The capture of Higuain, a 25-year-old French-born Argentine, is a major coup for the Gunners, and the Daily Mail says that all is agreed. The player has settled on personal terms worth a reported £150,000 a week, while the clubs have ‘all but’ settled on a £22m fee.
In fact, the only thing that is believed to be delaying an announcement is the fact that Real Madrid have not yet appointed a new manager – once they do, their transfer dealings for the summer will begin in earnest.
In theory Carlo Ancelotti, widely tipped to get the job, could block the sale, but in practice Higuain has made his desire to move on very clear and the club want to respect his wishes after seven years of service.
But if Gunners fans are happy at the prospect of seeing their transfer record shattered, there may be more exciting news to come, with billionaire shareholder Alisher Usmanov throwing his weight behind a move for Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney.
The Sun is just one of several newspapers to pick up on Usmanov’s quotes in an interview in America on the England forward, who said: [Rooney is a] great player. If he comes it would be a big success for Arsenal and for Rooney also.
“My point of view is that Arsene knows best. Of course, we as shareholders do point out some drawbacks in managing the club, in steering its way through. But I believe he is a great coach and he has already proven that last season.”
Manchester United fans still appear torn on whether selling Rooney would be a good or a bad thing, but there’s transfer news for them in the Daily Mail, with Thiago Alcantara reportedly having agreed personal terms at Old Trafford.
A new midfielder has been on David Moyes’ wish-list since he took the helm, and the Spain and Barcelona starlet could be the perfect fit.
The paper writes that the 22-year-old will set United back £17m after his release clause reduced at the Nou Camp because of a lack of first-team opportunities, and while a deal will not be formalised on Friday, discussions between the two clubs will continue over the weekend.
Manchester City don’t want to be left out when it comes to signing a star from Spain, of course – which is why Isco is reportedly set to join the club within the next 48 hours.
Again in the Daily Mail, there are reports that the 21-year-old will join for £21m this week after being convinced that he would get more first-team opportunities at the Etihad than he would have done at Real Madrid.
A quick dip into the Championship now, where the Independent report that Shebby Singh, the ‘self-styled global adviser’ of Blackburn Rovers, is set for the axe.
Singh’s 12-month tenure has seen the club almost relegated a second time, and created a string of embarrassing incidents for the club, including the departure of three managers in a single campaign.
The report suggests Blackburn’s owners Venky’s are ‘finally getting serious’, which means that now the unchallenged laughing stock of English football is Mike Ashley’s Newcastle.
Or is it?
After several days of baffling revelations around the Joe Kinnear appointment, a couple of interesting lines appear in the tabloids about the reasons behind it.
The Daily Mirror suggest that Kinnear is in to end a ‘horrible’ power struggle between Alan Pardew and chief scout Graham Carr. The pair have reportedly been at loggerheads for several months over signings.
The Mail add that Kinnear has been nicknamed ‘Domestos’ at St James’ Park, such is the scale of the clean-up operation that the new director of football has been tasked with.
In the Mirror there is word that Jose Mourinho will reaffirm to Juan Mata that he has a future at the club after some reports that the Chelsea star was unsettled by a wages issue.
Paper Round is off to see if it too can earn a seven-figure sum for not playing for Liverpool, given it’s not been playing for Liverpool its whole life…
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