Gossip: Arsenal to target Brahimi and Astori

Date published: Sunday 21st August 2016 9:46

Yacine Brahimi

ARSENAL WANT BRAHIMI
Football365 has been critical of Arsene Wenger in the past, but if he answered the club’s need for a central defender and striker by spending big on a winger, we really would have to stand to applaud.

That’s the talk in the Sunday papers, with a report that Wenger is considering a move for Porto’s Algeria winger Yacine Brahimi, according to the Sunday Mirror.

The 26-year-old is believed to be ready to quit the Portuguese giants and he was left out of their Champions League qualifier in midweek. Liverpool and Chelsea have reportedly had the player on their radar, but Wenger will make a move for Brahimi after failing to bring both Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez to The Emirates.

Porto are believed to be willing to sell Brahimi, who made 33 league appearances for Porto last season, scoring seven times and collecting eight assists, for a fee of £40million.

The report also claims Wenger looks set to miss out on Atletico Madrid defender Jose Gimenez with the Spanish club insisting his £56million buyout clause is met. Yeah, we kinda knew that.

 

LIVERPOOL, ARSENAL AND SPURS WANT FOREST’S BURKE
Nottingham Forest winger Oliver Burke is going to be a star. Still only 19, he has the pace of a 100m sprinter but the physical build to ensure that he can already cope with the rigours of Championship football. Burke is already drawing attention from plenty of Premier League clubs.

The Sunday Mirror report that Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham, West Ham and Sunderland are interested signing Burke, who scored twice as Forest beat Wigan 4-3 at the City Ground on Saturday. The reported asking price is £10m, with Forest unwilling to sell Burke for a cut-price fee as he has two years remaining on his contract.

 

CHELSEA TURN FOCUS TO MANDZUKIC
It looks like Chelsea have admitted defeat in the battle to sign Romelu Lukaku from Everton. Ronald Koeman announced on Saturday that Lukaku wanted to stay at the club for another year, but the reality is that Everton’s asking price was so high that the striker was left with no choice.

With that in mind, the Sunday People claim that Antonio Conte has turned his attention to Juventus striker Mario Mandzukic. That’s quite a change of tack.

The report claims that Conte believes he can get Mandzukic for a fee of £25m, after the striker scored ten goals in 27 Serie A games for the Italian champions last season. Given that Mandzukic is now 30 and has never played in England, it would be quite a gamble on a player who may only be third-choice striker anyway. Better off waiting a year for Lukaku?

 

AND THE REST
Man Utd centre-back Phil Jones, 24, is a shock loan target for Stoke City chief Mark Hughes… Chelsea have made a club record £60m bid for Real Madrid’s 25-year-old Colombia forward James Rodriguez… Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho wants to make Southampton defender Jose Fonte his fifth major signing of the summer, with the 32-year-old still mulling over a new Saints contract… United defender Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, 19, is wanted on loan by Wolves.

Tottenham have rejected a £10m bid from Bundesliga side Schalke for midfielder Nabil Bentaleb… Leicester are ready to switch their attention to Dynamo Kiev defender Aleksandar Dragovic, 25, after having a £15m bid rejected for Burnley defender Michael Keane, 23… Wenger has added Fiorentina’s Davide Astori, 29, to a list of potential centre-backs he wishes to sign… Sunderland boss David Moyes has banned defender Lamine Kone, 27, from the club until the transfer window closes after he rejected the offer of a new contract… Inter Milan defender Mauro Icardi is poised to snub Arsenal and sign a lucrative new contract, which will include an £86m buyout clause.

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