ARSENAL OPEN BIDDING FOR XHAKA
This is pretty bold from the Daily Mirror, who claim that Arsenal have actually ‘made an opening offer worth around £24m’ for Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Granit Xhaka. Not ‘showed an interest’ or ‘prepared to make a bid’ but actually offered £24m to the German club, who are apparently holding out for closer to £32m. If – for argument’s sake – they settle on £28m, he will be Arsene Wenger’s third most expensive signing as Gunners boss, behind Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez.
Wenger is said to have had Xhaka watched over 30 times this season and has presumably decided he is better than Mathieu Flamini, Tomas Rosicky or Mikel Arteta, all of which will leave Arsenal this summer.
Meanwhile, the Daily Mirror also claim that Jose Fonte is trying to persuade Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to return to Southampton. The England midfielder is likely to be available this summer – with West Ham, Manchester City and Chelsea also mentioned.
MAN UNITED WANT ROBERTSON
This is one we missed on Sunday but is certainly worth a revival on a quiet Monday – The Sun claim that Hull left-back Andrew Robertson is a £15m target for Manchester United. This sounds like wonderful nonsense to us, because we cannot fathom why United would sign a 22-year-old left-back when they have an astonishingly good 20-year-old about to return from injury; we suspect that Marcos Rojo will offer perfectly adequate back-up for Shaw once he becomes unquestionably first choice again.
The Sun say that Louis van Gaal ‘will have an £80m transfer war chest if he stays in his job’ – which looks like a pretty big caveat after Sunday’s humiliation at the hands of Tottenham.
BIELSA FOR EVERTON?
This is a pretty big shout from the Brazilian version of the Goal website, who claim that Everton have sounded out former Argentina and Chile boss Marcelo Bielsa to be their next manager as pressure grows on Roberto Martinez; there were even banners at Watford on Saturday. Bielsa has made his interest in managing in the Premier League very clear, and there were pretty strong links to Swansea before Francesco Guidolin took the job.
AND THE REST
Nigel Pearson and David Moyes are the leading contenders for the Aston Villa job…Swansea City will make a renewed attempt to lure back Brendan Rodgers as the club edge towards a takeover worth a potential £140million…Arsenal and Leicester City are interested in Marseille midfielder Mario Lemina, who is currently on loan at Juventus…Arsenal are tracking Boca Juniors teenager Rodrigo Bentancur…Gokhan Tore fears being priced out of Premier League return with West Ham, with Besiktas looking for £24million…Stoke City want to offload Peter Odemwingie, Steve Sidwell and Peter Crouch this summer…Bournemouth are tracking Udinese midfielder Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu.