World Football Gossip Roundup: Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Wesley Sneijder, Ballon d'Or

Michael Cummings@MikeCummings37World Football Lead WriterDecember 4, 2012

World Football Gossip Roundup: Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Wesley Sneijder, Ballon d'Or

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    The pressure is on at Arsenal. Will Arsene Wenger finally break the bank?

    Arsenal's spending plans for the January transfer window lead this Tuesday edition of the B/R World Football Gossip Roundup. The Gunners are being linked with a number of players across Europe, and we've got all the details inside.

    Elsewhere, we have updates on Robert Lewandowski, Wesley Sneijder, Rafa Benitez and the Ballon d'Or.

    Keep reading for all the details.

Arsenal Planning Winter Shopping Spree?

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    Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who says he would not trade places with big-spending Manchester City (via The Telegraph), wants to sign Schalke forward Klaas-Jan Huntelaar for £6 million in January, according to the Daily Mail.

    Huntelaar (pictured, right) is out of contract at the end of the season and is thought to be available. The 29-year-old scored 48 goals in all competitions last season.

    According to the Mail, a move for Huntelaar could be part of a larger spending spree. Also mentioned were Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha, Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina and former Arsenal striker Thierry Henry, who would rejoin on loan.

    According to The Sun, Wenger also wants to sign striker Demba Ba from Newcastle. Ba, 27, is the Premier League's joint-top scorer with 10 goals this season and could be available if Arsenal trigger his reported £7.5 million buyout clause.

Juventus, Manchester United Interested in Robert Lewandowski?

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    Juventus have increased their interest in Borussia Dortmund forward Robert Lewandowski, according to

    Lewandowski, 24, is under contract through the end of next season. Juventus reportedly will move for him at the end of the current campaign.

    Meanwhile, The Telegraph reports that Manchester United are ready to wait until the end of the season to bid again on Lewandowski. United were thought to be interested in the Polish forward last summer.

    According to the report, Dortmund have placed a €30 million price tag on Lewandowski.

Wesley Sneijder Latest

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    Showdown talks between Inter Milan and Dutch midfielder Wesley Sneijder broke down Monday, according to The Guardian.

    Inter reportedly told Sneijder, 28, to take a pay cut. Sneijder has a contract with Inter until 2015 but is thought to be available for a €15 million transfer.

    Manchester United and Manchester City are thought to be interested.

    Last week, Inter president denied reports that the club were "blackmailing" Sneijder. FIFPro alleged that Inter had threatened not to let Sneijder play again until he accepted reduced wages (via ESPN FC).

    According to, Massimo Moratti has said Inter have received no offers for Sneijder.

Chelsea Manager Rafa Benitez Does Not Want Avram Grant Around

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    Rafael Benitez has told Chelsea he does not want former manager Avram Grant to return to the club (via The Guardian).

    Benitez took over as Chelsea manager last month after the sacking of Roberto Di Matteo. Di Matteo, a former Chelsea player, had been in his first year as full-time manager after leading the club to Champions League and FA Cup titles last spring.

    On Monday, Chelsea denied reports that Grant could return to the club to serve as an adviser to Benitez. Grant managed Chelsea from 2007 to 2008.

    The report also says Benitez might not be fired if Chelsea are eliminated from the Champions League this week.

Neymar: Lionel Messi Should Win Ballon d'Or

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    Neymar says Barcelona forward Lionel Messi (pictured) should win the FIFA Ballon d'Or ahead of Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo (via

    According to Globoesporte, the 20-year-old Brazilian forward said: "The winner will be Messi because he has had an extraordinary season. Ronaldo has had a great season too and so it will be close and exciting, but Messi should be the winner."

    Neymar also reportedly said he is not ready for a move from Santos to Europe.