Arsenal Transfer Round Up: Higuain close to Gunners move claims agent
Arsenal are on the verge of making their first big signing of the season after Gonzalo Higuain’s brother has confirmed that the Real Madrid striker is close to joining the North London club in the summer.
The 25-year-old had expressed his desire to leave the club after serving the Los Blancos for seven long years, and was targeted by both Arsenal and Juventus.
The Turin giants refused to match Madrid’s valuation of £25 million for the player and instead switched their attention to Higuain’s international team mate Carlos Tevez.
Nicolas Higuain, the striker’s brother and agent told Italian website www.tuttomercatoweb.com:
“If Tevez joins Juve, is Higuain closer to Arsenal? I think so.
“Juventus is a great club, but Gonzalo is too expensive for them. Napoli are a strong team. Having said that, I cannot deny that Gonzalo is now close to Arsenal.”
Arsenal will break the club’s transfer record by landing him for £22 million while the striker is expected to be on £130,000 per week wages.
Only yesterday, the Catalan based newspaper Sport reported that Barcelona are interested in a swap deal plus cash with the Red Devils (Thiago Alcantara going the other way) for the England international. The English tabloid on their back page of Thursday edition now claims (an exclusive from David Wood) that the Gunners are stepping up the chase to sign Rooney from Manchester United.
According to their report, The Gunners have put together a package to lure Rooney and they are convinced of holding a realistic chance of bringing the maverick to the Emirates this summer.
Moving on to some other stories, defender Laurent Koscielny has played down rumours of a summer switch to Bayern Munich by insisting that he is totally committed to the project at Arsenal.
The 27-year-old is tied with a long term contract at Arsenal and the defender wishes to respect that agreement.
The Gunners are also keen on signing young French midfielder Gilbert Imbula, who is valued at £8 million by the recently promoted Ligue 1 side Guingamp. The 20-year-old is also a target of Roma, with new French coach, Rudi Garcia, has now earmarked Imbula as a key summer signing.
Arsenal are set to miss out on Lille wing-wizard Dimitri Payet, who is on the verge of joining Marseille. The 26-year-old, who provided 22 assists last season, was strongly linked with a move to Arsenal a fortnight ago, but French newspaper L’Equipe claims that Marseille have sealed a €10 million deal for Payet.
German club Hannover are getting closer to wrapping up a deal for Arsenal defender Johan Djourou. The 26-year-old has dropped down the pecking orders at the club and has only made 34 Premier League starts since joining the club in 2009.
Finally, Arsenal are going to miss out on yet another target, left-back Benjamin Mendy, who has been given the permission by his club to open talks with Sunderland.
The 18-year-old was chased by Arsenal and were willing to offer £2.5 million for him, but according to reports from Daily Mail, Le Havre wanted the bid to be doubled and they now have agreed a deal of around £5 million with the Black Cats.