Arsenal are set to sign Japan striker Takuma Asano, while N’Golo Kante is ready to disappoint Man Utd, Arsenal, PSG and Juventus after revealing the club he hopes to sign for next season, according to Saturday’s papers.
ARSENAL TO BRING IN JAPAN FORWARD
Arsenal expect to complete a deal for Japanese forward Takuma Asano, who plays for Sanfreece Hiroshima, in the next few days.
Both the Daily Mirror and Daily Mail claim a move for the highly-rated 21-year-old is progressing and the Gunners are hopeful of concluding the switch in the coming days.
The forward, who plays for Sanfrecce Hiroshima, is viewed as one for the future by Arsene Wenger but he will train with the first team.
Asano has four caps for Japan and is viewed as one of the country’s brightest prospects, but he is likely to be loaned out during his first season at Arsenal.
Asano would be the third Japanese to play under Wenger at Arsenal.
Junichi Inamoto was a cult figure when he arrived in 2001 but made only four appearances in midfield before joining Fulham, while Ryo Miyaichi was released last season after five injury-plagued years and is now in Germany.
Wenger is determined to add a more proven striker to his ranks this summer after missing out on Jamie Vardy.
The Gunners believed they had sealed a £20million move for the England star only for Vardy to pen a new deal with Leicester.
Wenger is relaxed by the striker situation but knows he must land a new forward this summer.
Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette is an option for Arsenal but his potential £45m price tag could prove prohibitive.
KANTE SETS HEART ON CHELSEA SWITCH
N’Golo Kante will snub an improved contract offer from Leicester City with Chelsea his preferred option.
The France midfielder has been courted by numerous clubs this summer, but is set to reject interest in him from Manchester United, Arsenal, Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus to join the Antonio Conte revolution at Stamford Bridge, according to widespread reports on Saturday.
Kante has emerged as one of Chelsea’s top targets after the Blues failed with two bids for Roma’s Radja Nainggolan.
Following his superb season in the Premier League and at Euro 2016 for hosts France, Leicester have offered Kante a new £100,000-a-week deal to stay with the champions.
But the midfielder is likely to move on and has now set his sights on a move to Stamford Bridge.
Conte will start work as Chelsea’s new head coach immediately after the Euros and wants a midfielder who can get all over the pitch, which makes 25-year-old Kante the perfect option.
Kante has a £20million release clause in his Leicester contract, although Chelsea may yet have to pay over that figure to land him.
Despite the fact £20m triggers the clause, the terms of the agreement are believed to state that Leicester are only required to accept the highest bid over that figure.
Chelsea will, therefore, want to avoid sparking an auction which results in them paying well in excess of the release fee. It is for this reason Arsenal have been reluctant to formalise their interest with a bid.
AND THE REST
Manchester City are prepared to pay up to £50m to land John Stones and are confident of signing the defender in time for him to return from a post-Euro 2016 break for pre-season training with them (Daily Telegraph)
Tottenham Hotspur’s bid to sign AZ Alkmaar striker Vincent Janssen is being bizarrely held up by the brainchild of ‘Moneyball’ Billy Beane (Daily Telegraph)
Watford have been forced to turn down a £37.5m bid from Shanghai SIPG for Odion Ighalo – because the striker does not want to go to China (Daily Mirror)
Portugal wonderkid Renato Sanches DID snub Manchester United, according to international team-mate Nani (Daily Mirror)
Paul Pogba’s father claims that a transfer to Real Madrid would be an “interesting” move (Daily Mirror)
Jose Mourinho is set to be officially introduced as Manchester United boss on Tuesday (Daily Mirror)
Antonio Conte has moved to reassure Cesar Azpilicueta and Spanish compatriot Pedro that he wants them both to stay at Chelsea (Daily Mirror)
Burnley will have to smash their transfer record to prise Tom Lees away from Sheffield Wednesday after the Owls slapped a £10m price tag on the defender (Daily Mirror)
Stoke have made a £16m bid for West Brom’s Saido Berahino (Daily Mirror)
Fulham have told Sheffield Wednesday to stump up a club record £15m for striker Ross McCormack (Daily Mirror)
Jose Mourinho will have clear-the-air talks with Luke Shaw next week – after the Manchester United defender implied he was ‘greedy’ when he was Chelsea boss (The Sun)
Crystal Palace will press on with their summer spending spree by signing £10m defender James Tomkins (The Sun)
Mark Hughes is hoping to make Portugal winger Nani his marquee signing at Stoke City this summer (The Sun)
Atletico Madrid are ready to launch a cash-plus-player bid for Napoli’s Gonzalo Higuain worth £42m (The Sun)
Toni Kroos insists he won’t be leaving Real Madrid this summer despite being linked with a Premier League move (The Sun)
Henrikh Mkhitaryan is on the verge of completing his move to Manchester United from Borussia Dortmund, with the deal expected to be done at the weekend (Daily Mail)
Italian defender Gabriele Angella has left Watford to rejoin Udinese on a four-year contract (Daily Mail)
Burnley plan to reject any mega-money bid from Leicester for Michael Keane and offer him a new bumper contract (Daily Mail)
Fabricio Coloccini has brought his eight-year spell at Newcastle to an end and will rejoin San Lorenzo, a Primera Division club in his native Argentina (Daily Mail)
Manchester United are closing in on a club record £80m deal for Paul Pogba (Daily Star)
England are set to axe sports psychiatrist Dr Steve Peters as the fall-out from their Euro 2016 flop continues (Daily Star)
Rangers target Matthew Knox is set for a switch to the English Championship with several clubs preparing moves for the Livingston starlet with one concrete offer expected later today (Daily Record)
Kenny Miller is tipping Mark Warburton for the England job – bit only after he brings a barrel-load of trophies to Rangers (Daily Record)
Alan Pardew has poured scorn on the managerial ability of television pundits Alan Shearer and Gary Neville, saying it makes his “blood boil” that the pair have considered themselves worthy of coaching England (The Times)
German champions Bayern Munich are considering a move for Arsenal’s France defender Laurent Koscielny, 30, who has a contract with the Gunners until 2019 (London Evening Standard)
Everton have agreed to sign Belgium midfielder Axel Witsel, 27, from Zenit St Petersburg and will pay the player over £100,000-a-week (Squawka)