The winter window might have shut, but the rumour mill rolls on. As always, Transfer Talk has its finger on the pulse when it comes to the latest rumours and gossip. See the latest deals here.
TOP STORY: Wenger told it’s time to spend, spend, spend
Here’s something to make Arsenal fans sit up and take a whole lot of notice, and maybe even stand up and cheer: Arsene Wenger has been ordered to get spending in the summer — or else, according to the Sun.
The paper says Arsenal’s powerbroker types have told the manager to “go on the biggest spending spree of his career” after a season that promised so much but now seems increasingly likely to fizzle out without a trophy.
So who could be on the way in if this mooted new era of frenzied cash-lashing gets under way in the red half of North London?
Well, how about this lot for starters? Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba, Gonzalo Higuain, John Stones, Toni Kroos … they’re among the big names in the frame, according to the Sun’s report.
Giddying stuff, with the paper even going so far as to claim that Arsenal “will not consider giving Wenger a new deal until he starts competing in the transfer market.”
It’s not as though the long-serving boss won’t have loads of money to play with, given that the club’s cash reserves are reported to stand not far short of £160 million — but he isn’t a man who is likely to take kindly to being told what to do in the transfer market. Is there trouble ahead?
And there could be another sort of trouble ahead, with the report claiming the Gunners face the prospect of losing maestro Mesut Ozil back to Real Madrid after the disappointment of the club’s fading challenge for the title.
It says he has “asked his agent to plot a return” to Madrid if Wenger stays on as Arsenal manager beyond this summer.”
But if Ozil ends up being a midfield farewell, Napoli’s Jorginho could be incoming, according to London’s Evening Standard.
It reports that the player’s agent has said he would be open to holding talks with the Gunners if they feel like making an offer once the window opens again. That’s not a possibility out of nowhere, given that they were linked with him during the January window.
– Nick Sutton (@suttonnick) 21 March 2016
Real raid for rampaging Rom?
Arsenal fans aren’t the only set of Premier League supporters who could be left peeved by Real in the summer, though — watch out, Evertonians, warns the Sun.
It says the La Liga giants are on the lookout for another striker, and claims the man in question will be Romelu Lukaku.
The rampaging one has been a star in a season of Evertonian frustration — it’s either good or bad at Goodison these days, and there’s not much in between — and will be the subject of a £60m Bernabeu bid.
His 25 goals have attracted widespread attention, but the Sun reckons Real have moved before anyone else and it “understands that discussions between Lukaku’s agent, Mino Raiola, and Madrid representatives are already taking place.”
It adds that Bernabeu scouts “have watched the Goodison terrace hero on at least five occasions” and that an offer of the magnitude suggested would be too much of a tempter for the Merseysiders to resist.
Manchester City happy to keep Kompany
To Manchester, where there is likely to be a whirl of incomings and outgoings as Pep Guardiola sets about the summer rebuilding of a squad in danger of ending this season not only with a whimper but also outside the top four.
The Mirror, though, reports that captain Vincent Kompany will not be among the outgoings — he will instead be part of what the City hierarchy hopes will be a new “dynasty” under Guardiola.
Belgium international Kompany suffered another injury setback in the derby defeat at home to United on Sunday, in which Martin Demichelis endured an afternoon to forget (and that’s putting it mildly).
The Mirror reckons Demichelis, along with Eliaquim Mangala — who cost more than £40 million, let’s not forget — will be among those heading for the City exit once the new Guardiola era is up and running.
– They may have faded a bit in the Premier League of late, but there is no denying how impressive Watford have been on their return to the top division.
Everyone’s been talking about Odion Ighalo and Troy Deeney, the stars of the Vicarage Road show, but Chelsea loanee Nathan Ake has also impressed for the FA Cup semifinalists, who now want to sign him permanently and might be able to do so if they offer around £3m, the Mirror reports.
– Southampton, whose comeback win over Liverpool offered plenty of Sunday afternoon drama, are in the market for Wolfsburg forward Bas Dost and Walsall left-back Rico Henry, says the Daily Mail.
It says Dutch forward Dost is on the list of strikers who could come in if Graziano Pelle opts to move elsewhere come summer, while teenager Henry is rated as one of the finest defensive prospects in the Football League.
– Kyle Lafferty has vanished almost without trace since joining Norwich City, and has been strongly linked with a move to Leeds United in recent weeks.
But it now seems Birmingham City might be a more plausible destination, with the Birmingham Mail reporting that the Northern Ireland goalscorer could arrive at St Andrew’s before Thursday’s loan window deadline.