Liverpool are planning a mass squad overhaul and could welcome six new arrivals this summer, while it’s a similar tale at Arsenal as the Gunners prepare to strengthen the spine of their team and let other senior stars leave, according to Tuesday’s newspapers.
GOTZE AMONG NAMES LINKED AS LIVERPOOL PLAN SQUAD OVERHAUL
Liverpool will back Jurgen Klopp in the transfer market this summer and he is interested in Bayern Munich’s Mario Gotze, Leicester’s teenage left-back Ben Chilwell, Udinese midfielder Piotr Zielinski and a goalkeeper who can challenge Simon Mignolet, according to several morning papers.
Jurgen Klopp is planning wholesale changes at Anfield this summer, as he aims to turn the club back into serious Premier League players.
Despite going so close to Capital One Cup glory before Sunday’s Wembley shoot-out heartbreak against Manchester City, the former Borussia Dortmund boss recognised his side were second best for large period.
The main casualty will be Christian Benteke after the £32.5million summer capture from Aston Villa – only Andy Carroll has cost Liverpool more – didn’t even get off the bench against Augsburg on Thursday or at Wembley. The Sun claims he will be sold to the highest bidder, but his fee may only fetch around £20million.
And the German knows he needs to fit another close season revolving door at Anfield if he is to achieve his Kop revolution with at least six new arrivals and as many departures on the cards.
Divock Origi has leapt ahead of him, Daniel Sturridge remains first choice, and with Roberto Firmino also a favoured choice to lead the line, Benteke’s days are numbered.
While the Belgian would prefer to scrap for his future at Anfield, it is a battle he has little hope of winning.
Keeper Simon Mignolet’s bizarre Wembley afternoon summed up his entire Anfield career, and he is far from secure despite a new five-year contract.
He produced two outstanding stops from Sergio Aguero, another brave one at the feet of Yaya Toure — but also let Fernandinho’s shot in at his near post.
Klopp has already made it clear that second choice Adam Bogdan has no long-term future, recalling young Danny Ward from loan at Aberdeen.
He is desperate to sign a keeper who will provide serious competition for Mignolet — and possibly take the job for himself.
Leicester left-back Chilwell is a target, raising questions over Alberto Moreno’s place, and Udinese midfielder Zielinski – on loan at Empoli – has also been targeted.
One man who definitely will get a new deal is full-back Jon Flanagan, fit again after having his knee rebuilt.
GUNNERS TO SPLASH CASH AND WILL HAND STAR DUO NEW DEALS
Arsenal are planning to spend in the summer, with £75m available for new players, plus massive new deals planned for Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez.
Arsene Wenger has made the central spine of his team the summer priority when he begins his summer hunt for new signings, according to the Daily Telegraph.
Ahead of what could conceivably be the final season of Wenger’s 20-year reign at Arsenal, club scouts have already been told that central midfield and central defence will be the priorities, as well as Leicester City left-back Ben Chilwell (him again) and potentially a striker. With an extra £40million from the Premier League’s new TV deal also available, the club will also be in a position to make massive contract offers for Ozil and Sanchez.
The first priority will be persuade Ozil and Sanchez to extend deals that expire in 2018 and, with Premier League clubs to receive around £40 million more each year from the new broadcast deal, they will be offered contracts that would make them the highest paid players in Arsenal history. Ozil, who is on £140,000-a-week, and Sanchez, who is paid around £130,000, could both command deals approaching £200,000.
Decisions will also soon have to be made on Santi Cazorla, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere and Per Mertesacker who are also out of contract in 2017 or 2018. All four players remain likely to be offered new deals, although various issues of form, age and fitness will be taken into consideration and significantly improved contracts are far from certain.
In central midfield, N’Golo Kante, Victor Wanyama and William Carvalho are being watched and there is also interest in Watford striker Odion Ighalo. Borussia Dortmund’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is another being monitored, although whether Arsenal would ever be willing to match a reported asking price in excess of £60 million is clearly questionable.
Wenger is also aware that his two senior centre-backs, Laurent Koscielny and Mertesacker, are both over 30 and he would like to strengthen that area
Kieran Gibbs, Mathieu Debuchy, Mathieu Flamini, Mikel Arteta and Tomas Rosicky are all likely to leave, while Wenger’s own longer-term future will probably again be decided in the final months of a contract that expires in June 2017.
Although Wenger’s position is the subject of renewed debate following defeats over the past week against Barcelona and Manchester United, the boardroom support for the manager remains total.
AND THE REST
Senior players at Manchester United believe Louis van Gaal will not be sacked mid-season, according to reports (Daily Express)
Manchester United are ready to reward teenage sensation Marcus Rashford for his amazing breakthrough into the first team with a new £15,000-a-week deal (Daily Mail)
Antonio Conte wants to bring his younger brother Gianluca to coach with him at Chelsea (The Sun)
Arsenal have reportedly sent scouts to watch 16-year-old Juventus striker Moises Kean Bioty (Daily Express)
Stoke goalkeeper Jack Butland is set to to be rewarded double his wages to £50,000 a week with a new five-year deal (Daily Mirror)
England are planning a match with Turkey at the Etihad in May as part of their preparations for Euro 2016 (Daily Mirror)
Antonio Conte has recommended new signings to Chelsea in anticipation of being named the club’s manager this month and they include Roma duo Miralem Pjanic and Radja Nainggolan (The Times)
Current Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink has conceded that Alexandre Pato has fallen below the youngsters in the pecking order and is glad that the Brazilian was only signed on loan (The Times)
Malaga are keen to re-sign Manchester City’s 35-year-old Argentina defender Martin Demichelis (Bleacher Report)
Sunderland will decide this week whether to sign former Arsenal defender Emmanuel Eboue, 32, who impressed while on trial (Sunderland Echo)
Barcelona defender Gerard Pique says he will never join Manchester City out of loyalty to former club Manchester United. But the 29-year-old may move to Colombia because of his pop star partner Shakira.