Paper News & Gossip: Arsenal Want Alcacer, Saints Admit Stars Could Go
Thursday's newspapers are dominated by reaction to the exit of another English side from the Champions League, but there is still space for a little bit of transfer gossip.
It seems Arsenal remain busy in the scouting market ahead of the summer transfer window, while comments from the new Southampton chairman might have just piqued the interest of some of the Premier League's biggest sides as they contemplate bids for the likes of Luke Shaw.
For those stories and more, click on...
Arsenal Continue to Scout Paco Alcacer Ahead of Summer Bid
Arsenal are closely monitoring Valencia forward Francisco "Paco" Alcacer, reports the Daily Mirror.
The Gunners have reportedly scouted the Spain Under-21 international four times in recent months, as they plan to strengthen their forward line in the summer.
Neil Rowland writes:
Arsenal boss Wenger has had the Spain Under-21 striker watched four times in the last month as he looks to strengthen his strike-force this summer.
The 20-year-old has come through the ranks at Valencia, his local side, and was a prolific scorer for their B team before promotion to the senior squad.
Alcacer, who spent last season on loan at Getafe, has played for Spain at every age-group level from Under-16s to U21s.
He has scored nine goals for Valencia in 19 appearances this season—including the winner as they beat Barcelona 3-2 at the Nou Camp in February.
Schalke’s Julian Draxler and Real Madrid starlet Alvaro Morata remain at the top of the Gunners' wish-list this summer.
Valencia are also trying to tie down left-back Juan Bernat with a new deal to scare off Manchester United, who have been keeping an eye on him.
Marchisio Denies Premier League Interest as He Starts New Juventus Talks
Italy international Claudio Marchisio is hoping to begin contract renewal talks with Juventus at the end of the season, despite interest from Premier League sides in his services.
Marchisio has claimed there has been some interest in him from English clubs—most notably Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United—but he has not received any concrete offers and is happy to commit his long-term future to the Serie A side.
With two years left to run on his current deal, however, he is in no rush to get his future sorted quickly.
The Daily Express reports:
The 28-year-old has been heavily linked with a switch from Serie A to one of the three Premier League clubs since the summer.
But Marchisio claims there has been no official contact and remains committed to the Italian giants.
Speaking of interest from England, he said: 'Sometimes I have received phone calls from agents who told me of the interest of clubs such as Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool.
But no one from these clubs, however, has ever contacted directly us. And in case I would tell them to talk to Juve.'
Marchisio has another two years running on his current deal in Turin and his agent and father Stefano Marchisio insists that a new contract is not a concern at the moment.
Evra to Inter Milan a Done Deal?
Patrice Evra will snub a contract extension from Manchester United in order to join Nemanja Vidic at Inter Milan, according to The Sun (subscription required).
The left-back's future has been the subject of much speculation in recent months, but The Sun claims in an exclusive that he has opted to follow team-mate Vidic in moving to the San Siro.
Neil Custis reports that Evra has agreed to the switch to Serie A—although it remains to be seen if that proves the case, with the 32-year-old already contemplating a contract extension from United and likely to receive interest from other clubs as his current deal heads to its conclusion.
Southampton Could Yet Sell Lallana and Shaw
Newly appointed Southampton chairman Ralph Krueger has acknowledged that the club could sell their brightest stars for the right price, according to The Times (subscription required).
Krueger, who was named as the man to replace Nicola Cortese at St Mary's on Wednesday, sought to immediately give the club's fans assurances about the future—but he was unable to confirm that the likes of Adam Lallana and Luke Shaw would stay at the club long-term.
Both players have become full England internationals this season and, with some top clubs sniffing around Shaw in particular, Krueger admitted players could be sold to ensure the financial self-sufficiency of the club.
Rory Smith writes:
The only note of caution came when Krueger was asked whether he could guarantee the club will not be forced to sell any of their crop of bright young things this summer.
[Southampton owner Katharina] Liebherr, he said, wants Southampton to be self-sustaining, improving their commercial performance, and while they will not let the likes of Luke Shaw go easily that may come at a price.
'We will live within our means,' he said. 'We are going to earn every single thing we do here, and we will have to pay a price for that. We want to build a strong foundation, with improved commercial growth, and we will do everything possible to retain the players as long as possible.'
Sandro Claims Spurs Squad Argued for 'Two Hours' After Chelsea Loss
Spurs midfielder Sandro has claimed the players argued amongst each other for two hours following the weekend's Premier League defeat to Chelsea.
Head coach Tim Sherwood tore into his players following the 4-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge, suggesting that some of the players involved would have forgotten about the game by the time they left the ground.
Sandro, however, has denied that was the case—saying the players stayed around to debate what had gone wrong.
In a report from the Daily Mirror:
Now, the north Londoners' Brazilian midfielder Sandro has revealed strong words were also spoken behind closed doors—first by Sherwood and then in a heated exchange involving the whole squad.
'We spent more than two hours in a meeting amongst the players and we said what we had to say,' Sandro said. 'Everyone was shouting.
'Every player had their fair share to say, let’s put it this way. We all spoke amongst ourselves.
'The manager said the same thing to us as what he said to the press. We had our meeting post-match—sometimes one player got a bit more stressed out and we tried to calm him down and talk in a nice way. We spent about two hours that way.
'In the past, we probably didn't say anything because we didn't want anyone to take it the wrong way. From now on we will pull our sleeves up and tell whoever is not doing their job.
'It is not only the new players. It is everyone. No-one said things before. But now everyone knows. I think everyone can go for it now. This is going to help us.
'We need to show a bit more in next match, to tell the manager that we care. We will do that.'
Bits and Pieces: Marko Marin to Finally Leave,
Marko Marin has confirmed he expects to leave Chelsea in the summer, according to the Daily Star, after expressing his interest in staying at Sevilla for the rest of his career.
Nicklas Bendtner has been involved in another bizarre incident, per the Daily Mirror—apparently "going berserk" at a taxi driver on the night of Arsenal's Champions League exit.
Javier Hernandez's agent has denied recent speculation linking the forward to Inter Milan, as per the Daily Star.
Basel have pinpointed Arsenal goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski as a possible replacement for the departing Yann Sommer, according to The Sun (subscription required).
Wigan Athletic hope to sign Manchester City midfielder Jack Rodwell on an emergency loan, according to the Daily Mirror.