chelsea's misfortune?
The warning lights are flashing for the Blues over Eden Hazard with The Sun claiming that Real Madrid are ready to sell James Rodriguez and Isco this summer "in order to fund a mega-bucks move for the Chelsea star".
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Manchester United are poised to scoop up Rodriguez, while the Daily Express speculates that Arsenal are moving into position to make a move for Isco.
The Gunners are believed to have had a £35m bid bid for the 23-year-old midfielder rejected by Real in the January transfer window but the Express says the north London outfit "retain first option on the player should he be sold this summer".
With Real now ready to sell, and Arsenal freeing up their finances by offloading Mathieu Flamini, Mikel Arteta and Tomas Rosicky at the end of the season, it looks like a deal could be agreed, with Spanish rag Marca giving credence to the story by reporting that Real want to "start arranging the transfers" of Isco and Rodriguez as soon as possible.
The Gunners have built up cash reserves of £135m, says the Daily Mail, and Arsene Wenger may be tempted to splah out in the summer, particularly if he misses out on the title yet again this season.
The next campaign is likely to be his last at the Emirates and the Mail says he has drawn up a transfer window shopping list featuring strikers Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Odion Ighalo of Watford, plus Leicester midfield dynamo N'Golo Kante.
Arsenal transfer talk: Gunners joing race for £20 Mahrez
There's been little to cheer for Arsenal fans over the past few days, but The Sun is doing its best to try and raise a cheer on the Holloway Road by claiming that Arsenal have "upped their interest in Leicester City wing sensation Riyad Mahrez".
The Algerian international has been in stunning form this season for the Foxes, his 14 goals and ten assists helping to propel them to the top of the table and bumping his valuation up to £20m.
Mahrez cost Leicester a paltry £400,000 when he left Le Havre in 2014 but such is his market value now that the Sun says Foxes boss Claudio Ranieri has "hinted he will be allowed to leave this summer".
Manchester United, Chelsea, Barcelona and Real Madrid have all been linked with the wideman and the Sun claims that the Gunners are now "considering making a bid", though it's not clear if Mahrez would be prepared to drop down a level in standard in order to make the move.
Meanwhile the Daily Star says that the Gunners "have joined Manchester United in the race to sign Juventus starlet Moise Bioty Kean".
Italian media reports that Arsenal despatched scouts to watch the 16-year-old striker in action for the Juventus Under-17s on Sunday who, according to the Star, "has been compared to Mario Balotelli". Although hopefully without the bonkers behaviour.
Arsenal transfer news: Wanyama, Aarons and Nordtveit wanted
Arsenal have two midfielders in their sights as they contemplate another stalled title bid, claims the Daily Mirror, with Southampton's Victor Wanyama and Rolando Aarons of Newcastle the men in question.
The paper states that the Gunners will "renew their interest" in Wanyama over the summer with the holding midfielder a long-time target for Arsene Wenger, who is determined not to let the Kenyan star be lured to north London rivals Tottenham.
With Mathieu Flamini and Mikel Arteta set to be released at the end of the season, Wenger sees Wanyama as the man to dominate the Arsenal midfield for the seasons to come, and he can also help in the development of Rolando Aarons.
Still only 20, the Jamaican-born Englishman is "set to leave St James' Park at the end of the season having failed to agree a new contract on Tyneside". The Mirror adds that it has it on authority from sources in Italy that Arsenal are closing in on the youngster, though they will face competition from AC Milan and Juventus.
And another raw talent being eyed up by Arsenal is teenage striker Abel Ruiz. According to Metro, the Gunners interest is sure to "anger Barcelona", who nurtured the 16-year-old through the academy system. Rated by Metro as "one of the hottest prospects" in their development programme, Ruiz could follow in the footsteps of Cesc Fabregas, Fran Merida and Hector Bellerin in leaving the Barcelona academy for the Emirates. Apparently Chelsea have also expressed an interest but it's Arsenal who in pole position for his signature.
The Gunners are also leading the race to land Borussia Monchendgladbach's Havard Nordtveit, with the Daily Express claiming that Arsenal "are in talks" to sign the 25-year-old midfielder.
German rag Bild says that Tottenham and Leicester are also interested in Nordtveit but the Norwegian is tipped to return to the Emirates, the club where he spent his formative years between 2007 and 2010.
Nordtveit captained Arsenal's youth team in the 2007-08 season but failed to break into the senior squad and was sold to Borussia in 2011. Since then he's blossomed and the Express says "his impressive performances have seen the Gunners renew their interest in him."
Arsenal transfer news: Barcelona plot to get Bellerin back
Having robbed Arsenal of their dignity on Tuesday night, are Barcelona now set to strip the Gunners of one of their prized assets?
According to The Sun, Barca stars Andres Iniesta and Gerard Pique quizzed Hector Bellerin on his "personal situation" after the sides met at the Emirates in the Champions League tie that went the way of the visitors 2-0. Apparently the pair were "impressed by Bellerin's skill level" and the Sun says that should set alarm bells ringing within Arsenal because the dastardly duo "repeatedly laid the groundwork for Cesc Fabregas' return in 2011".
Like Fabregas, Bellerin came up through the Barcelona academy before moving to Arsenal, but the Spanish media are speculating that he could soon be heading back to the Camp Nou.
Arsenal's ears will have pricked up quicker than a foul from Mathieu Flamini at comments made by Watford manager Quique Sanchez Flores, and duly reported by the International Business Times, about striker Odion Ighalo.
Asked about rumours suggesting the Hornets' star man could be on his way to the Emirates in the summer, Flores made no attempt to issue a hands-off warning, instead telling reporters: "Speculation about Ighalo is very normal. He is one of the best strikers in the division so it's very normal... I love speculation for all the players in the squad. It means the performance of the team is good."
According to the IBT Arsenal are leading Manchester United in the race for the Nigerian sharpshooter who has scored 15 goals in 26 Premier League appearances. And one reason why Flores might not be upset at the prospect of selling Ighalo is because they will accept nothing less than £20m for him and "have already identified Granada's Isaac Success as a replacement".
Meanwhile Arsenal have had the Rug pulled out from under their feet by Juventus. The Gunners had been eyeing up strapping centre-back Daniele Rugani, as had Manchester United, with reports that he had been increasingly unhappy in Turin having slipped behind Leonardo Bonucci and Andrea Barzagli in Massimiliano Allegri's pecking order this season.
But the Daily Express reports that the 21-year-old has scotched rumours that he was poised to move England by signing a one-year extension with the Italian champions.
Arsenal transfer news: Yarmolenko rejects Barca for Gunners
Has Andriy Yarmolenko taken a crack on the head in Kiev? That might be a reason why the Dynamo winger has "overlooked Barcelona in favour of a move to the Premier League", according to the Daily Express.
The 26-year-old, who played in Kiev's 3-1 Champions League defeat to Manchester City on Wednesday night, has apparently been eyed up by the Spanish giants, while at the same time Arsenal and Everton have also expressed an interest in signing the winger who has netted 13 goals in 24 games this season.
The Express carries details of a conversation between Ukrainian website SportFile and the player's agent Vadim Shabliy, in which he was asked if there had been "interest on the part of Barcelona". He replied: "There was...[but] Andriy has a desire to play in the Premier League. This championship attracts him, he sees himself in it."
According to the Express Arsenal were "linked with a £23m bid for the Ukraine international in January" and it's believed the Gunners will try again now that they know of Yarmolenko's preference for rainy days in England over balmy evenings in Barcelona.
No surprise to read in the Daily Mirror that Mathieu Flamini is "facing the exit door after not being offered a new contract". The fouling Frenchman, who gifted Barcelona a late penalty on Tuesday night, has apparently been "pushing" for a new deal with his existing £80,000-a-week contract set to expire at the end of the season. The Mirror says Arsenal have shown no signs of tabling a new deal and consequently Flamini fears that he will once again be leaving Arsenal as a free agent, just as he did in 2008.
Arsenal transfer news: Marcelo Brozovic to replace Flamini
He gave away a clumsy penalty last night against Barcelona, confirming what most Arsenal fans already believed - that Mathieu Flamini's best days are behind him. But who will replace the Frenchman in the Gunners midfield?
According to the Daily Express, it could be Dynamo Zagreb's Marcelo Brozovic.
The Gunners were first linked with the 23-year-old Croatian in 2014 and the Express claims they tried again last month, but "a deal proved to be too complicated". However, the paper says Arsene Wenger is determined to land Brozovic, knowing that he needs to replace both Flamini and Mikel Arteta in the Arsenal midfield.
It's believed that Brozovic, currently on loan with Inter Milan, will cost Arsenal £15m - a small price to pay for a midfielder not prone to making rash challenges in the penalty box.
Brozovic may be coming, but there will be no Bender at the Emirates next season, reports the Daily Express, after Sven Bender signed a new deal at Borussia Dortmund. Arsenal had been linked with the German midfielder last year, as had north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur, but the 26-year-old has penned a new deal with Dortmund that will keep him at the German club until 2021.
"I am extremely happy to be able to keep wearing the Dortmund top in the future," Bender said. "I would be happy if in the coming weeks other team-mates follow suit."
That's believed to be a call for Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to also pledge his loyalty to the club, amid reports Arsenal are poised to table a £42m offer in June.
Arsenal transfer news: future stars Lookman and Mbappe on radar
As Arsenal prepare to do battle with Barcelona this evening, reports suggest the Gunners are looking beyond their inevitable disappointment at the Emirates and planning for the future by lining up moves for two young stars of the future.
The first is Charlton striker Ademola Lookman, as Metro claims that the Gunners "are clear to sign" the teenager after the Addicks decided they would have to offload the starlet. The 18-year-old, described by Metro as "one of the most exciting talents outside the Premier League" has been linked with the Emirates for months and a January deal was on the cards at one stage.
Charlton decided to keep hold of the teenage hitman but Metro says they’ll "cash in on him at the end of the season". Chelsea and Liverpool are also known to have had Lookman scouted but Arsenal are favourites to land him in June.
Liverpool are also Arsenal's main challengers for the hand of Monaco ace Kyllian Mbappe Lottin, the 17-year-old who on Saturday became the youngest player to score for the French side.
His goal in their 3-1 win over against Troyes has only increased his market value and the Daily Mail says that Arsenal and Liverpool are both likely to table bids at the end of the season. The paper adds that Mbappe has yet to sign a professional contract and "his representatives are understood to be chasing a lucrative contract" from a Premier League outfit.
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