A busy newsday today, with transfer rumours galore and a few interesting interviews as well. Top of the list is the news that Arsenal have launched a formal bid for Palermo striker Paulo Dybala, with Wenger apparently willing to offer up to €40 million for the Serie A striker. In other transfer news, Chelsea have apparently declared their interest in Arsenal winger Theo Walcott while Santi Cazorla has spoken out to rubbish rumours of him moving to Spain.
Meanwhile, Arsenal hater and ‘pundit’ Phil Neville has claimed that Arsenal will be unable to qualify for the Champions League this season. While this seems highly unlikely considering our current position, things like logic have never stopped Neville from making outlandish claims before. Also, ex-Bayern boss Jupp Heynckes has gone on record to call Lukas Podolski ‘stupid’. All this and more in today’s roundup.
Arsenal planning to bolster strikeforce over the summer
In form youngster Paulo Dybala has been making waves in the Serie A this season, and his form has been noticed by several big clubs. With 12 goals in 28 appearances – as well as seven assists – Dybala is starting to look the real deal already, despite being just 21-years-old. Already the target of several transfer bids, Dybala has also attracted the interest of Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.
Palermo had this to say:
Juventus and Arsenal have already made offers for the boy. [Pierpaolo] Triulzi, his agent, will be in Italy on Friday.
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It hasn’t changed. Someone like Dybala cannot be worth less than €40 million. He would prefer to stay in Italy – he still wants to play in Serie A.
Of the English clubs that have shown interest, though, Arsenal is his first choice because of the way [Arsene] Wenger makes his team play.
Chelsea looking to make a move for Walcott?
Our cross-city rivals with the deep pockets may be looking to poach talent from us in the near future, claim the Times.
With Theo Walcott’s contract situation still a mystery and conflicting statements being given by the player and manager, rivals clubs like Liverpool have already begun to circle. And Chelsea might join the waiting list in order to fulfill their home grown quota.
Currently they have just three first-team home grown stars in John Terry, Gary Cahill and former Gunner Cesc Fabregas, with the rest coming from youth team players who hardly feature.
Santi Cazorla shoots down Atletico rumours
In a rare piece of good news on the transfer front, a player has actually declared that he would prefer to stay at Arsenal! Spanish playmaker Santi Cazorla, who has been a breakout player for us this season, has spoken out in the media declaring his happiness at Arsenal and quashing talk of a potential switch to Atletico Madrid over the summer.
Right now I haven’t heard from anybody, it’s just rumours and, to tell the truth, it doesn’t concern me too much. What I’m concerned about is Arsenal, where I’m doing well.
In the future, we’ll see. I like it at Arsenal very much and, as long as the club value me as they have done until now, then I’ll continue.
In London I live in Hampstead, 15 minutes from the centre and 15 from the training ground, and I’m very comfortable. It’s calm, an ideal place to send your children to school. They’re speaking the language so quickly it’s hard to keep up. It is important for them, for my girlfriend and me, of course.
The Spaniard has been in fantastic form recently, and picked up the Player of the Month award twice in a row earlier in the year. He was hugely important to our success during a period of multiple injuries, and stepped up when we really needed him. It would be a bit of a blow to lose him, so it’s fantastic to hear that he has no intentions of moving back to Spain.
Neville’s Arsenal bashing segment: Pundit claims that Arsenal will be unable to qualify for the Champions League
Former Manchester United star turned pundit Phil Neville has made a ridiculous claim regarding the race for the top four, predicting not only that Man United will come second, but that Arsenal will drop out of the top four. The player been widely criticised since beginning his career with the media, and is unlikely to find many people agreeing with him this time around either.
He had this to say:
For me Chelsea are going to win the league. I think they’ll win it with three or four games to spare.
I’m going for an outside bet of Manchester United finishing second and then I’m for City and Liverpool.
Wise words from the insightful man, as always.
Ex-manager criticizes Podolski move
Lukas Podolski has been heavily criticised for his January move to Inter Milan, with former Bayern Munich boss Jupp Heynckes branding the decision to leave Arsenal as stupid. Heynckes, who achieved great success with the German club, has worked with Podolski in the past and claims that the player will find it tough going in the Serie A.
The manager made this statement:
Joining Inter was not the most clever decision from Lukas and his agents.
I worked with him for five weeks at Bayern [before his return to Koln] and he did very well in all five games he played. The people at Bayern did not understand how he had become a completely different player all of a sudden.
With the form that Podolski is in, it is tough to imagine him starting regularly for either Arsenal or Inter Milan.
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