Saturday, July 31, 2010
Zapata, 23, is a Colombian international who has impressed since joining Udinese in 2005 gaining a reputation as a two-footed ball playing centre-half. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is a confirmed admirer of the defender, and is currently searching for a new defender with William Gallas, Mikael Silvestre, and Phillipe Senderos having left the club. Wenger had hoped Sol Campbell would have re-signed with the club, however the former England international joined Newcastle United this week on a free transfer.
In an exclusive interview with Zapata’s agent Massimo Italiani Sport.co.uk can reveal that the defender is desperate to move to the Premier League this summer. Italiani said:
“I don’t know what will happen this summer, it’s still unclear. There are a number of clubs that are interested in the player. At the moment it is more likely that he will move abroad than sign for another Serie A club.
“A move to play in England would be a dream for Cristian (Zapata), he wants to play in the Premier League.”
Wenger is also tracking the German international pair of Per Mertesacker and Serdar Tasci, while the Frenchman has also showed a reported interest in Everton’s Phil Jagielka and Bolton Wanderer’s Gary Cahill.
The 24-year-old is in the final year of his contract with PSV Eindhoven , where he has played for his entire career. PSV have hit some financial problems and may be reluctant to risk seeing their prize asset leave for next to nothing towards the end of his current deal.
Afellay has excellent technique and is a very creative attacking force through the middle or from out wide. He made three substitute appearances for Holland during this summer’s World Cup.
According to The Sun, Arsenal are considering a bid and would be expected to shell out at least £7million to bring Afellay to the Emirates Stadium where he would link up with fellow Dutchman Robin van Persie .
The player’s agent, Rob Jansen admitted a move is possible, saying, "It's possible Ibrahim will want to stay at PSV but there is a chance of a move elsewhere.
"In football, you never know. There are teams interested in him for sure."
Arsenal boss Wenger has made two significant signings so far this summer in centre-back Laurent Koscielny and striker Marouane Chamakh .
Friday, July 30, 2010
Thursday, July 29, 2010
|Tasci linked to Arsenal|
The Gunners have held discussions with the Bundesliga giants but are yet to make an offer for the Germany international, who has also reportedly attracted interest from Tottenham and Juventus.
However, Tasci's agent Uli Ferber has indicated an Arsenal move could still be on the cards by stressing the 23-year-old's admiration for the Emirates club.
Ferber said in The Sun: "Serdar admires English football and has huge respect for Arsenal."
Tasci is currently contracted with Stuttgart until June 2014, with a buy-out clause in the region of £18.5million understood to be included in his deal.
There were a lot of rumours that Campbell would return for another season but he now seems to have agreed a move to Newcastle. Johan Djourou picked up an injury in the friendly yesterday meaning Arsenal are left with only two recognised centre backs.
Phil Jagielka seems to be Wenger's preferred choice, but with Everton keen to keep hold of their player it looks like Wenger will have to look elsewhere. Per Mertesacker is also one of the players strongly linked but so far no approach appears to have been made.
The injury to Djourou shows the need to bring in a central defender quickly with a few other names likely to be linked with moves to the Emirates over the next few days. Alex Song can of course play in the centre of defence but his best position is in midfield so although there is cover available we don't want to start having to move players out of other key positions.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Campbell is a free agent after the expiration of his contract with Arsenal and although he was offered a new deal at Emirates Stadium, he is now on the brink of signing for Newcastle. The 35-year-old has shunned interest from Celtic and Sunderland and will join the Magpies if he passes the necessary medical tests on Tyneside on Tuesday.
Campbell started last season with League Two side Notts County but earned a shock return to Arsenal after departing the Magpies having played only one game for the club.
Injuries to Thomas Vermaelen and William Gallas allowed Campbell to start ten Premier League games in the second half of the 2009-10 campaign and he also scored against Porto in the Champions League.
With 496 Premier League appearances to his name following spells with Tottenham, Arsenal and Portsmouth, Campbell is one of the most experienced defenders in the recent history of the English top flight. He has also represented England at three World Cup finals and said he was disappointed not to secure a place in Fabio Capello's squad for the 2010 finals in South Africa.
* Walcott 28,
* Emmanuel-Thomas 30,
* Chamakh 51 (pen),
* Vela 65
Arsenal Starting XI: Almunia, Nordtveit, Koscielny, Djourou, Gibbs, Nasri, Wilshere, Arshavin, Walcott, Frimpong, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas
Arsenal Bench: Fabianksi, Diaby, Sagna, Vermaelen, Clichy, Song, Eboue, Chamakh, Vela
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Manager Arsene Wenger is believed to be looking for a new goalkeeper after seeing both Manuel Almunia and Lukasz Fabianski fail to establish themselves as the firm number one last season.
President Massimo Cellio told Sport Italia: "The only real club that is pushing for his signature is Arsenal."
Almunia is now being linked with a move to La Liga with Osasuna while the list of stoppers supposedly interesting Wenger grows. As well as Marchetti, Arsenal are also said to be looking at Igor Akinfeev and Sebastien Frey.
Marchetti ended up being Italy's first-choice goalkeeper at the World Cup finals after Gianluigi Buffon lasted just 45 minutes of the opening group game, though the reigning champions failed to make it out of their group.
Marchetti, 27, began his career with Torino and played for UC AlbinoLeffe and Biellese before joining Cagliari, initially on loan, two years ago. He has also had loan spells with Pro Vercelli, Crotone and Treviso.
"I understood from his words that he doesn't want to stay with us," Cellino added. "I would have preferred it is he had said so to me and not to the newspapers, but there aren't offers for him. And there is full confidence in (reserve goalkeeper) Michael Agazzi."
A statement on the club's official website read: "Cagliari Calcio take note of the fact that Federico Marchetti has expressed his wish to leave due to his declaration with the press. The club will do everything to make him content. Should Marchetti really have to leave Cagliari, then the regular keeper will be Agazzi. Cagliari aren't looking for another keeper."
Do we need this goalkeeper? We want a worldclass goalkeeper to replace goalkeeper that we have now.
Manager Arsene Wenger has made strengthening his defensive options his chief priority after William Gallas and Mikael Silvestre both left the Emirates Stadium at the end of last season and are currently free agents.
Jan Vertonghen is a target for Arsenal Jan Vertonghen is a target for Arsenal
Meanwhile, Philippe Senderos has completed his transfer to Fulham.
Laurent Koscielny has arrived from French outfit Lorient to provide extra cover at the heart of the defence, but more reinforcements may be required if Wenger's side are to sustain a strong Premier League title challenge.
One of the names being hyped is Vertonghen, with Arsenal already being linked with a £10 million move for the 23-year-old.
Vertonghen, who can also play at left back or as a holding midfielder, feels that he would benefit from one more year in Holland, although he would jump at the chance to join forces with his old team-mate Thomas Vermaelen once again at Arsenal.
In an interview with Goal.com, he said: "We have never played together in central defence, perhaps because we are both left-footed, either for Ajax or the national team.
"I lost a friend when he went to Arsenal but for my career it was good. We get on really well. I speak to him, sometimes a few times a week. He tells me really good things about Arsenal and living in London."
Senegal defender Papa Diakhate and Everton's Phil Jagielka are other potential targets for Arsenal, while they can also call on the services of Johan Djourou after knee surgery which meant he missed almost all of last season.
Monday, July 26, 2010
The France defender left Arsenal after failing to agree a new contract at the end of last season and is struggling to find any club who will match his demands.
Panathinaikos had looked in pole position, but refused to better their £25,000 a week offer when Gallas reportedly wanted at least £10,000 a week more.
The 32-year-old is seeking a three-year contract and Paris Saint-Germain remain keen. Roma and Juventus have both cooled their interest, while Celtic could also be tempted into making a move if their bid for Sol Campbell fails.
However, the former Chelsea centre half has not given up hope of signing for another English club before the start of the season.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
CSKA Moscow star Akinfeev, 24, is a target for the Gunners and Manchester United after impressive Champions League displays last season.
But Arsenal are the favourites to grab his signature after Emirates ace Arshavin gave the Gunners a glowing reference.
And Akinfeev said: “Arsenal and Manchester United are two of the very best clubs in the world. If both of them are going to be looking for keepers this summer – or even the next summer – then of course I am interested.
“I have spoken with Arshavin about Arsenal and London life.
“He has only had good things to say about the club and the city.
“He said some very nice things about me going on to be the best goalkeeper in the world – and that he would like me to reach that goal at Arsenal with him.
“They are a great club with a great manager. Of course there is every chance this will be the last season for Edwin Van der Sar.
“To be the No.1 for Manchester United would be a great honour too.
“They are the biggest football club in the world and, to be their No.1 for a length of time, you know you will have success.
“Juventus have also expressed an interest in me – but Arshavin has sold England to me very well.
“My contract doesn’t expire until 2013 but I have a great relationship with my president.
“If the right offer, both for me and the club came in, I don’t think anybody would stand in my way.
“I have been in Russia for a lot of years now and feel ready for a new challenge.”
What say you gooners??
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has already had a £14m bid for England defender Jagielka rejected by the Merseysiders.
The Frenchman is still weighing up whether to raise that offer to £18m – but Starsport understands David Moyes has said that Jagielka must not be sold with the new season only weeks away. So Wenger is looking again at German giant Mertesacker, who has two years left on his contract at Werder Bremen.
World Cup star Mertesacker, 25, would jump at the chance to join Arsenal.
And sources close to him last night confirmed that his future will be resolved next week.(Daily Week)
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Gallas, 32, is available on a free transfer following the expiration of his contract at Arsenal and Pana are interested in bringing the France international to Greece.
But Gallas was reported to be demanding in the region of £80,000 per week at Emirates Stadium and Pana are not convinced that they will be able to persuade the defender to sign for them.
"We made an offer to the player, but it is difficult to reach an agreement," Panathinaikos vice-president Dimitris Gontikas told the Daily Mail.
"We are continuing talks with his representatives and hope to find a solution, but it's not easy. Gallas interests us, but we'll look elsewhere if there are other possibilities."
Paris Saint Germain have also expressed an interest in signing Gallas this summer.
The Arsenal midfielder has been repeatedly linked with a move to Catalonia, with reports suggesting that the Londoners have already rejected an initial bid from Barca of £25 million.
The matter appears far from closed though, with Villa now adding his voice to the chorus urging Fabregas to move back to Spain.
"I am not the Barcelona coach, nor the person responsible for reinforcements, but personally I will do the maximum to get Cesc here," the striker said, according to The Sun.
"He wants to play here and it will be quite normal if Arsenal finally do a deal.
"That would be great. A player of his ability will only increase our power and his presence will be great for all the forwards.
"He'll help Xavi and (Andres) Iniesta, and I'll score more goals with him in the side."
Friday, July 23, 2010
The Gunners have been written off by many in recent seasons for having an inexperienced team but manager Arsene Wenger has bolstered the squad by signing Laurent Koscielny and Marouane Chamakh.
Arsenal continued their pre-season with a 3-0 win over Sturm Graz in Austria on Wednesday and Vermaelen believes the signs are promising.
“The spirit in the camp is good,” he said. “We have a good young group who are very aggressive and want to improve. I think people will always say we can't compete — it is not the first time.
“But we have to do what we always do which is work hard and play our own game. Then we can compete — I hope we can compete for the title this year and I'm convinced we will.”
With William Gallas and Mikael Silvestre set to depart Arsenal this summer, Vermaelen is expected to be the mainstay at the heart of defence.
The 24-year-old was hugely impressive last season, missing only five League matches in his first season following a £10million move from Ajax.
Vermaelen, who has been partnered by Koscielny and Johan Djourou in Arsenal's two pre‑season games, said: “I have only played with Johan twice but I love him as a player. He is strong in the air and marks tightly, which is good, and Laurent is a little bit the same. He is smart and quick as well.”
Posted by Footbaler of The Year
The striker, whose Gunners career has stalled since he suffered a career-threatening injury in February 2008, has agreed personal terms and has passed a medical.
Croatian international Eduardo was not included on the 27-man list of players to go to Arsenal's training camp in Austria this week so he could finalise the terms of his move to the Ukraine.
And his international manager Slaven Bilic has revealed the Brazilian-born hitman sought his council, as well as that of Croatian team-mate and Shakhtar skipper Darijo Srna, before agreeing the move.
More: Arsenal transfer news and rumours
"I spoke with Eduardo. He was very pleased with the move to Shakhtar. He is going to a strong league," said Bilic.
"This season they will once again play in the Champions League, have many difficult matches and this is excellent for the national team.
"The captain of Shakhtar is Srna, in the team there are a lot of Brazilians, so I have no doubt that Eduardo will quickly adapt to Donetsk."
Meanwhile Shakhtar coach Mircea Lucescu said he "expects a lot" from his new signing.
"Yes, he had a serious injury and we are aware of the risk," he said.
"But at the same time we realise he can give a lot to Shakhtar."
Among the 27 players to go to Austria with the Gunners was goalkeeper Manuel Almunia, who has been linked with a move away from the club after missing the first pre-season friendly against Barnet at the weekend.
However, Arsene Wenger has since confirmed this was because of an illness and he has since travelled with the squad, which also includes young prospects Conor Henderson and Emmanuel Frimpong.
World Cup finalists Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie are still on holiday, but are expected to return to the club later this month.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Wilshere, 18, was tipped as an outsider for England's World Cup squad after his pre-season performances a year ago, and he has made a positive contribution in the recent friendlies with Barnet and Sturm Graz.
However, Wenger allowed the player to join Bolton on loan in January and, with Owen Coyle keen to take the player back to the Reebok Stadium on another temporary deal, the midfielder has been challenged to seize his chance this summer.
"At the moment, I want Jack to gain experience and, if possible, at Arsenal," he said in the Sun. "I will give him a chance to play - now.
"I want to see if he can integrate with the first team. Of course, I will make that decision later (next month). Ideally, it is better that he gains experience with us.
"Jack has done well. I am keen not to create too much hype around the young English players because they need to work hard. We do have outstanding English talent at this club, though."
Arsene Wenger is keen to bring the Nice striker to Emirates Stadium, just as he brought Henry to Highbury, and would be favourite to pull off a deal providing the Gunners match or better the bid from West Ham.
Liverpool and Spurs have been tracking Remy for a while, but the Nice star would possibily prefer to team up with compatriot Wenger at Arsenal.
The battle has intensified since the Hammers became the first club to enter the bidding process. Liverpool have fallen short of even the Hammers' opening bids, while the price is becoming too rich for Spurs, leaving Arsenal able to nip in and beat West Ham to a deal, if they wish to.
"On Tuesday we received a new proposal from West Ham, for a full payment in cash," Nice chief executive Partick Governatori told L'Equipe.
"If Liverpool want to sign Loic, we need clear rules and commitments from them. But West Ham are hot for the player and we want to complete the transfer before the end of the month."
It is also understood that West Ham have agreed the £4.5 million signing of 22-year-old Argentine striker Milton Caraglio from Rosario Central.
Personal terms have been agreed, the deal has been sealed with the club and now the Hammers are awaiting a work permit. But that is not clear cut as while Caraglio has been called up to the Argentina national team, injury prevented him from making his international debut.
There is an added complication. West Ham don't have a clear run at signing the player as he is still undecided whether he should move to Italy. An Italian club have also met the asking price and there is a chance that the striker could join them instead.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Monday, July 19, 2010
Eduardo remains a target for Aston Villa and Besiktas but Shakhtar, backed by billionaire chairman Rinat Akhmetov, are hoping to lure the Brazilian-born Croatia international with Champions League football and wages of around £50,000-a-week.
Eduardo did not feature in Arsenal's 4-0 pre-season win over Barnet on Saturday and with Robin van Persie back to full fitness and new signing Marouane Chamakh now at the club, as well as Andrei Arshavin and Nicklas Bendtner intensifying the competition for places, Eduardo may find it difficult to win a regular spot in the starting line-up.
Shakhtar are also believed to be in the hunt for Robinho, Luis Suarez and Oscar Cardozo as they seek a top marksman to spearhead their European challenge this season
Since joining Arsenal from Dinamo Zagreb in 2007, Eduardo, 27, has played 41 times in three years for the Gunners in the Premier League, finding the net on eight occasions.
Is that necessary for Eduardo to leave Emirates Stadium? What say you Gooners??
Ozil is one of world football's hottest properties with a string of Europe's top clubs sniffing around the 21-year-old.
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is a long-term admirer of Ozil, while Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United have also been linked for the highly-rated German.
Arsenal could expect to pay in-excess of £20m for Ozil after his price-tag sky-rocketed after his stirling displays in Germany's run to a third-placed finish in South Africa.
But Ozil only has 12 months left to run on his current deal and Werder Bremen general manager Klaus Allofs admits the Bundesliga club are open to offers for Ozil with the prospect of losing him for nothing next season now becoming a real possibility.
He said: 'I can already think that we will have offers in the next few weeks or just before the transfer deadline from a number of clubs.
'If something concrete comes, we have a duty to talk to Mesut and his advisors and to see what they want. We will not change our policy. We cannot afford it.'
On the possibility of Ozil signing a new deal, Allofs added: 'We had arranged a meeting with Mesut, however we found no solution during our discussions.
'We presented our our options, but the issue was not brought to an end.'
What say you GOONERS? Any hope we can get this lad?
Sunday, July 18, 2010
The 26-year-old stopper shot to prominence with a string of impressive performances for Slovenia during the World Cup, form that justified Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger's previous interest in the player.
Italian giants Juventus are also thought to be keen on the player, but Italian paper Tutto Mercato reports that the Gunners are back in the hunt for the keeper.
Handanovic made his debut for hometown club Domzale back in 2003, and after a loan spell at Zagorje was signed by Serie 'A' side Udinese the following year.
The future looked bleak at the Zebrette after three consecutive loan spells, but Handanovic forced his way to the No.1 jersey in 2007 and hasn't relinquished it since.
International honours add further to Handanovic's credentials, making his debut in 2004 and appearing 42 time thus far at senior level for his country.
However, the link to Handanovic will not go away and these fresh revelations suggest the north London club are seriously considering a move.
The Stadio Friuli side are thought to want in the region of €10 million for the stopper, and Wenger will need to decide if that's good value for money as he looks to strengthen in an area where Manuel Almunia and Lukasz Fabianski failed to shine last season.
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is set to make an ambitious move for Manchester City goalkeeper Shay Given or his Eastlands team-mate Joe Hart to revamp his underachieving side.
City, who gave back-up keeper Stuart Taylor a new deal at the start of the week, are unlikely to keep both Given and Hart happy as only one will win the battle for the No.1 shirt.
If either Given or Hart is denied regular first-team football, he is likely to quit the club - with the Gunners keen to sign an experienced goalkeeper after enduring problems with first choice Manuel Almunia last season.
Wenger has previously been linked with both keepers, as well as several shot-stoppers on the continent, and is keen to bring in a new number one for pre-season training.
Fulham's Mark Schwarzer had been Wenger's first choice, but the west Londoners are demanding £4million for the 37-year-old - which the Frenchman believes is excessive.
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Marouane Chamakh paid his first visit to Emirates Stadium on Thursday.
The Moroccan striker has been an Arsenal player since late May after completing his move from Bordeaux but up until now he has spent most of his time at the Club's training ground.
Chamakh took a break from his pre-season preparations to take a look around the Emirates and our official Club photographer was there to take these pictures: