PSG join United and Arsenal in Ozil scrap: With Real spending £80 million or £86m on Bale, depending on which club’s PR department you believe, Mesut Ozil has been deemed surplus to requirements. Manchester United had been tentatively linked with the Germany playmaker for a number of weeks, but Arsenal have emerged as surprise contenders with a £40m bid (The Sun). The Daily Mail add Paris Saint-Germain to the mix in what could be the biggest move of the day.
Paper Round’s view: While there is an air of desperation about both Arsenal and United’s transfer dealings, Ozil is a pretty good panic buy. United appear to have the greater need for a creative midfielder, with Arsenal surely better served by finding a world-class striker, goalkeeper and some tough, physical players. PSG is an interesting last-minute entry to the cocktail, but it does seem Ozil will come to the Premier League.
Di Maria, Hernandez, Ba, Viviano all set for Gunners: In addition to Ozil, Arsenal are also supposedly preparing a £35m offer for Argentina winger Angel Di Maria. The former Benfica man has been a first-team player for Los Merengues, but the purchase of Bale – and great form of new signing Isco – means he joins Ozil on the Bernabeu ‘surplus’ list. Additionally, the Daily Mirror claims Arsenal are lining up Palermo pair Emiliano Viviano (goalkeeper) and Abel Hernandez (striker), plus Chelsea outcast Demba Ba.
Paper Round’s view: Again, this seems like a strange priority for a team shorter on several positions than they are in attacking midfield, but Wenger has always targeted this type of player and injuries to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Lukas Podolski have left the Gunners a bit light out wide. Unless one of the big-spending French clubs – or United – move for Di Maria, expect Arsenal to seal this deal.
Everton ask for Zaha as Fellaini sweetener: Toffess boss Roberto Martinez is bracing himself for a late final bid from Manchester United for Marouane Fellaini, who has been tipped to hand in a transfer request to force the transfer. And with the clubs in disagreement over a fee, Everton want to take United winger Wilfried Zaha on loan for the season. The Mirror also claims ex-Wigan boss Martinez has offered £7m to his former club for midfielder James McCarthy to be Fellaini’s direct replacement, while the Daily Mail says a £12.5m deal has been agreed. The Mirror adds that Gareth Barry is also on Everton’s radar, with the Mail adding Feyenoord’s Bruno Martins and Blackpool’s Tom Ince to the wishlist.
Paper Round’s view: Zaha does not appear to have convinced David Moyes that he is worthy of a starting place at this stage of his career, so a loan deal is an interesting proposal grounded in logic. Fellaini could well demand a move too, as he has been angling for a big club since January. Having labelled United’s £28m double-bid for Fellaini and Leighton Baines ‘derisory’, Martinez’s cut-price pursuit of the exciting McCarthy smacks of hypocrisy. A fee of £10-15m does seem more likely for the Ireland playmaker but, ultimately, if Everton do sell Fellaini, this deal will almost certainly happen.
'Arry plans Spurs swoop: With Tottenham's pre-emptive use of the Bale money to turn themselves into the North London Globetrotters, there will be several former first-teamers looking for a new club. And what better switch than the brief trip to White City for a reunion with former Spurs boss Harry Redknapp? QPR have shifted a few big earners and, top of the Championship, are looking to inject some Premier League quality in their hunt for an immediate return to the top flight. A bid for Jermain Defoe was rejected by the player, but Emmanuel Adebayor and Benoit Assou-Ekotto will barely figure this campaign and have been tipped with a move to QPR.
Paper Round’s view: While they will be on the lookout for first-team football, it would be hard to imagine two of football’s great mercenaries taking any sort of wage cut to trot out in the Championship. Spurs would have to cover a large chunk of Adebayor’s wages in particular, and surely a move to Besiktas would suit all parties better? Assou-Ekotto would be more likely to move, but again he will see himself as a Premier League player. Ambitious and unlikely.
Arsenal and United set to be biggest movers: The Telegraph quite helpfully list the top 10 potential deadline-day transfers in England. Arsenal and Manchester United are involved in nine of the 10, with the only other deal McCarthy to Everton - which in itself is probably dependent on those two clubs' business. Deals not already mentioned here are Daniele De Rossi (Roma), Ander Herrera (Athletic Bilbao) and Leighton Baines (Everton) all going to United, with Yohan Cabaye (Newcastle), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid) and Julian Draxler (Schalke) all still linked to Arsenal.
Paper Round’s view: One can't help but wonder if journalists are hedging their bets by creating lists like this, but with United and Arsenal probably the biggest flops in the market so far, you have to expect at least a couple of these deals to go through. The least likely appear to be De Rossi, Draxler and Benzema, but really who knows at this stage?
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