Arsenal transfer news: Wenger holds talks with Lacazette and Lukaku
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger "has held talks" with Lyon ace Alexandre Lacazette and Everton's Romelu Lukaku, claims The Sun, as the Gunners' gaffer looks to fire up his frontline.
Having lost out on signing Leicester's Jamie Vardy last month, the manager is determined to land a big name ahead of the start of the new season. According to the tabloid, he opened discussions with representatives of both Lukaku and Lacazette last week.
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Everton have slapped a £65m price tag on their Belgian striker, but "it is thought they would be willing to let him leave for around £40m". If that's the case, a deal could be struck before Arsenal depart on their pre-season tour of the US later this month.
However, if the Toffees play hardball, then the Sun claims Wenger will turn to Lacazette with a £38m offer that is likely to be accepted by Lyon.
"Arsene is keen to get a new striker in as soon as possible but won't rush anything and overspend," the paper quotes an Arsenal insider as saying.
Meanwhile, the Daily Star claims the Gunners are one of several clubs chasing Slovakia's Ondrej Duda. The £5m-rated star is also being watched by Manchester United and West Ham after his eye-catching performances for his country last month in Euro 2016.
Currently with Polish club Legia Warsaw, Duda could be sold if his asking price is met by one of the Premier League trio.
Arsenal transfer news: Takuma Asano to join Granit Xhaka at the Emirates
Takuma Asano is the second summer addition to Arsenal's squad, with the club's official website announcing on Sunday they "have agreed a deal in principle" to sign the Japanese striker.
"A number of clubs were after Takuma’s signature," adds the site but he'd plumped for the Gunners, much to the delight of manager Arsene Wenger.
"Takuma is a talented young striker and very much one for the future," he said. "He has had an impressive start to his career in Japan and we look forward to him developing over the next couple of years."
Currently with Sanfrecce Hiroshima, the 21-year-old international, who made his national debut last August, is still to complete his medical. Assuming there's nothing untoward, he will join fellow newcomer Granit Xhaka at the Emirates next season.
Asano, who helped Sanfrecce win the J1 League in 2013 and 2015, is expected to arrive in north London after playing for Japan at the Rio Olympics next month.
According to the Mirror, the signing came about after Wenger approached Lyon about a possible deal for striker Alexandre Lacazette, "but the French club want in excess of £40million, which is way above Arsenal's valuation".
Arsenal transfer news: Real Madrid chase Laurent Koscielny
Real Madrid have resigned themselves to losing Raphael Varane to Manchester United this summer, but not to worry, for according to Goal.com Zinedine Zidane has already got his eye on a replacement - Laurent Koscielny.
The Arsenal centre-back, preparing for France's Euro 2016 showdown against Iceland on Sunday, has been identified by the Real coach as the steadying influence he requires next season at the Bernabeu. Sources in Spain say that Zidane has been courting Koscielny in France recently and "will look to sign" the Arsenal defender next month.
Takuma Asano isn't the man most Gooners would turn to in the hope of giving Arsenal some more clout up front, but the Daily Star says that Arsene Wenger is poised to make a bid for the Japanese international, who has scored 25 goals in 88 games for Sanfrecce Hiroshima.
The 21-year-old is one of the most highly-regarded frontmen in the Far East and is sure to be named in Japan's squad for the Rio Olympics. According to the Japan Times "no fee has yet be discussed with negotiations still at an early stage" but it's expected Asano will move to London after the Olympics.
Arsenal transfer news: Sam Byram lined up to replace Bellerin
With reports from Spain suggesting Barcelona are serious about signing Hector Bellerin to replace Dani Alves, the Daily Star says that Arsenal have identified the defender's replacement - West Ham’s Sam Byram.
The 22-year-old Englishman arrived at the Hammers in January from Leeds but a string of composed performances for the East London club caught the eye of Arsene Wenger and the Gunners boss is ready to make a move for him. The Star says that West Ham are "reluctant to sell so soon after his £3.7m arrival" but Byram - who has also been scouted by Manchester City - is reportedly ready to jump at the chance of playing in the Champions League.
The Gunners have been given a boost in their pursuit of Gabriel Jesus with Talksport reporting that the 19-year-old Brazilian striker is open to a move to Europe.
Wenger has been receiving regular reports on the progress of the Palmeiras frontman, as have Manchester United and Juventus, and his agent has been discussing his client's future with Italian outlet Calciomercato. "Palmeiras won't give any discounts and they want to keep Gabriel Jesus, so we'll see what happens," said Christian Simoes. "Playing in Europe would be fantastic, all the top clubs like the lad. We'll see what happens."
Still with South American sorcerers and the Daily Express claims that the Gunners have "enquired about the availability" of Corinthians midfielder Maycon. Another teenage sensation, Maycon made his senior debut for Brazilian outfit at the start of the year and has gone on to become a regular for the Sao Paolo side.
Brazilian media claims that Arsenal are "preparing a move" for the 18-year-old, one that is likely to see them paying Corinthians an initial fee of around £1.5m rising to £6m once performance bonuses are factored in.
Arsenal transfer news: Brexit could wreck Barbosa deal
An official bid has been tabled by Arsenal for Brazilian ace Gabriel Barbosa with Metro reporting that the 19-year-old sharpshooter could be unveiled as the Gunners latest signing in the coming days.
The teenage frontman, aka Gabigol, has scored 54 goals in 148 appearances for Santos, becoming one of the most highly-regarded forwards in the South American league with a substantial release clause in his contract. But how hefty remains a bone of contention. Metro says it is £40m, while the Daily Express claims that it is only £15m, and the fact that Santos only have 40 per cent ownership of the player confuses the situation further.
Either way Metro cites reports in ESPN Brazil that the youngster is "being heavily linked" with the Emirates outfit and even goes so far to suggest that an offer is being considered by Santos, who are aware that Barbosa is "keen on signing for the north London club". The Express goes even further and picks up on reports that a deal has actually been agreed with a "top English club".
But there may be a fly in the ointment and that is the Brexit vote which, Metro claims, has left Barbosa "anxious" whether he'll be able to get a work permit in England.
As a Portuguese passport holder the teenager is unsure what the future holds and any deal might be put on ice until more is known about Brexit Britain.
Another player with an uncertain future is Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin, or so says the Evening Standard. With Juventus having confirmed the signing of Barcelona right-back Dani Alves on a two-year contract, the paper claims that the logical replacement is the 21-year-old Bellerin.
Though the Spanish giants denied any interest in the Gunners defender earlier in the month, the Standard says that "the lure of home" may prove too strong for Bellerin, who came up through the club's youth academy before signing for Arsenal in 2013.
Arsenal transfer news: Gunners hunt Lacazette and Lukaku
With Arsenal getting the proverbial V-sign from James Vardy, will the Gunners' solution be to turn to Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette?
The International Business Times says that Arsenal "have stepped up their interest" in signing the 25-year-old French frontman who last season scored 21 goals in 34 matches for Lyon. Apparently Arsene Wenger believes that Lacazette would be a good foil for Olivier Giroud, who lacks the killer instinct in front of goal.
West Ham have reportedly been trying to convince Lyon to sell their prize asset but their bid of £42m was rejected with the IBT saying that the French club "are holding out for a fee in the range of £45m".
Spanish club Atletico Madrid have also been linked to Lacazette, who has three years left on his contract, but Arsenal are ahead in the race and The Independent says that Wenger has "organised to meet" with the player's agent, David Venditelli, later this week.
But in another twist, the Daily Express makes the bullish assertion that Arsenal have "agreed personal terms" with Everton striker Romelu Lukaku. Chelsea were believed to be the front runners to land the 22-year-old Belgian but citing reports in the Italian media, the Express says that Arsenal are in contact with Lukaku and are hopeful of sealing the deal despite interest from AC Milan.
Meanwhile the IBT also carries the comments of Wenger who, when asked about rumours suggesting he was circling Leicester ace N'Golo Kante, replied: "It is very difficult to talk about that at the moment. Kante is on the list of many clubs."
Pressed on whether he was preparing to pounce on the French playmaker, the Arsenal manager hinted that might happen next month: "We will see what happens in the next two or three weeks. It looks like Leicester have bought a player from Nice [Nampalys Mendy] with similar qualities to Kante, so whether they envisage to lose him or not I don't know."
Arsenal transfer news: Chase for £23m-rated Brazillian teen
Arsenal are one of three clubs chasing Marquinhos Cipriano, the teenage Sao Paolo sorcerer who has been dazzling Brazil.
The 17-year-old comes with a £23m price tag and the Gunners face competition from Juventus and Atletico Madrid for his signature. According to the Daily Express Arsenal have been tailing the teenage striker for "more than two years and have been receiving regular reports on his progress". Juventus have reportedly made the first move but their bid of under £3m was laughed out of Brazil.
It's believed that Arsenal may table a bid for Marquinhos on the understanding that he remains with Sao Paolo for another season or two before jetting into the Emirates.
Still with South American players and the Express says that Arsenal deputy gloveman David Ospina is relaxed about his future despite rumours that he was "frustrated" at playing second fiddle to Petr Cech. Rumours have linked the 27-year-old Colombian to Turkish club Besiktas recently and club president Fikret Orman has admitted they are interested in a deal but Arsenal will have to lower the price: "Arsenal want a lot for him [Ospina] so we may have to look for alternatives," said Orman, adding: "I do want Ospina and we are going to get a foreign keeper."
Ospina is currently with Colombia at the Copa America and asked about his future told reporters: "I'm relaxed. I'll finish the Copa and after that we'll see what happens."
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