Paper Talk: Giroud’s shock link; fresh link for Zlatan

Date published: Tuesday 3rd May 2016 8:16

Olivier Giroud: Linked with Bundesliga transfer

Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud could be in line for a shock move to the Bundesliga, while Zlatan Ibrahimovic could return to Italy, rather than sign for Manchester United, according to Tuesday morning’s papers.



Wolfsburg are reportedly looking to tempt Olivier Giroud away from Arsenal with an extremely lucrative contract offer.

According to several of the morning papers, the German side are keen to rescue the Frenchman from his Gunners ‘nightmare’, with the Frenchman, 29, without a goal in the Premier League since January. He has come under fire from Arsenal fans who want him replaced with a “world class” striker.

Wolfsburg are willing to offer him a deal worth up to £5million-a-year to replace troubled former Gunner Nicklas Bendtner, who had his contract torn up by the club last month.

Giroud’s drought is the worst of his career and has coincided with Arsenal’s failures in both the title race and Europe.

Wolfsburg, 10th in the Bundesliga, are looking for more firepower this summer after a disappointing campaign.

Villarreal striker Cedric Bakambu, who played against Liverpool in the Europa League semi-final, first leg last week, is also in the sights of coach Dieter Hecking.



Aymeric Laporte: Could be heading for Man City

Manchester City have agreed a £39m deal (50million euros) for Athletic Bilbao defender Aymeric Laporte, according to reports in Spain.

The French defender is out for six months after breaking his right leg and dislocating an ankle but has begun house-hunting in the Manchester area ahead of his prospective transfer.

City have identified the 21-year-old as their top defensive target for new coach Pep Guardiola despite the centre-half being ruled out until August with the injury.

The club’s sporting director Txiki Begiristain was pictured in Bilbao last month, with Basque newspaper EITB reporting that City have told Athletic officials that they are willing to meet his release clause. “It is a specific request of Pep Guardiola,” read the report.

Laporte, who moved to Athletic as a 16-year-old, has signed four contract extensions since December 2013 as his status as one of the world’s best young defenders has grown.



Zlatan Ibrahimovic: Tipped to make Man United transfer

Manchester United outcast Victor Valdes is eyeing a move to Espanyol, according to Spanish sources (Daily Star)

Manchester United are readying a bid for Sporting Lisbon’s 23-year-old midfielder Joao Mario, who has a £55m release clause in his current deal (A Bola)

Juventus have made contract with Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s agent about a possible return to Turin (Daily Star)

Jose Mourinho is set to a make a decision on taking the Manchester United job this week, according to reports (Daily Express)

Andriy Yarmolenko has been given the green light to leave Dynamo Kiev but only for a top Premier League club – which scuppers Everton and Stoke City’s plans to bid for the forward this summer (Daily Mail)

Manchester City and Liverpool have expressed an interest in Paris Saint-Germain teenager Jonathan Ikone (Daily Mail)

Phil Jagileka looks set to miss out on a place in England’s squad for Euro 2016 with Roy Hodgson again considering taking just seven defenders (Daily Telegraph)

Man City boss-elect Pep Guardiola has hit back at his critics before current side Bayern Munich’s Champions League semi-final against Atletico Madrid on Tuesday, saying: “The problem people have with me is that I’ve won so many titles.” (Marca)

Swansea boss Francesco Guidolin is being strongly tipped to become the next manager of Watford (South Wales Evening Post)

Rafa Benitez is among the names being considered by Everton as replacement for manager Roberto Martinez, should the Spaniard’s current club, Newcastle, be relegated from the Premier League (Daily Mail)

Newcastle midfielder Florian Thauvin, 23, currently on loan at Marseille, has been linked with a move to Inter Milan (Newcastle Chronicle)

Stoke boss Mark Hughes has told 35-year-old former England striker Peter Crouch he can still be a regular starter – if he can repeatedly reproduce Saturday’s form against Sunderland (Stoke Sentinel)

Former Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers says he is eager to return to management this summer and has hinted he would be interested in taking over at Celtic (Daily Mail)

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