Backpage roundup: Pique loves Song, Arsenal’s Sahin and Niang chase, Wenger’s reluctance to do business with United and more

Vilanova Refuses To Talk About Song

Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova has refused to publicly talk about his club’s interest in Arsenal midfielder Alex Song but has also failed to deny that the Cameroonian is on his wish list.

Song enjoyed a fine 2011/12 season at a personal level and showcased his vastly improved passing range on several occasions. His form impressed several top European clubs and speculation is rife that the Catalonians want him to fill the void created in their squad by Seydou Keita’s recent departure.

The Gunners have recently signed Santi Cazorla and are also thought to be closing in on Real Madrid midfielder Nuri Sahin, who according to some tabloids could be Song’s replacement at Arsenal.

Vilanova was recently asked to comment on Barca’s pursuit of Song, to which he replied: “I don’t like talking about players who are not in our squad. There are many players outside of Barca who I like and I cannot talk about them. It would be a lack of respect to other clubs.”

 

Wenger Reluctant to Sell RVP to Manchester United

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed that his club’s attempts to sign Arsenal captain Robin van Persie have stalled.

The veteran coach told the press earlier this month that the Red Devils have launched a bid for the Dutch striker. But an Arsenal player has never been sold to United and judging by Ferguson’s recent comments it seems that that trend is set to continue.

After United’s defeat to Barcelona in a Wednesday-night friendly, Ferguson said: “We have made a bid and they’ve been trying to negotiate with other clubs. I don’t have a gut feeling on it at the moment, I must admit. We’re not getting any breakthrough with Arsenal.

“It’s difficult to say why they’re operating this way. I don’t know what their thoughts are because they’re not giving anything away. I can’t give you any more information. We just have to persevere. We are trying our best and hopefully it will come our way but there’s no progress at this moment in time.”

 

Ozyakup Leaves Arsenal for Besiktas

Arsenal have sold their young midfielder Oguzhan Ozyakup to Turkish club Besiktas for an undisclosed transfer fee. (ESPN)

The 19-year-old Ozyakup was signed by Arsenal from AZ Alkmaar in the summer of 2008 and despite his early promise, he managed just two first team appearances for the Gunners in his four years at the club.

Earlier today, Arsenal published a statement on their official website, which read: “Everyone at Arsenal would like to thank Oguzhan for his contribution to the club and wish him well for his future career.”

 

Arsenal Facing Tough Competition in Sahin and Niang Chase

According to talkSport, Real Madrid outcast and Arsenal target Nuri Sahin is also attracting interest from Italian giants AC Milan.

Previously, it had been reported that Arsenal and Liverpool were chasing the Turkish international on a season-long loan deal, with the former in pole position but now Milan have also entered the equation.

The Rossoneri could trump Arsenal in another one of their transfer battles, as Metro has claimed that the Serie A club is on the verge of signing Caen starlet M’Baye Niang on a loan deal with a view to permanent transfer next summer.

 

Pique Welcomes Barca’s Interest in Song

Barcelona defender Gerard Pique has welcomed his club’s interest in Alex Song and said that the Blaugrana would love to have the Arsenal midfielder in their squad.

The Cameroonian enforcer has become Barca’s top transfer target in recent weeks due to the departure of Malian midfielder Seydou Keita, and Pique believes that if a transfer comes to fruition, Song would be a big hit in La Liga.

In an interview with El Mundo Deportivo, Pique said: “I have followed his career and he has become a very good player. He is physically very strong and is good with the ball at his feet. We are open to his arrival. If he comes, and from what I have read he could do, we would love to have him.