Arsenal’s long-running pursuit of a central defender appears to be coming to an end as Leicester are trying to bring a familiar face back to the Premier League, according to Thursday’s papers.
ARSENAL SEARCH ALMOST OVER
Arsenal have been given the go-ahead to complete a £14million deal for Bayer Leverkusen and Turkey defender Omer Toprak, according to various sources.
The Bundesliga club confirmed the arrival of Aleksandar Dragovic from Dynamo Kiev on a five-year deal on Wednesday and with Jonathan Tah and Kyriakos Papadopoulos also pushing for starting spot in central defence, Toprak is free to leave now a suitable replacement has been found.
Arsene Wenger is eager to add a new centre-back to the squad with Per Mertesacker and Gabriel both out injured, leaving the Gunners light on defensive options.
Toprak is not the only central defender linked with Arsenal in the press. The Daily Mirror believe that Leicester have joined the Gunners in the race to sign Monaco’s Marcel Tisserand, while Bleacher Report have suggested Newcastle’s Chancel M’Bemba has emerged as a target, too.
LEICESTER EYE FORMER PREM STAR
Leicester are ready to reinforce their midfield with the return of Steven N’Zonzi from Sevilla, report The Telegraph.
The former Blackburn and Stoke midfielder is the subject of a £25million bid from the Foxes as they continue to try and overcome the absence of N’Golo Kante now that he has joined Chelsea.
The fee would break the Foxes’ club record for a third time in quick succession and the bid has to be accepted as it meets N’Zonzi’s minimum fee release clause.
Monaco are also believed to be interested. However, N’Zonzi is reportedly keen on returning to England.
AND THE REST
Estranged Liverpool forward Mario Balotelli is in negotiations with Swiss club FC Sion over a possible move (Ticinonews)
Liverpool forward Daniel Sturridge, 26, has revealed his frustration at manager Jurgen Klopp’s decision to ignore him for a central striking role (Daily Mirror)
Meanwhile, Mourinho has told forward Anthony Martial, 20, to keep his standards high following a recent dip in form (The Sun)
Stoke City are keen to take Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho, 26, on loan (Daily Telegraph)
Meanwhile, Wales manager Chris Coleman has accused Arsene Wenger of treating midfielder Aaron Ramsey, 25, differently to the rest of Arsenal’s Euro 2016 stars (Daily Star)
Sunderland are in talks to sign defender Javier Manquillo, 22, from Atletico Madrid on a season-long loan (Sky Sports)
Meanwhile, the Black Cats have agreed a £7 million deal for Sevilla defensive midfielder Vicente Iborra, 28 (Talksport)
Juventus have stepped up their interest in Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Blaise Matuidi with the intention of him replacing Paul Pogba, who departed for Manchester United earlier this month( Le Parisien)
Stoke City have been linked with a move for teenage Borussia Dortmund winger Christian Pulisic, 17, but could face competition from Red Bull Leipzig and CSKA Moscow (Bild)
West Ham United have opened talks with Chelsea over a loan move for forward Loic Remy, 29 (Sky Sports)
Real Madrid midfielder Isco, 24, has reportedly turned down an offer from Juventus and is planning on staying at the Bernabeu (AS – in Spanish)
Tottenham midfielder Nabil Bentaleb, 21, is closing in on a move to Schalke after accepting an offer from the German club (Evening Standard)
PSG and Sevilla FC have agreed to the loan of Italy goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu, 29 (L’Equipe)