Paper Gossip: Eto'o Wants Arsenal Move, Atleti Eye Negredo and More
The World Cup is firmly on the horizon for many, but for club managers and their boards, the focus is on the summer transfer window.
It seems the papers are also transfixed by transfer talk, as they are awash with gossip.
We take a look at what is making the news in Friday's iteration of the Paper News and Gossip Roundup.
Arsenal Fail with Juanfran Move
Arsenal have been knocked back in their attempt to sign Juanfran from Atletico Madrid, according to the Mirror’s John Cross.
The Gunners are seeking a replacement for Manchester City-bound Bacary Sagna, and Cross claims a move was made for Juanfran.
The Mirror scribe suggests a £9 million bid was tabled, but the Gunners were informed that the Spain international had no desire to move on from Atletico.
Negredo in Atletico's Sights
Cross is all over Atletico Madrid, as he claims the Spanish champions are on the hunt for Manchester City forward Alvaro Negredo.
As Cross states in The Mirror, Atletico are likely to have a gap in their squad in the coming months as Chelsea continue their pursuit of Diego Costa.
Atleti boss Diego Simeone is intent on filling any void, and Cross suggests City forward Negredo is his chosen target.
Cross claims Atleti are also keen on Tottenham’s Roberto Soldado, but that there may be a better chance of landing Negredo due to the wealth of attacking options at City’s disposal.
Chelsea to Battle City for Benatia
Chelsea have moved ahead of Manchester City in the race for Roma defender Mehdi Benatia, per a report from the Express’ Anthony Chapman.
In Chapman’s piece, he states City have been courting the centre-half for some time but now Chelsea have stolen ahead in the race.
According to Chapman, Chelsea have trumped City by tabling an £18 million bid plus striker Romelu Lukaku.
Eto'o Focused on Arsenal Move
Samuel Eto’o is keen on a move to Arsenal, according to Cross in the Mirror.
The Cameroon forward is a free agent following his release from Chelsea, but Cross claims the forward has unfinished business in the Premier League and wants to prove a point to Blues boss Mourinho.
Cross claims Eto’o’s representatives have been in contact with Arsenal and told the Gunners a move to the Emirates is the forward’s No. 1 priority.
No Tottenham Loan Exit for Lamela
Changes are to be made at Tottenham Hotspur following the arrival of manager Mauricio Pochettino.
According to Simon Jones of the Mail, Erik Lamela will be allowed to move on—but only if interested clubs come close to Spurs’ £25 million valuation.
Jones is adamant that any loan approaches will be dismissed out of hand for a player who has made little impression since arriving from Roma last summer.
Jones suggests striker Roberto Soldado is keen on a move away from Tottenham, with Atletico Madrid a potential destination.
Spurs Line Up Forster Amid Lloris Exit Fears
The future of Tottenham keeper Hugo Lloris has been speculated upon for some time, and the Mail’s Sami Mokbel claims Spurs are looking at alternative options.
Per Mokbel, Spurs are so concerned about the prospect of losing France international Lloris that they have set their sights on Celtic’s England keeper Fraser Forster as a potential replacement.
Mokbel suggests Spurs boss Pochettino will hold “crunch talks with Lloris at the earliest opportunity” to gauge the keeper’s thoughts.
The line from Mokbel is that Spurs do not want to get caught on the hop should Lloris seek out a move, and Forster is a potential replacement.
Lambert on Brink of Liverpool Switch
Rickie Lambert is focusing on the World Cup with England, but he could have his head turned by talk of a move to Liverpool.
The Mail’s Dominic King and Sami Mokbel claim the Reds are “on the brink of signing Rickie Lambert after they launched a shock £4 million bid for the England striker.”
"Shock" certainly is an apt description, as a move for Lambert is not one many felt Reds boss Brendan Rodgers would consider in his bid to beef up his squad.
The pair suggest Southampton forward Lambert will be allowed to break off from England’s preparations in order to undergo a medical and thrash out a deal over the weekend.
Big World Cup Pot Awaits England's Squad
The pride of representing the Three Lions is not the only thing driving England on at the World Cup, as Charles Sale of the Mail claims a £350,000 incentive is awaiting the players if they win the World Cup.
It is a big if, given the task ahead, but Sale reveals there is more than just pride at stake.
Sale does state that the players will donate their match fees to charity, but a sizeable pot awaits them if they do defy the odds and take glory in Brazil.
Guilavogui on Everton's Radar
Everton are looking to beef up their midfield with a move for Josuha Guilavogui from Atletico Madrid, according to Simon Jones of the Mail.
Jones claims Atletico are ready to offload a player they signed from French outfit St Etienne last summer.
Toffees boss Roberto Martinez is keen, according to Jones, either on a permanent deal or loan move.
Bits and Pieces: Liverpool Want Moreno, Diame Eyes Top-Six Move and More
Liverpool have made a £16.2 million bid for Sevilla left-back Alberto Moreno, per a report from the Star's Chris McKenna.
St Patrick's Athletic winger Christopher Forrester is a target for clubs in the top two divisions in England, per a report from Jones in the Mail.
West Ham United midfielder Mohamed Diame has his sights fixed on a move to a side in the Premier League's top six, again according to Jones of the Mail.