MARICA SET FOR ARSENAL?
According to an agent, Arsenal are set to sign a new striker.
Well, sort of.
That striker is Ciprian Marica, a free agent after leaving Schalke, who could only really be described as a 'warm body', but they need one of those warm bodies up front at the moment.
Marica's agent Ioan Becali is quoted in The Daily Mirror as saying: "Marica is a really great striker who has already got experience in western European football and so it's natural that big clubs are eyeing his career. He's close to joining Arsenal , but we have to wait for the next week."
BARCA IN FOR CECH
Interesting line in The Daily Star, who report that Barcelona are sniffing around a goalkeeper we know well as a potential replacement for Victor Valdes when he leaves Barcelona next season.
According to the paper, Barca want Petr Cech, and the Chelsea keeper is 'weighing up his future' in light of Barcelona's enquiry.
The Star claims: 'Cech has held talks with boss Jose Mourinho and is understood to be tempted to leave for a new challenge after nine years at Stamford Bridge.
'Mourinho's return to Chelsea helped persuade Cech to stay put for the time being. The 31-year-old was desperate to work with Mourinho again and the pair have already held talks in which the Blues boss indicated he is under pressure to bring through Chelsea's next generation of stars.'
They suggest that Mourinho might be willing to let Cech go, because they have Thibaut Courtois.
TELLO TURNED DOWN LIVERPOOL. SORT OF
Christian Tello has 'revealed' (which makes it sound much more dramatic than it actually is) that he 'snubbed' (which makes it sound much more dramatic than it actually is) Liverpool this summer.
The Barcelona winger is quoted in the Metro as saying: "I always wanted to stay here.
"The coach has confidence in me, I'm happy and ready to play.
"I knew that Liverpool were interested in me, but I never thought about leaving."
Turned down/wanted to stay at home where he's perfectly happy. Potato/potato.
SOME PROBLEMS FOR GIVEN
Shay Given would obviously like to leave Aston Villa to, you know, play some football, but according to The Guardian that might be a problem.
Specifically because of his wages, which come in at about £3million a year, and because Villa don't want to take a hit on them.
The paper reports: 'Liverpool tried to take him on loan before the transfer deadline but Villa rejected their approach after the Merseyside club offered to pay only a fraction of the player's wages, and that stance will not soften when it comes to Championship teams registering interest...
'It seems unlikely that a club outside the Premier League would have the financial wherewithal to cover even half of Given's wages, which raises the prospect of the 37-year-old enduring another frustrating season and Villa writing off a significant sum of money in the process.'
And they quote Given himself as saying: "Of course it's just frustrating not playing, it's hard to keep training and know there's no game at the end of the week.
"Things can change quickly in football with injuries and suspensions and if I get an opportunity I've got to be ready to take it if that hopefully comes along. I'm fit as a fiddle and feel really sharp. I'm just raring to get that chance.
"I played in Stiliyan Petrov's testimonial in front of 60,000 fans at the weekend and as a player that's all you want to do, to show people you've still got the ability to play in the Premier League."