Arsenal target Michu after giving up on Rooney and Suarez: The Independent reports that Arsene Wenger will turn his attentions to Swansea's £25m-rated Spanish striker Michu. "Arsenal will have to pay £25million to bring Swansea forward Michu to the club as Arsene Wenger reportedly prepares to unravel his Plan B in the transfer market," the paper reports. "Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins has an agreement with Michu that will allow the club to demand £25million for his services, with the Welsh side prepared to play tough with clubs interested in the Spaniard. Arsenal have had bids rejected for Wayne Rooney and Luis Suarez already this summer, and Wenger must be prepared to spend big if he is to please the club’s discontent fans."
Paper Round's view: Arsene Wenger claimed after Saturday's defeat that he is working "24 hours a day" to sign new players. And it showed on Saturday: the Gunners looked as if they hadn't had a training or tactical session in weeks. A proper sharpshooter up front is just what they need, however, and paying a bit over the odds for Michu might make sense. After all, a player of his calibre could be the difference between hanging on to that fourth Champions League spot. Plus, Arsenal fans won't want to hear it, but signing a good striker from a mid-table team (rather than a great one from a title-contending side) is precisely their level these days.
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Tottenham to steal Willian from under Liverpool's noses: The Daily Mirror writes that Spurs will step in to poach £30m-rated Brazilian playmaker Willian from Anzhi Makhachkala, despite Liverpool having been seen as front runners. The reason? Liverpool stinginess. "The Reds have already agreed terms with the 25-year-old, who has been put up for sale by cost-cutting Russians Anzhi Makhachkala, and had been confident of completing the deal. But the two clubs have not yet agreed a fee, with Anzhi demanding £30million and Liverpool offering only £26m." The Times also reports the same story, claiming that Spurs will "break the bank" to land Willian, but the report is very flimsy, resting on a vague quote from Andre Villas-Boas saying that Willian is "extremely talented".
Paper Round's view: As funny as it would be for neutrals to see Brendan Rodgers denied the signing, this story smacks of shenanigans on Anzhi's part, leaking a story about a highly plausible alternative bid in order to bump up what they receive from the Reds. If it was Arsenal in Liverpool's place you could write off the deal now, but chances are strong that the Reds will still get their man.
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Gerrard stepped in to broker Suarez peace: The Mirror reports that, "Steven Gerrard brokered the peace deal which is expected to see Luis Suarez stay at Liverpool. It is Gerrard’s part in healing the rift between Arsenal target Suarez and manager Brendan Rodgers, that could have the biggest impact on the Reds' season. With Liverpool insisting Suarez will not be sold, either to the Gunners or any other club this summer, the wantaway striker has had no choice but to swallow his pride and apologise."
Paper Round says: The Followers of the United Church of Stevie G might believe such chat, but both Rodgers and Suarez won't be sentimental enough to fall for this sort of thing. We can't see Liverpool selling to a club in the Premier League, but still wouldn't write off a sale to someone on the continent.
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I still want Roo - Mourinho won't give up on Wayne Rooney: The Sun reports that Jose Mourinho is refusing to admit defeat in his attempts to sign Wayne Rooney from Manchester United. "He made it clear he is still in the market for a top striker," the paper reports. "Rooney, 27, remains his top target even though Mourinho did not mention the Manchester United hitman by name."
Paper Round's view: It seems that the longer this goes on, the less likely Rooney is to leave - the England striker's feelings about United must have been calmed by a 4-1 romp on Saturday which makes it clear that Moyes's side are title contenders again. And with Mourinho making only vague noises about "trying until the end of the transfer window to sign a striker", it's pretty clear that Rooney will be only one of the names on the shortlist.
Full story in The Sun, and also on our own website
- Sports & Recreation
- Wayne Rooney
- Luis Suarez
- Arsene Wenger
- Anzhi Makhachkala