Summer Transfer Window Gossip: Gareth Bale, Gonzalo Higuain, Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Karl Matchett@@karlmatchettFeatured ColumnistJune 16, 2013

Summer Transfer Window Gossip: Gareth Bale, Gonzalo Higuain, Henrikh Mkhitaryan

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    Welcome to Sunday's edition of the world football summer transfer window gossip column here on Bleacher Report, where headliners this time around include a record-breaking striker in the sights of Arsenal, another huge Monaco deal and the very latest on Gareth Bale.

    Liverpool also feature in our latest rundown of the day's big rumours, where Brendan Rodgers seems to be getting his work done extremely early this summer in preparation of a top-four assault next season.

    Don't let international tournaments get in the way of your transfer buzz fix—read on for all the latest from around Europe on who's going where.

Gareth Bale

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    Gareth Bale is set to be one of the players who features prominently for the whole of summer in the gossip columns, with his Tottenham Hotspur future still seemingly up for debate.

    Real Madrid have been credited with the most interest, but now Marca's Victor Vago is reporting that Manchester United are the big threat to the Spanish side's attempts to prise Bale from the Premier League.

    The report indicates that Bale knows his club want to keep him for at least one season further, but that the player himself wishes to move to Spain and Madrid.

    Spurs chairman Daniel Levy is said to not be considering anything worth less than €90 million for Bale—that's about £80 million or $120 million.

Marco Van Ginkel to Manchester United?

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    Manchester United may well be interested in signing Gareth Bale, but their attentions are also focused elsewhere, according to John Richardson of the Express.

    Reports are stating that David Moyes wants to make 20-year-old Marco van Ginkel his first big-money signing and that United have sent their chief scout to watch Van Ginkel in action during the European Under-21 Championship, where Van Ginkel's Holland side were knocked out by Italy on Saturday.

    A £15 million bid is said to be enough to seal the deal, but with Chelsea also interested, United might have to wait to make their move with the London side involved in a first-option deal with Dutch club Vitesse, where the attacker currently plays.

    The same report indicates that Cesc Fabregas remains at the top of Moyes' list of targets, but Van Ginkel would be a suitable alternative if the former Arsenal man is not moving this summer.

Yohan Cabaye a Target for Monaco, but Not Undergoing a Medical

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    New Ligue 1 side Monaco have already invested heavily this summer, spending more than £100 million on Radamel Falcao, James Rodriguez and Joao Moutinho, but one target they haven't snared—yet—is Newcastle United's Yohan Cabaye.

    There were indications that the French international midfielder was in Monaco for a medical ahead of a big-money move, but Newcastle have completely dismissed that notion, according to Martin Hardy at The Independent.

    Cabaye has enjoyed great success since moving to the Premier League two seasons ago, and it is no surprise to see him being linked back to his home country where there is cash aplenty to spend between Monaco and Paris Saint-Germain.

    However, it seems for now at least he remains a Magpie, though whether they will resist the chance to sell him if a huge offer is put forward is yet to be seen.

    Roma and Tottenham, along with the two French clubs, are said to be interested in signing Cabaye.

Arsenal to Offer a Record €30 Million for Gonzalo Higuain

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    Arsenal are another Premier League club said to be looking to do big business this summer, and striker Gonzalo Higuain appears to be on top of their target list.

    Now it is being reported by Ulises Sanchez-Flor of Marca that the Gunners are going to outbid Juventus in their battle to secure the signature of the Argentine forward, with a club record deal in the offering.

    Marca report that Juve are happy to pay €22 million for the striker, payable over five installments, while Arsenal are prepared to offer much more favourable terms to Real Madrid: an up-front payment of the full amount of €30 million to get the deal done (£26 million, $40 million).

    Higuain seems certain to leave Real this summer, and only his next destination is as yet unknown.

    He scored 16 league goals for his club this past season from 19 starts and nine sub appearances, with Arsenal's top scorer in the league, Theo Walcott, managing just 14.

Liverpool Close to Mkhitaryan Deal

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    Liverpool have already finalized deals for Iago Aspas and Kolo Toure this summer, but those two deals could be dwarfed by a £20 million move for prime target Henrikh Mkhitaryan of Shakhtar Donetsk.

    Tariq Panja of Bloomberg reports that managing director of Liverpool Ian Ayre was due to travel to South America for a conference on "economic opportunities in soccer"—but that instead he has stayed behind to work through sealing a deal for Mkhitaryan.

    An Armenian attacking midfielder, Mkhitaryan was top scorer in the Ukrainian league this season and impressed at both Champions League and the international level, leading Brendan Rodgers to seemingly make him priority No. 1 for this summer.

    Signing Mkhitaryan would take Liverpool's spending past the £30 million mark only halfway through June, with more targets said to be close to sealing an Anfield move as the manager restructures his squad.

Quick Kicks

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    Zinedine Zidane says Gareth Bale should hand in a transfer request to speed up his move to Real Madrid, according to Mirror Football.

    The Sunday Times (subscription required) report that Wigan Athletic will demand up to £20 million for James McCarthy, with Tottenham interested.

    Manchester City have first refusal on in-demand forward Stevan Jovetic, says Mirror Football.

    Metro reports that Roberto Soldado wants to play in the Premier League next season, with Spurs a possible destination.

    Alternatively, Tottenham want to bring in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Sunday Mirror) or Erik Lamela (Telegraph) as their main attacking signing of the summer.

    Welsh duo Swansea and Cardiff will battle out for the £12 million signing of Bafetimbi Gomis for next season, via Mirror Football.