Gunners aim for Sanchez: Alexis Sanchez is emerging as the player Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger wants to make his marquee summer signing, throwing a spanner in the works of Liverpool's attempts to include the Chilean striker in a deal over Luis Suarez. The Daily Star is among the papers to report the Gunners' intentions to hijack Liverpool's attempts to land the Barcelona star, who is unwilling to be included as a makeweight in a deal that would take Suarez from Anfield to the Nou Camp.
Paper Round's view: This is the Daily Star, but with other papers also carrying the same story, its credibility should not be questioned. One of those is the reputable Telegraph, which claims "a tug of war between Arsenal and Liverpool over the future of Sanchez will determine how swiftly Suarez realises his ambition to leave Anfield for Spain". Whether Sanchez's apparent unwillingness to move to Liverpool - a claim which remains unsubstantiated after positive talks between Barcelona and Liverpool in London yesterday - will derail Suarez's proposed move to Barca remains to be seen, but certainly the two players' futures appear at the moment to be intertwined.
- - -
- - -
United to offload Fellaini: New Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal does not believe Marouane Fellaini has what it takes to be a success at the club and the Belgian World Cup star will be sold on this summer, according to the Daily Mail. The paper reports that Van Gaal has instructed the club to sell Fellaini after telling associates the midfielder is ‘not a United type of player’. As such, the World Cup has become something of an audition for Fellaini, who cost United £27m last September.
Paper Round's view: This is encouraging news for United fans, not just because Fellaini is considered dead wood, but because Van Gaal is not afraid to get rid of players he does not rate. Fellaini's disastrous transfer from Everton was symptomatic of David Moyes' reign - and the club will pay for it, considering they will never recoup even close to what they paid for him - but with Van Gaal at the helm now, a leaner, more streamlined squad can be expected. And that can only be good for United.
- - -
United told to pay big for Carvalho: Meanwhile, United have been told they can have William Carvalho this summer, but they will have to meet the midfielder's £37m release clause. The Sun reports that the Portugal international's club Sporting are prepared to let him leave, just not on the cheap.
Paper Round's view: Sporting know they're onto a good thing here, given that Van Gaal is armed with a hefty war chest and is willing to splash the cash this summer. As such, the Portuguese club can afford to play hard ball. Director Augusto Ignacio said: “The termination clause ensures a great deal for Sporting. I am very pleased with the negotiations." He's right, although his assertion that "it’s not like the old days when players left Sporting at any price" is a little off the mark - does he not remember the last player they sold to United? A certain Nani, who cost a cool £17.3m back in 2007.
- - -
- - -
Negredo wants Spain return: Manchester City striker Alvaro Negredo wants to return home to Spain, reports the Daily Mail. City have insisted the 28-year-old is not for sale, but the paper understands he wants to join Atletico Madrid. Negredo cost City £20.6m last summer and City are reluctant to listen to offers, but Atleti believe they will be able to prise him away with an offer of £24m.
Paper Round's view: Negredo has been far from a failure at City - he scored 23 goals last season - but if he can't hold down a regular starting place in Manuel Pellegrini's side, it's understandable he would want to move on. Now would seem to be the perfect time to make a bid to force his way into the Spain national side yet if he is not playing regular football, that odds are stacked against him. And if City can actually make money on him, they should be tempted to make this deal happen.
- - -
Campbell wanted in Italy: Arsenal striker Joel Campbell's World Cup performances may have won him a £16m move to Italy, reports the Sun. The Costa Rica striker, who has yet to appear for the Gunners, has been instrumental in his nation's amazing run to the quarter-finals in Brazil and has alerted a number of Serie A clubs. His agent Ruggero Lacerenza said: "Italian clubs are after Campbell. Various top-tier clubs often make enquiries.”
Paper Round's view: This is pure agent speak, but even so, it would be no surprise if big clubs were interested in Campbell. That said, Arsene Wenger has hinted he is willing to give Campbell a chance at the Emirates this season, so there is still the possibility of him staying put. Certainly Arsenal need a striker to back up Olivier Giroud from time to time, and Campbell could well fit the bill.
- - -
Ferdinand move in jeopardy: The Daily Mirror reports that Rio Ferdinand is at the centre of a row between QPR boss Harry Redknapp and club chiefs who want to veto the defender's signing. Redknapp has persuaded the former Manchester United stopper to take a huge drop in wages to join the promoted side but even at this proposed reduced rate, Ferdinand is considered too old at the age of 36 by the QPR board to justify the expenditure.
Paper Round's view: You can understand the board's reluctance to sanction over-the-top wages after their previous cavalier attitude to such matters but in Ferdinand surely they must make an exception. He still has so much to offer and if they were to pass up on him, after Redknapp's good work in persuading him to join, it would be easy to see it as a real opportunity lost.
- - -
- Sports & Recreation
- Luis Suarez
- Arsene Wenger
- Joel Campbell
- Van Gaal
- Paper Round