Backpage roundup: Holtby for Walcott, Niang bid, Vela’s exit and RVP block

Holtby In Walcott Out?

According to the Daily Mirror, Arsenal have targeted German club Schalke’s midfielder Lewis Holtby as contract rebel Theo Walcott’s replacement.

Walcott, who has just one season remaining on his existing deal with Arsenal, could leave Emirates Stadium for free in the summer of 2013, if the Gunners fail to convince him to lower his wage demands.

Holtby, whose father was born in England, is in a contract dispute of his own with Schalke and could be brought in for cheap in case Walcott is sold in the ongoing transfer window.

 

Arsenal in Pole Position to Sign Niang

Arsenal have launched a bid for Ligue 1 club Caen’s teenage sensation M’Baye Niang. (Goal.com and Daily Mail)

The 17-year-old forward, who recently spent some time at Emirates Stadium on trial, has been attracting interest from Tottenham Hotspur and even Manchester City, which is why the Gunners have swiftly moved to sign him on a permanent deal.

While Goal.com claims that Arsenal’s bid has been rejected by Caen, the Daily Mail believes that a fee between the two clubs has already been agreed and Niang will soon become the third striker to join the North London giants this summer.

 

Vela Close To Joining Real Sociedad

Arsenal outcast Carlos Vela has decided to permanently join Spanish club Real Sociedad, where he spent the 2011/12 season on loan.

Despite signing for the Gunners seven years ago, Vela was never able to establish himself as a first-team regular under Arsene Wenger and spent several seasons away from Emirates Stadium on temporary loan deals.

Arsenal published a statement on their official website, which read: “Arsenal Football Club has announced that striker Carlos Vela is in San Sebastian this evening for final discussions about a permanent move to Spanish La Liga side Real Sociedad.

“The 23-year old Mexican international spent the whole of 2011/12 on loan with the Spanish club and enjoyed a successful campaign in La Liga. Vela made his Arsenal debut in 2008 and has made 62 appearances, scoring 11 goals.”

 

RVP Won’t Be Sold This Summer

According to Goal.com’s website, Arsenal will soon inform their want-away captain Robin van Persie that he will not be sold in the ongoing transfer window.

After being told by the Dutchman that he won’t renew his contract with them, the Gunners have decided to keep him in the final year of his existing deal, with the hope that a trophy or two in the 2012/13 season would convince him that his long-term future lies at Emirates Stadium.

An anonymous club official told the website: “We are going to keep him and hold him to his current contract. When he is 30 it will be easier to re-sign him and in the last year [of his deal] we hope he will change his mind about wanting to leave.”