Arsenal are keeping their options open in their hunt for a defender, while Christian Benteke has a potential new suitor, according to Friday morning’s papers.
ARSENAL ENQUIRE ABOUT BARCA MAN
It is no secret that Arsenal are desperate to land a defender as soon as possible in order to aid their injury woes.
Per Mertesacker is out until possibly the new year with knee injury while Gabriel will miss the first six weeks of the season due to an ankle problem.
French outlet SFR Sport claim that the Gunners have made an inquiry for Barca defender Jeremy Mathieu.
Mathieu is set to be pushed back in the Catalans’ pecking order after a summer which has seen them bring in Samuel Umtiti from Lyon, and the Express report that he could be surplus to requirements altogether.
Midfielder Jack Wilshere admitted that the Gunners need a new addition heading into the 2016/17 campaign.
“We picked up a few injuries in defence so we probably need to get a defender in,” he continued.
“But even then we brought in Rob Holding, who has done great in pre-season, and we have got another young centre-back in Calum Chambers.”
WEST BROM ENTER BENTEKE SAGA
Just when it appeared that Christian Benteke was nearing a move to Crystal Palace, West Brom have joined the race for the Liverpool man.
The Guardian state that the Baggies might have to break their transfer record in order to sign the Belgian, but are willing to spend money after they could not complete a £15m deal for West Ham’s Diafra Sakho.
West Brom are expecting Saido Berahino to leave the club this summer, and Tony Pulis is looking to re-invest in the squad in the form of 25-year-old Benteke, who cost Liverpool £32.5m.
In an interview with the Guardian in March, the former Aston Villa man revealed his desire to be a first team player.
“I played two full matches in a row since Klopp [arrived]. I went up against Leicester, I scored, I followed up with a game and a goal to Sunderland, and then we lost to West Ham and since then I have been discarded.
“Even my father was annoyed at first by my status as a reservist and told me that I can do nothing. I spoke with Eden [Hazard] and with Marouane [Fellaini], they all gave me the same answer – when a coach does not count on you, you cannot change anything. I never would have signed if I had not been the priority of the coach.”
Crystal Palace were understood to have been close to wrapping up a deal for Benteke, but are also tracking Berahino which could prove pivotal in this deal, with The Guardian stating an offer of £20m plus add-ons is on the table from the South London club.
AND THE REST…
– Arsenal are on the verge of signing talented centre-back Shkodran Mustafi, according to the Valencia star’s agent (The Sun)
– Bastian Schweinsteiger has insisted he is still happy in Manchester despite being banished by Jose Mourinho (Daily Mirror)
– Roma have rejected a €40million offer from Chelsea for midfielder Radja Nainggolan (Calciomercato)
– Mauricio Pochettino told his Tottenham players how he wanted to kill them in an unconventional pre-season meeting designed to lay the ghosts of the past (Daily Telegraph)
– Jose Mourinho will put his Manchester United squad through a brutal training regime with players given just five days off during August (The Sun)
– Juventus target Nemanja Matic is set to stay at Chelsea this season following talks with Blues boss Antonio Conte (Daily Mail)
– The Serie A giants could now turn their attention to trying to prise Cesc Fabregas from Stamford Bridge (Calciomercato)
– Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola wants to raid former club Barcelona for goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen which spells danger for Joe Hart (Daily Star)
– Claudio Ranieri has dismissed speculation that Riyad Mahrez wants to leave Leicester City for Arsenal and joked he would strangle the midfield star if he asked to go (Daily Telegraph)
– Middlesbrough have adopted an English speaking policy in a bid to preserve their Premier League status as they return after a seven-year absence (Daily Express)
– Southampton boss Claude Puel has labelled Nathan Redmond the south coast’s answer to Thierry Henry (Daily Star)
– Samir Nasri has been put on a special fat-burning programme after failing a basic sprint test at Manchester City (The Sun)
– West Brom have tabled an improved £11m offer for Leicester City star Jeffrey Schlupp (Daily Mirror)
– Sunderland, Southampton and Swansea are all interested in taking Manchester City defender Jason Denayer on loan for the season, while Bournemouth have asked about a permanent deal for the Belgian (The Sun)
– Aston Villa are ready to sell midfielder Ashley Westwood to Burnley and bring in Mile Jedinak from Crystal Palace (Daily Mirror)
– Manchester City will allow Wilfried Bony, Eliaquim Mangala and Samir Nasri to leave the club this summer (Daily Express)
– Ronald Koeman has laid down the law at Everton after admitting his squad are only 70 per cent ready for the new season (Daily Mail)
– Newcastle have made inquiries over Anderlecht’s Idrissa Sylla as the look to sign another striker before the transfer window shuts (Daily Telegraph)
– Tottenham have put a £20m price tag on Nacer ChadlI, who is wanted by Swansea and Borussia Dortmund (Daily Mirror)
– Aston Villa are closing in on a triple transfer swoop for West Brom’s James Chester, Leicester full-back Ritchie De Laet and Crystal Palace’s Mile Jedinak (The Sun)