MORE AUBAMEYANG AND EVANS TO ARSENAL TALK
It’s fair to say that the success of Arsenal’s January transfer window does not rest on the signing of Henrikh Mkhitaryan to replace Alexis Sanchez. But if Arsenal could sign Jonny Evans and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as well, that would have to be considered strong work.
Those two transfers are the subject of much chatter on Wednesday. Arsene Wenger said on Tuesday that no deals were close to being completed, but that’s him simply playing down expectation.
Bild say that Arsenal have increased their bid from £48.3m to £50.9m for Aubameyang, and are waiting to discover whether that small jump will be enough to persuade Dortmund to sell.
On BBC Radio 5Live, Rafa Honigstein said that the deal might depend on Arsenal’s willingness to include Olivier Giroud as part of the deal.
Finally, the Daily Telegraph report that Arsenal will sign both Aubameyang and Evans for a combined £75m. The split would be roughly £20m for Evans and £55m for Aubameyang.
MAN CITY CLOSING IN ON LAPORTE AND FRED
Manchester City have decided to get busy, and the rumours about Aymeric Laporte just won’t go away.
Sam Lee at Goal – their City guy – reported the increased interest in Laporte despite being knocked back by him previously, and the Guardian add their own slant on the same story on Wednesday. They say that City are prepared to pay Laporte’s £61.5m release clause. That’s in preference to signing Jonny Evans or Inigo Martinez.
The Guardian also add that City might sign Fred (sadly not that one) in January rather than wait until the summer. Shakhtar would be prepared to sell the 24-year-old Brazilian defensive midfielder for a fee of £35m, which makes us suspicious that Fred is a clone of Fernandinho.
It’s worth noting that Fred can also play at left-back, helpful given that Fabian Delph and Benjamin Mendy are both injured.
LIVERPOOL IN FOR BRAZILIAN LUAN
Off to Yahoo Sport now, and our old friend Duncan Castles. Castles claims that Liverpool are in talks with Gremio for forward Luan.
There’s not much to find fault with here. Luan is young, exciting, the reigning South American Player of the Year and has a reported release clause of €18m. Why the heck wouldn’t you try and get involved?
We do appreciate the snide in this paragraph from Castles:
‘Liverpool have had significant success recruiting, then selling on, South American forwards during Fenway Sports Group ownership of the club, seeing first Luis Suarez then Philippe Coutinho establish themselves as the club’s best footballer before taking club record transfer fees from Barcelona for both.’
AND THE REST
Nicolas Gaitan will be offered £120,000 a week to join Swansea… Raheem Sterling will be the next Manchester City player to sign a new contract… West Ham are still in talks with Inter over midfielder Joao Mario… West Brom want to sign Andre Schurrle on loan… Brighton have made a bid for Newcastle striker Aleksandar Mitrovic… Newcastle themselves want striker Nicolai Jorgensen.