Zlatan’s refusal to do a trial scuppered a move to Arsenal in 2000. Sixteen years on, and the Swedish striker could finally join the Gunners.
The Paris Saint-Germain forward has been offered to the club, according to John Cross of the Daily Mirror. The Zlatan hype machine is in full flow. Cross reports that the 34-year-old ‘would prefer a move to London’, and that Arsenal ‘could be interested’.
Cross claims that Arsenal will target a striker in the summer, and that Ibrahimovic appeals as he is a free agent when his deal expires in the summer, and because he is quite good. A midfielder and a centre-half are also on his wishlist. Of course they are.
Predictably enough, Arsene Wenger will face competition for his signature. From Jose Mourinho, no less. Cross reports that, if Mourinho is appointed as Manchester United manager, he ‘would be very keen’ to sign him. As would most clubs, presumably.
CHELSEA WANT EVERYONE
After their Champions League exit at the hands of PSG, Chelsea’s season is more or less over. The club are 10th, and still harbour slim hopes of Europa League qualification, sitting seven points behind sixth-placed Manchester United, but that would require the teams above them to suffer the sort of collapse which has put them in this mess.
Guus Hiddink will leave his role as interim manager in the summer, likely to be replaced by Antonio Conte, who leaves his role as Italy head coach after Euro 2016. But the club will still need new players. A centre-back partnership of Branislav Ivanovic and Gary Cahill will not strike fear into the hearts of strikers across the land.
Sam Wallace of the Daily Telegraph has the answer. He claims that Conte will pursue Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci – if John Terry leaves. Terry’s deal expires in the summer, and there have been no talks regarding a renewal. Bonucci, 28, played under Conte during the latter’s three-year spell as Juve boss.
‘Chelsea want Conte to work with the existing squad and do not anticipate major changes in the summer,’ Wallace writes. No-one has told the Daily Mirror or The Sun. The Mirror links the club with Leicester midfielder N’Golo Kante. ‘The Blues will spend big in their summer revamp,’ says Darren Lewis. Well, which one is it?
As for The Sun, Graeme Bryce runs with the exclusive that the Blues have already had a bid rejected for a defender. Roma centre-half Kostas Manolas is the man, and Chelsea bid an initial £26million for him. Bryce reports that an offer of £35million for the 24-year-old would be accepted.
That’s not the only Sun exclusive on Friday morning. Phil Cadden tells us that Vincent Kompany is a goner.
‘Manchester City want to sell captain Vincent Kompany once Pep Guardiola arrives,’ reads the headline. Cadden reports that the incoming Guardiola ‘wants to overhaul the club’s defence’, and the walking injury that is captain Kompany has been placed on the transfer list.
Guardiola’s preference for a technically capable defender is thought to be the reason behind Kompany’s planned exit. Cadden offers another reason: “To send a message that no one is guaranteed a place in his first City squad.”
Just tell them?
AND THE REST
Arsenal and Tottenham are tracking Portugal U17 midfielder Domingos Quina…Liverpool youngster Jerome Sinclair – a 19-year-old striker – will join Watford this summer…Manchester United are reportedly ready to make a bid this summer for Brazilian teenage midfielder Thiago Maia, 18, who plays with Santos…David Alaba has revealed he is in talks about signing a new deal with Bayern Munich with the 23-year-old Austrian midfielder/defender tipped for a switch to Manchester City…Antonio Conte will not have total control of transfers when he takes over at Chelsea this summer…Sassuolo striker Domenico Beradi could still make the switch to Tottenham this summer, according to his agent…Stoke have set their sights on France international striker Andre-Pierre Gignac.