Arsenal transfer news: £40m Yacine Brahimi battle, Mauro Icardi snub
With one point from their first two games of the new season Arsenal fans are increasingly desperate for some fresh blood, and according to the Daily Mirror their prayers may soon be answered in the shape of Porto's Yacine Brahimi.
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Apparently Arsene Wenger is "weighing up a move" for Algerian playmaker, who is also being eyed up by Everton, Liverpool and Chelsea. The Mirror says that Brahimi "wants to leave Porto" after he was omitted from the Portuguese side's squad for last week's Champions League qualifier, and he could get his way provided the Gunners stump up £40m in readies.
Meanwhile the Mirror also says that Arsenal's hopes of landing Atletico Madrid defender Jose Gimenez are receding faster than their title chances with the Spanish club making it plain they won't sell the 21-year-old "unless his £56m buyout clause is met".
But while Arsenal struggle to lure players to the Emirates, players are leaving the club. Talksport says that Sporting Lisbon have confirmed the signing of Joel Campbell on a season-long loan deal. The South American sharpshooter has never been given a fair crack of the whip under Wenger and so he's jumped at the chance of regular game time with the Portugal outfit who can also offer the 24-year-old Champions League football.
Finally, few Arsenal fans had much faith in reports earlier in the month that Wenger was ready to spend big to sign Inter striker Mauro Icardi, and their pessimism has been justified. Caughtoffside says the Argentine frontman is "on the verge of putting pen-to-paper" on a new deal with the Italian giants. And to prove his loyalty, Icardi posted a picture of himself on Instagram on Sunday in an Inter shirt, accompanied by the caption: "A new year begins with new goals, but always the same feeling for the last three years with this shirt. And for many more years."
Arsenal transfer news: Campbell exit, £40m defender linked
Sporting Lisbon could be about to seal a deal for Joel Campbell, reports the Daily Star, with the paper saying that Arsenal have "opened talks" with the Portuguese outfit.
Quoting O Jogo newspaper, the Star says that negotiations are underway with Sporting keen to sign the 24-year-old Costa Rica international. There was an unsuccessful attempt last year to sign Campbell, who has struggled to convince Arsene Wenger he should be a regular starter for the Gunners, desperate several impressive displays last season.
The emergence of Alex Iwobi is likely to restrict Campbell's appearances further and Sporting will finally land their man provided they table a big enough bid.
Yet another defender has been linked with a move to the Emirates but can Gooners really be expected to hope that Arsene Wenger will finally take out his wallet? On Thursday the frugal Frenchman was preaching to the BBC about the fact it's "important to spend [the money] the right way" but with time running out until the transfer window closes, options are fewer and fewer.
According to the Daily Mail the latest blocker on Wenger's radar is Jose Gimenez but Atletico Madrid are demanding £40m for the Uruguayan, and for that reason the paper doesn't believe the Gunners will get the 21-year-old South American. After all, if they were prepared to spend £40m on a defender then Shkodran Mustafi would have been an Arsenal player weeks ago.
Arsenal transfer news: Riyad Mahrez snub, £50 for Shkodran Mustafi
So that's that, then. The news that Arsenal fans had been dreading came to pass on Wednesday with the gleeful announcement from Leicester City that winger Riyad Mahrez has signed a new four-year contract with the Premier League champions.
The 25-year-old Algeria international had been linked with a move to Arsenal this summer but Arsene Wenger dillied and dallied and eventually missed out on last season's player of the year.
Announcing that they were "delighted" to tie down Mahrez to a new deal, the Foxes added that he was "committing his future to the Foxes until June, 2020". By that time Arsene Wenger will have retired so Arsenal may be in with a chance of signing him then.
Meanwhile rumours about the future of defender Shkodran Mustafi keep on running, just like Mo Farah in Rio, with Goal.com carrying the comments of the player's father and manager. Asked whether the Valencia defender, who has been heavily linked with Arsenal this month, was any nearer to making a decision about where he'll end up playing this season, Kujtim Mustafi replied: "Very soon you will know about the future of Mustafi."
Mustafi Snr would not elaborate on his comments other than to rule out a move to Liverpool. But the German international is known to have talked to Arsenal, where, as usual, the sticking point is the £50m that Valencia are demanding.
But might the Spanish outfit be forced to drop their price? Metro says they will because the La Liga giants have announced that they are struggling to meet Financial Fair Play regulations. Apparently they had budgeted for a Champions League finish last season but thanks to the inept coaching of Gary Neville, among others, they finished 12th.
They've made a couple of big summer signings in an attempt to restore their standing but the purchase of Luis Nani and Watford midfielder Mario Suarez hasn't been cheap and Metro says they "must now balance the books". That is likely to mean selling Mustafi, and they could have to lower their price to find a buyer.
"We're above the FFP guidelines," admitted Garcia Pitarch, the club's director of football. "We need to reduce the cost in a significant manner to register the players and sign a centre-back, which is a priority in case one of the ones at our club leaves." Metro believes the statement is designed "to encourage Arsene Wenger’s side to make an approach".
Money is also the stumbling block to Arsenal signing Jonny Evans, says The Sun. It claims that the West Brom defender is a target of Wenger's but the Baggies have told Arsenal that even a bid of £16m will not be enough to land Evans
Elsewhere and Metro reports that Hertha Berlin have publicly declared an interest in Serge Gnabry. Two years ago the 21-year-old was billed as one of the stars of the future but he's since gone out of fashion for no apparent reason with the Nutty Professor and Arsene Wenger is now ready to move him on, despite the fact Gnabry has been one of the stars of the 2016 Rio Olympics, with six goals in four games for Germany.
He spent last season on loan at WBA and now Hertha are circling with coach Pal Dardai telling Bild. "Serge exactly meets our search parameters. Let’s see what will happen in the next couple of days."
Arsenal transfer news: No Mahrez offer, Mustafi deal dead?
Brace yourselves Gooners but there's yet more bad news in the Evening Standard, this time concerning the future of playmaker Riyad Mahrez.
According to the London tabloid Mahrez is still considering his options, which notes comments made in an interview with France football magazine. Asked about his plans, the Algerian winger said: "There are two or three clubs in the world, that if they come for me, it definitely makes you think, if you understand what I am trying to say."
Could one of them be Arsenal? Who knows, as the Leicester star wouldn't give any clue as to which clubs he might be thinking of. But his comments have only increased speculation that the reigning PFA footballer of the year will leave the Premier League champions before the transfer window closes at the end of the month.
Asked if he wanted to remain in England, Mahrez replied in the affirmative, adding he wanted to remain in the Premier League "as long as possible".
But here comes the bad news for Arsenal's agonised faithful: the Standard says that though Arsenal have been "monitoring" Mahrez they are "unlikely to make a move in the current window as their priorities remain in other positions".
And another reason for their inaction, according to Metro, is that Arsene Wenger is "unwilling to meet" Leicester's asking price of £50m, but that's not the case for Chelsea, who the paper claims also remain interested in Mahrez.
Meanwhile Goal.com reports that Arsenal have joined Manchester United in the race to sign Southampton defender Jose Fonte. ESPN says the same thing with Wenger reportedly zeroing in on the veteran Portuguese blocker in the wake of Arsenal's 4-3 defeat at home to Liverpool at the weekend.
But those reports serve to suggest that the Gunner's hopes of landing Shkodran Mustafi have finally died, while their hopes of landing Fonte appear forlorn.
United manager Jose Mourinho is in pole position to sign his compatriot, and he's also willing to meet the Saint's £10m valuation, with ESPN saying that the 32-year-old Fonte is "keen" to head to Old Trafford.
Arsenal transfer news: Dithering Gunners miss out on Shkodran Mustafi
It never rains but it pours, and right now the world and his wife seem to be piddling on Arsene Wenger. Still smarting from Sunday's embarrassing 4-3 defeat at home to Liverpool, the Arsenal boss looks like he will miss out on signing Shkodran Mustafi - but it could be all his own fault.
The Valencia defender has been strongly linked to the gaffe-prone Gunners but according to the Daily Mirror the Spanish outfit "are not negotiating with any club" after Arsenal dithered over a deal. The news will come as a body blow to grief-stricken Gooners who could barely believe their eyes at the weekend as Arsenal leaked four goals in 18 minutes.
The Mirror says that Valencia told Arsenal they were willing to sell the 24-year-old German defender for £20m, but in the month since Arsenal inquired no offer has been forthcoming and rumours now suggest that Chelsea are circling Mustafi with a view to meeting Valencia's asking price.
Meanwhile Caughtoffside warns Arsenal that they should think again about making a pitch for Barcelona defender Jeremy Mathieu. The Frenchman was mooted as a Wenger target last month but he picked up an hamstring injury at the weekend against Sevilla and isn't expected to be fit for a month. Caughtoffside believes the injury will deter Arsenal from making an offer, as the Gunners need a defender now, and not in a month.
Finally, Italian outlet Gazzettaworld says that Arsenal are eyeing up Juventus midfielder Mario Lemina. In a sign of the Gunners' reduced reputation that they are in a tussle with Watford for the player and the 22-year-old is undecided whether to sign for the Hornets or the Has-beens.
Italian reports say Arsenal had a £13m offer turned down recently and that's left the door open for Watford, who are poised to table a £18m bid in the coming days.
Arsenal transfer news: Shkodran Mustafi close, Alexis Sanchez swap deal
It's been a drawn-out affair but according to the Daily Telegraph Arsenal will this week complete the signing of Valencia defender Shkodran Mustafi, and boy do the Gunners need their back four bolstered after their shambolic 4-3 defeat to Liverpool on Sunday.
Citing Sky Sports Germany as their source, the Telegraph says that the German international has "agreed to sign a five-year deal at the Emirates stadium, and is currently awaiting permission to undergo a medical". It's believed that the 24-year-old will set the Gunners back £28m, and the deal has been agreed following the arrival in London over the weekend of Valencia owner Peter Lim.
Meanwhile the Telegraph - with a nod to Italian outlet Calciomercato - also says that Arsenal are interested in Juventus midfielder Mario Lemina. Apparently the Gunners' opening offer of £13.3m for the 22-year-old was rebuffed by the Italian champions, who have since informed Arsenal that they will sell only for offers in excess of £17.3m.
Still with all things Italian and the Daily Star claims that Inter Milan are "weighing up an audacious approach for Alexis Sanchez". It's not the first time that the Chilean frontman has been linked with a move from north London but the Star, taking its cue from Spanish outlet Fichajes, says that new Inter gaffer Frank de Boer has set his sights on Sanchez. But the Star warns de Boer that Sanchez won't come cheap with the paper alleging that he will only consider a move if "Inter made him the highest-paid player in Italy with a mammoth salary of £7m-a-year".
Arsenal, for their part, would want "around £69m for their star man". But could an exchange be an alternative option? The Star says that Inter striker Mauro Icardi has sent his wife - also his agent - to London "for discussions with the Gunners". The 23-year-old has been linked with the Gunners for a while but the Star also suggests that Mrs Icardi may also "hold talks" with Chelsea, who may look to sign the striker and give Inter Diego Costa in return.
Arsenal transfer news: Deals for Mustafi and Mahrez 'close'
Arsenal's attempts to sign Shkodran Mustafi were the subject of intense speculation on Thursday with claim and denial doing the rounds on social media and in the global press.
As Metro explains the drama began in the morning when Ali Bulut, Mustafi's agent, told German outlet Spox "that there was an agreement between the defender and Arsenal". He soon backtracked, however, telling German magazine Kicker that he had been misquoted. "There are discussions, but there is no agreement – neither between Arsenal and Mustafi let alone between Valencia and Arsenal."
The sticking point is the transfer fee, believes Talksport, with the Spanish club demanding £30m for the player who was a member of the Germany squad that reached the semi-finals of Euro 2016. The 24-year-old Mustafi is well travelled. The German began his career at Everton before moving on to Sampdoria in Italy and then, in 2014, Valencia for around £7m.
The Guardian reports that while a deal was not "imminent" there was nonetheless "a quiet confidence at Arsenal that they will be able to get the deal for Mustafi over the line", although it won't be in time to include the defender in their squad for the season-opener at home to Liverpool on Sunday.
Confusion also abounds as far as Riyad Mahrez is concerned with Talksport reporting the words of Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri. Asked if the Algerian winger was poised to leave the Foxes for the Gunners, the Italian replied: "Riyad stays with us."
Not so, says the Daily Express, which says that the Gunners have increased their second offer of £35m (their first was £30m) to one of £40m. The news comes courtesy of French sports daily L'Equipe with the paper alleging that Arsenal are confident it will be third time lucky for Mahrez.
The Sun for its part has unearthed a conclusive piece of evidence that points to Mahrez's imminent arrival at the Emirates - he's started following Yaya Sanogo on twitter. Why anyone would want to follow the French flop of an Arsenal frontman anywhere will be a matter for future football historians to debate, but the Sun believes that the fact, which "may seem trivial... is sure to get tongue's wagging."
Arsenal transfer news: £42.5m Shkodran Mustafi deal close
Arsenal have stepped up their pursuit of defender Shkodran Mustafi, with the Daily Star reporting that the Gunners are "in talks with Valencia over a deal".
The German international has been heavily linked with a move to the Emirates and earlier this week was left out of Valencia's matchday squad ahead of a friendly with the Nigerian All-Stars. Reports on Wednesday suggesting Chelsea were looking to make a late move for Mustafi appear to have spurred Arsenal into action as Arsene Wenger looks to sign defensive cover for the crocked pair of Per Mertesacker and Gabriel.
The Star says the Gunners "are in negotiations to secure Mustafi's services" and are ready to pay the £42.5m release clause in the 24-year-old's Valencia contract. However, time is of the essence if Arsenal want to include the German World Cup winner in the squad for this weekend's Premier League opener against Liverpool, with Wenger needing to ensure he is registered by 11am on Friday in order to make the match.
Meanwhile Talksport reports that Serge Gnabry "is a target for Hertha Berlin". Taking its cue from German rag Bild, the broadcaster claims that the Stuttgart-born winger, who was at West Brom on loan last season, is seen by the German club as a star of the future. The 21-year-old wide man, whose last game for the Gunners was March 2014, "could be available for as little as £1.5m during this window".
Arsenal transfer news: Desperate Wenger wants Wilfried Bony
They've been blown out by most strikers in the world this summer so it's not that surprising to learn that Arsenal have resorted to wooing a Manchester City reject in an attempt to strengthen their frontline ahead of next Sunday's Premier League opener against Liverpool.
According to the Daily Star Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is "set to launch a £30m bid for unwanted Manchester City striker Wilfried Bony".
Described by the paper as an "Ivorian outcast", the 27-year-old Bony was a notable absentee when the Sky Blues lost 3-2 to Arsenal on Sunday in a pre-season friendly in Gothenburg. City Pep Guardiola hinted that the former Swansea sharpshooter was likely to leave by describing him as a Sky Blue "at the moment", and the Star claims that Arsenal are closing in on Bony.
Wenger will make the final decision this week whether to table an official bid for a player who scored 34 goals in 56 starts for Swansea before flopping at City following his £25m move from Wales in January 2015.
Meanwhile there is more speculation in the Daily Express concerning Leicester winger Riyad Mahrez with the paper claiming the Algerian ace has "told Leicester he wants a move to Arsenal". Such rumours have been doing the rounds for weeks but the Express quotes sources in France saying that Mahrez is flattered by the Gunners interest in him and "has now informed Leicester of his decision"
Arsenal transfer news: Brozovic battle and £20m for Mustafi
There is a "transfer tussle" brewing between Arsenal and Liverpool, claims the Daily Star, with Inter Milan's Marcelo Brozovic the reason for the contretemps.
According to the paper the Premier League pair "both fancy" the Inter Milan playmaker and their dreams could become a reality following recent events at the San Siro. Former Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini parted ways with the club at the weekend and the departure of the Inter coach could have ramifications for Brozovic.
The Star says that the Croatian midfielder, who arrived at Inter in January 2015, could be sold "in order to finance spending on other parts of the squad". The 23-year-old comes with a £25m price tag and Italian media reports suggest that Arsenal are in pole position to sign Brozovic although Liverpool are believed to be "monitoring" the situation.
Meanwhile, the Gunners are still hoping to sign a defender. Despite the fact that the transfer window has been open for two months and in that time Arsenal have failed to bolster their back line, the Daily Telegraph claims that Arsene Wenger is "desperate" to land a blocker by Friday.
Their main target remains Shkodran Mustafi, and with centre-back Gabriel out injured they need to land him quickly. "Wenger is now prioritising signing a new defender ahead of his long-running striker search and a bid in the region of £20m for Mustafi is expected to be placed inside 48 hours in the hope a deal could be rushed through," says the paper.
"Arsenal are also interested in Jonny Evans, but West Bromwich Albion are insistent that it would take far more that the £15 million the Gunners are believed to be prepared to pay to tempt them to sell the former Manchester United man."
Arsenal transfer news: Olivier Giroud offered in €35m Mauro Icardi swap
With less than a week to go until the start of the Premier League season, Arsenal fans are increasingly twitchy as another summer passes with no sign of a new frontman at the Emirates.
However, the Gunners are still being linked with plenty of forwards, including Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette.
Arsene Wenger has already had one offer for the player rejected but, despite claims he only wants to move if Real Madrid are interested, have kept him on the radar.
Until now, it seems.
The Daily Telegraph says the Gunners "will have to end their pursuit of Alexandre Lacazette after the 25-year-old appeared to have sustained a hip injury during [Lyon's] 4-1 defeat to PSG last night in the Trophee des Champions".
How serious the injury is remains to be seen, but some might say being injured would only make him more at home at the Emirates.
Perhaps a more realistic target is Argentina forwards Mauro Icardi. Football Italia carries the claim that Arsenal are prepared to offer €35m (£29.7m) plus Olivier Giroud for the Inter Milan man. However, the Italian club are determined not to sell and are set to offer Icardi a new deal worth €5m (£4.25m) a year.
Could a former Manchester United star ride to the rescue? The Daily Star says Wenger could make a move for Javier Hernandez, who scored 17 goals in 28 games for Bayer Leverkusen.
"Lacazette has been top of Wenger's list in recent weeks but Hernandez appears to be emerging as a serious target," says the paper.
Charlton prospect Ademola Lookman is another option, reports the Daily Mirror. He "is back on the radar of a host of Premier League clubs" after he was watched by scouts at the European Under-19 Championships. The Gunners could face competition for his services from Spurs, Liverpool and Southampton.
"Charlton protected their asset by tying Lookman, 18, to a first long-term deal earlier this year," says the paper. "But it won’t deter the clubs who are willing to pay upwards of £2m to poach Lookman before the transfer window closes.
Things look pretty dire for Arsenal at the back too, after an injury to Gabriel has left him sidelined along with Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny. But Goal.com reports "Arsenal are considering a bid for RB Leipzig centre-back Lukas Klostermann", a 20-year-old centre-back currently in Brazil with the German Olympic squad.
"Arsene Wenger has been in search of a new defender ahead of the new season, with a move for Valencia's Shkodran Mustafi so far failing to materialise," says the website.
Arsenal transfer news: AC Milan join Shkodran Mustafi fight
Just hours after Arsenal confirmed the signing of 18-year-old Nigerian starlet Kelechi Nwakali comes news that will dampen the spirit of Gooners. According to Talksport AC Milan "have joined Arsenal in the race for Valencia defender Shkodran Mustafi".
Earlier in the week the north London club were widely expected to capture the blocker in their bid to cover the long term absence of Per Mertesacker, but Arsenal tend not to fare so well in transfer tussles and suddenly they have competition.
It's believed that the Spanish club will sell for around £20m but Talksport, conveying a report from newspaper Plaza Deportiva, says that AC Milan are now tailing the centre-back too after their attempt to sign Villarreal defender Mateo Musacchio collapsed.
The Sun says that Milan's interest has led to an intensification of Arsenal's efforts to snare Mustafi with the paper claiming the club "will hold talks with Valencia" in an effort to finalise a deal. Apparently Arsene Wenger has made the signing of the 24-year-old German international "a priority" before the Gunners open their league campaign on Sunday week against Liverpool.
Finally, the official Arsenal website confirmed on Thursday evening that Wojciech Szczesny has re-joined AS Roma on loan for the coming season. The Polish gloveman, who appeared for his country at the Euros in June, made 34 league appearances for Roma last season and though there were rumours earlier in the summer that the Italian club wanted to make the deal permanent, Arsenal have desisted from agreeing to their request.
Arsenal transfer news: Julian Draxler demands Wolfsburg exit
It's been a long time coming but could Arsenal be about to land forward Julian Draxler?
According to Talksport, the Gunners have been given the green light to make a move after the 22-year-old Germany international announced that he "wants to leave Wolfsburg this summer".
Arsenal have long been linked with the midfielder and are now set to pounce after he "revealed his frustration" with the Bundesliga club and requested a transfer.
Draxler only arrived at Wolfsburg 12 months ago in a deal from Schalke 04, but relations have deteriorated in recent weeks with Draxler allegedly unhappy "with comments coming out of the club about his future".
In a conversation with German paper Bild, the playmaker expressed his disquiet with the way things have worked out and said: "It was clear that Wolfsburg had good prospects, but also that they were a springboard for me. It was always clear to everybody that I would like to join a top club in Europe, if I were to get the chance."
That chance appears to have come and Arsenal are readying themselves for a bid that is likely to be in the region of £30m.
However, the Daily Express reports that Wolfsburg were swift to react to Draxler's comments, and made it clear they will not play ball with the Gunners and denied that they had agreed to let him leave.
"Wolfsburg will not be selling Julian Draxler during the course of the current transfer period." said the club. "In joint discussions with Julian Draxler, VfL Wolfsburg again made it clear that they would not be granting the player's wish to make a move."
Meanwhile, the Express also reports that Arsenal have "beaten Manchester United to the signing of Kelechi Nwakali". The Nigeria Under-20 international was first linked to the Gunners in January and while a move looked set, United suddenly snuck into the reckoning. But the Express says that the 18-year-old midfielder and his agent have now "arrived in London to complete the deal".
Finally, Arsenal's defender of the day is Torino's Bruno Peres. He's got a £17m price tag and according to the Daily Star is "keen to secure a move to the Gunners so he can fulfil his Premier League and Champions League ambitions". The Italian club are prepared to sell the Brazilian just so long as Arsene Wenger doesn't try and haggle them down a few quid.
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