The transfer rumour mill is churning out plenty of interesting pieces of gossip, with Arsenal in the market for a defender and a former Gunners legend linked with a return to the Premier League.
Shkodran Mustafi to Arsenal (Daily Star)
Reports claim Arsenal will table an offer of £20million for Valencia defender Shkodran Mustafi. Arsene Wenger is looking to tie up a deal for a defender ahead of the Gunners’ Premier League opener against Liverpool on August 14th, according to Goal.com. Wenger will have to manage without Per Mertesacker for the first game of the season, while Gabriel has tonsillitis and Laurent Koscielny has been afforded an extended break following Euro 2016.
Arsenal had their initial £15million bid rejected for the Germany international and reports suggest that the north London club will go in with a bigger offer of £20million over the next week. Wenger remained coy on the subject at a recent press conference, saying: “We have not closed any deal with anybody at the moment. That’s the answer. You speak about Mustafi. Is it Mustafi or anybody else – we haven’t concluded anything at the moment.”
Rumour ratings: 8/10. Although the Gunners’ main objective is to bring in a new forward to support Olivier Giroud, the possibly of starting the season with Calum Chambers and Rob Holding as the starting centre-back pairing will force Wenger into the market. Mustafi seems a good fit for the right price.
Robin van Persie to Stoke (The Mirror)
Stoke manager Mark Hughes is ready to step up his interest in Fenerbahce striker Robin van Persie this week, according to the Daily Mirror. The former Arsenal and Manchester United striker scored 22 goals for the Turkish side in all competitions last season and is understood to be interesting the Potters boss. Van Persie is thought to be keen on a return to the Premier League after becoming unsettled in Turkey.
The Dutchman was prolific in his Premier League spell – scoring 144 goals – but would have to take a significant pay cut to return to England, as he is on wages of around £240,000-a-week at Fenerbahce. Hughes is still rumoured to be after West Brom striker Saido Berahino and the potential combination of the 22-year-old and Van Persie in attack will be getting Stoke fans excited for the upcoming campaign.
Rumour ratings: 5/10. Van Persie will struggle to pick up similar wages in the Premier League, so we’re backing him to remain in Turkey.
Fernando Llorente to Swansea (Daily Mirror)
Swansea are closing in on a £5million deal for Sevilla striker Fernando Llorente, according to the Daily Mirror. Eder, Alberto Paloschi and Bafetimbi Gomis have all left the Liberty Stadium this summer and the club have made the Spanish goalscorer one of their main targets. Llorente has collected a good haul of trophies during his career, including three Serie A titles with Juventus, a World Cup with Spain and a Europa League with Sevilla last term.
The Spain international is likely to only play a bit part under new Sevilla boss Jorge Sampaoli this campaign and he has jumped at the chance of a move. Sevilla’s sporting director Monchi has indicated that talks with the Premier League club have reached an advanced stage.
“It has come a long way with Swansea to reach an agreement, we expect to hear in the coming days,” Monchi told the official Sevilla website.
Rumour ratings: 10/10. This transfer could be announced in the next few days by the sounds of things. Nailed on!
Marc-Andre ter Stegen to Manchester City (Daily Mail)
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is keeping positive about his chances of landing Barcelona keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, according to the Daily Mail. The new manager at the Etihad Stadium isn’t giving up hope of landing the German keeper after it emerged the stopper has called for clear the air talks with the Barca hierarchy.
Luis Enrique is thought to be reluctant to provide Ter Stegen with assurances that he will be the starting keeper in La Liga as well as the Champions League next season. Enrique is a fan of Claudio Bravo – the other goalkeeper at the Camp Nou – and is likely to provide him with some playing time this campaign. The situation could lead to Ter Stegen considering his future at the club and seeking a move away if he isn’t guaranteed to be the club’s number one.
Rumour ratings: 3/10. Barcelona Sporting Director Robert Fernandez is understood to be more likely to let 33-year-old Bravo leave than a young Ter Stegen. Any deal would rely on Manchester City meeting a substantial valuation, the keeper wanting to leave and Barca finding a suitable replacement. Too many variables!