Arsenal are leading the chase to sign a £30m-rated Switzerland attacker, Bruno Guimaraes has delivered a cutting message on Newcastle United links to Cristiano Ronaldo, while Thursday’s Transfer Gossip claims Man City are in talks for a legendary Real Madrid star.
NOAH OKAFOR LIKELY TO MAKE ARSENAL MOVE
Arsenal are muscling their way to the front of the queue to sign Red Bull Salzburg attacker Noah Okafor in January.
The Gunners sit proudly on top of the Premier League after collecting 12 wins from their opening 14 games. And while some doubt they can last the title course, Rio Ferdinand has recently labelled them ‘the real deal’ with four key stars highlighted.
Club chiefs, however, know they remain second favourites to win the title behind Manchester City. Pep Guardiola’s side are five points adrift after losing to Brentford in the final game before the break.
And in order to maximise their prospects, Arsenal’s owners are preparing to make cash available to strengthen their squad in January.
To that end, it’s reported that around £60m will be made available. And TEAMtalk has revealed that the Gunners have at least two targets in mind for January.
Their No 1 target is seemingly Shakhtar Donestk star Mykhaylo Mudryk. But after shining with five goal involvements in six Champions League games, his side are now seeking £87.5m (€100m) for the star. Understandably, Arsenal will now walk away from such a deal.
However, Mikel Arteta and Co do have a Plan B option in mind in the form of Okafor.
The Switzerland attacker has really caught the eye with some excellent displays for Salzburg. The forward, who can play off either wing or through the middle, has 10 goals to his name this season. That tally includes three in six Champions League games.
Arsenal ready to meet Noah Okafor asking price
That form has seen Okafor linked with a number of sides including Leeds, AC Milan, Chelsea and West Ham. And Tuesday’s Transfer Gossip claims he is also coming under Liverpool and Manchester City’s watchful gaze.
However, the Daily Mirror claims a move to Arsenal now looks on the cards.
Salzburg are demanding a £30m (€35m) fee to sell Okafor in January – a price that Edu believes represents good value for money.
As such, the paper claims they are pushing to conclude a deal before the player embarks on playing at the World Cup.
The prospect of Okafor departing is certainly not lost on Salzburg either, though they would like to wait until after Qatar 2022 is finished.
Speaking to Sky Sport Austria, the club’s sporting director Christoph Freund said: “I think there will be a bit more going on in the transfer market than in recent years. Okafor really took off last year.
“I hope he plays a good World Cup, then the Noah Okafor stock can become very interesting. I’m not ruling it [his sale] out.”
BRUNO GUIMARAES NOT HAVING RONALDO TO NEWCASTLE LINKS
Newcastle star Bruno Guimaraes has ridiculed suggestions that Cristiano Ronaldo could sign for the Magpies in January.
The 37-year-old Portuguese star is seeking a new club after blowing the lid off United in a no-holds-barred TV interview. Indeed,reports on Thursday claim Erik ten Hag has reached a brutal two-word verdict on the star’s Manchester United future.
Now, with Ronaldo destined to leave Old Trafford, a number of top clubs have all distanced themselves from his signature.
However, the latest to be linked with a move for Ronaldo are Newcastle. And reports in Portugal claim his agent Jorge Mendes has held talks with Newcastle’s ambitious owners over a potential deal.
Newcastle, while owned by the ludicrously-wealthy Saudi-backed PIF, have not really brought in any superstars since taking charge. Indeed, their money has been spent far more wisely. And the approach seems to be paying dividends with Newcastle third in the Premier League with just one defeat from 15 games.
Guimaraes himself has certainly proved one of the best signings in that time. Quite rightly the player has taken his place in the top 10 Premier League players of this season.
However, when questioned over a possible deal for Ronaldo, Guimaraes reckons that would prove a mistake.
“I think Newcastle need players with that [right] mentality, it’s not about signing everyone just because they have money,” he said. “It’s not bringing Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, Mbappe. It’s not like this.”
He added in quotes carried by the Sunderland Echo: “The way I agreed to come to the club was also something remarkable.
“Today anyone wants to come to Newcastle, the richest team in the world. But I arrived with the team doing bad, pointed out as virtually relegated.
“[Kieran] Trippier and I were the first to believe in the project, so fans have a special affection.”
MAN CITY IN TALKS WITH TONI KROOS
Manchester City are reportedly looking to negotiate with Real Madrid over a January swoop for Toni Kroos.
The veteran Germany star is just a matter of months away from reaching the end of his Los Blancos deal. Having been there since summer 2014, he has won three LaLiga titles and four Champions League trophies. He’s also played close to 400 times for the club.
Now 32, the player is eligible to discuss a free transfer overseas from January 1.
As such, The Sun reports that City are right at the front of the queue to sign the player.
He is stalling on a new deal amid claims he fancies one final career challenge. And a move to Manchester City, where he could reunite with Pep Guardiola, appears to fit the bill.
The Spaniard managed Kroos in 2013/14 as Bayern won the Double.
And the midfielder recently said: “Guardiola fought until the last day for me to stay at Bayern. I really enjoyed the year with him, he improved me a lot.
“If I have to choose a coach who is perfect for my game, it’s Guardiola.”