PEREIRA TO ARSENAL
Wednesday brought the rumour that Arsenal were targeting Wolfsburg left-back Ricardo Rodriguez, but Thursday brings a new name into the mix: Porto’s Ricardo Pereira.
In the Daily Star, chief football writer Dave Woods writes that Arsenal want the defender, who can play left or right-back. Pereira is currently on loan at Nice for the season, but has been getting huge praise for his performances. Nice are top of Ligue Un.
Pereira was left out of Portugal’s squad for Euro 2016 and has made just two senior appearances by the age of 23. That reported price tag of £20m does seem very high.
WEST HAM WILL UP DEFOE BID AND HE WANTS MOVE
Well, West Ham’s transfer window got interesting on Wednesday. The club reportedly had bids for Jermain Defoe (£6m) and Brentford’s Scott Hogan (£10m) turned down, but they are unlikely to stop there.
The Daily Telegraph report that West Ham will increase their bid for Defoe to £15m, which is all a bit weird. I can perfectly understand why Sunderland would not sell at any price (he’s their best hope of staying up), but is it really worth splashing the cash on a 34-year-old striker? At some point you just have to think ‘OK, that one isn’t going to happen’.
That said, The Sun report that Defoe would fancy the move back to London, which comes as much less of a surprise. He better start buttering up to Sunderland, then.
GUARDIOLA TO GET RID OF KOLAROV
Strange one this, but The Sun say that Aleksandar Kolarov will leave Manchester City in the summer after not being offered a new contract. Strange not because Kolarov is brilliant (he’s absolutely sodding not), but because he has played more minutes than any other City outfield player this season.
We have to level with you: This one is a Daniel Cutts exclusive, so could be absolute guff. It says that Kolarov will leave after not being offered a new deal, but then goes on to say that ‘Guardiola is weighing up a decision on whether to let him leave, as he looks to overhaul his squad’.
Expect the new contract in the coming weeks.
AND THE REST
Chelsea are ready to cut short Patrick Bamford’s dismal loan spell at Burnley… Former England U21 and Manchester United midfielder Ravel Morrison has been invited to train with Wigan after being released by Lazio… Southampton boss Claude Puel is plotting a £17m swoop for Napoli frontman Manolo Gabbiadini… Norwich want at least £12m for in-demand Robbie Brady, with Leicester, Crystal Palace, Burnley, Swansea, Newcastle and Aston Villa all keen… Galatasaray are plotting a surprise £8.5m move for out-of-favour Middlesbrough defender Daniel Ayala… RB Leipzig have submitted a £6m offer for the 19-year-old Nottingham Forest midfielder Matty Cash… West Ham have ruled out selling star Dimitri Payet to his former club Marseille.