Premier League - Transfers: Chelsea lead Ozil race

Eurosport - Thu, 17 Jun 08:58:00 2010

Chelsea are set to battle with Manchester City and Arsenal for the signature of the highly-rated Germany midfielder Mesut Ozil.

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The 21-year-old set the World Cup alight with a sensational performance in Germany's opener against Australia, justifying the interest Arsenal and City had already shown in him.

The Gunners see him as an ideal replacement for Cesc Fabregas while City, well, City just want anyone who's any good, don't they?

But Chelsea could pip them both to sealing a deal for the Werder Bremen ace after it emerged they made enquiries about him two years ago, after he joined Bremen from Schalke. (Daily Mail)

Barcelona are ready to up their bid for Fabregas to 40 million - but not a penny more.

The Liga giants are desperate to land their top summer target but unwilling to be held to ransom for the Spain midfielder, who Arsenal are loath to sell.

Barca's new president Sandro Rosell confirmed they will up their last offer by 10m and remains confident Fabregas will be in the Catalan capital next season. (Daily Star)

Fulham have made an official approach to Aston Villa for Steve Sidwell, who could be offloaded by Villa boss Martin O'Neill as he looks to finance other deals. The midfielder would cost 3m, with Sunderland and West Ham also keen on picking him up. (Daily Mirror)

Juventus have offered Arsenal defender William Gallas a two-year contract after the France international failed to agree terms with the Gunners. (Daily Express)

And it seems the Gunners have a ready-made replacement already in the bag after Laurent Koscielny said for the first time that a move across the Channel appeals to him.

The defender's club Lorient turned down a 6.5m offer from Arsenal earlier this month, but he remains hopeful a deal will be done. (The Times)

Internazionale have arranged to hold talks with Javier Mascherano next week, with the Argentina midfielder set to bail out of Liverpool. (The Times)

Sunderland have set their sights on World Cup star Nelson Haedo Valdez, the Paraguay striker who currently plies his trade in the Bundesliga with Borussia Dortmund. The German club want 8m for the player who led his country's line in their opening 1-1 draw with Italy in South Africa. (Daily Mirror)

The Black Cats are also interested in Heiko Westermann, the Schalke defender who would set Steve Bruce's club back a cool 6m. (Daily Mail)

What is it with Wigan and Honduras? Another Honduran is set to move to the DW Stadium, with midfielder Emilio Izaguirre set to finalise a 4m deal after the World Cup. (Daily Mail)

In other titbits, Vince Grella will return to Blackburn from the World Cup after his move to Galatasaray fell through (Daily Express), West Ham are monitoring Luca Toni, whose contract with Bayern Munich will be terminated (The Times) and Portsmouth hope to sign Kyle Walker on loan from Tottenham once their transfer embargo is lifted (The Times).

And finally, Birmingham have made "serious enquiries" about former Arsenal midfielder Robert Pires. The Frenchman is available on a free after being released by Villarreal at the end of the season, with Leicester also keen on securing his services. (Daily Mirror)


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