Kosovo beat England to Januzaj call-up: Manchester United starlet Adnan Januzaj will make his international debut for tiny Kosovo next month, according to the Daily Star. The winger has been asked to play in the nation's first ever match against Haiti on March 5, the same night that England play Denmark in a friendly. Januzaj's international allegiance has been the subject of much conjecture since he burst onto the scene with United this season, with England, Belgium, Albania, Turkey and Serbia all vying with Kosovo for his services.
Paper Round's view: The report claims Januzaj is "poised" to feature for Kosovo, although there is no indication from the player or his 'people' that he will take the country up on their offer. And before any gaskets explode, even if he does make what Eroll Salihu, the secretary general of the Football Federation of Kosovo, termed a "symbolic gesture" by pulling on a Kosovo shirt, it doesn't mean he is pledging his international allegiance to the nation - it's just a friendly and will not tie him down to playing for them in the future. So, full marks for the headline - it really does suck you in - but not so much for the actual content of the report.
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Gunners set for disappointment over Arnold: Arsenal target Maximilian Arnold is happy at Wolfsburg and not looking for a new club, reports the Daily Express. The Gunners, along with Juventus, have run the rule over the Germany U21 international, dubbed the 'new Mesut Ozil', and both clubs are keen to make a move once the transfer window re-opens at the end of the season. However, Wolfsburg have the player locked into a contract until 2017, with no release clause, and now his agent has said his client is committed to the Bundesliga side's cause.
Paper Round's view: It's not been a good 24 hours for Arsenal fans, who are still coming to terms with their club's failure to spend any money in January, despite having around £120 million of spare cash lying around in the bank, according to yesterday's financial reports. Baffling. And with one of their top targets apparently set to stay put, it could add up to more frustration for the Gunners next summer.
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Ben Arfa to leave Toon: Newcastle will listen to offers for midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa this summer, reports the Daily Star. Magpies boss Alan Pardew is running out of patience with the injury-plagued Frenchman and "sent out a clear message" midweek when he axed him for the home game against Tottenham, the papers claims. The report adds that Ben Arfa was on the receiving end of a tongue-lashing by Pardew at the end of the game after he came off the bench and infuriated his manager with his poor work rate in the drubbing by Spurs. Pardew is planning a major overhaul of his squad at the end of the season with Sylvain Marveaux also facing the exit door. AC Milan and Marseille are mentioned as possible destinations for Ben Arfa.
Paper Round's view: He may be a fan favourite for the glimpses of brilliance we have all enjoyed since his arrival in the Premier League, but that does not make Ben Arfa a crucial member of Pardew's squad. That he is so talented, yet showcases his class so infrequently, is a shame, but it is increasingly looking like he and Newcastle will be better off after a transfer elsewhere.
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PSG consider move for Luiz: Paris Saint-Germain could make a move for Chelsea defender David Luiz this summer, reports the Daily Star. Barcelona and Bayern Munich are also keen on the Brazilian, but PSG want to beat off their interest to team Luiz with his international team-mate Thiago Silva at the Parc des Princes. The report states that Chelsea would sell Luiz for around £35m.
Paper Round's view: The Daily Mirror reported two days ago that the future of Luiz would be one of this summer's biggest transfer stories, and with PSG now entering the race, it certainly does seem that the saga will be lengthy. PSG may be in pole position for his signature, given their financial clout (Barca would only pay £22m according to the Mirror's report) and the fact that Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has nothing against the Parisian club, unlike Barcelona.
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- Sports & Recreation
- Ben Arfa
- Football Federation of Kosovo