Backpage Roundup: Doumbia, Afellay, Martin and more

Arsenal Eyeing CSKA Moscow’s £26 Million-Rated Striker Seydou Doumbia
Arsenal are all set to submit a bid for CSKA Moscow’s star striker Seydou Doumbia, according to a report published by the Daily Mail.
Coach Arsene Wenger, who has already bolstered the Gunners’ forward line by signing Lukas Podolski for next season, is in the market for another front man. Montpellier’s Olivier Giroud was rumoured to be Arsenal’s primary choice but after Fenerbahce showed interest in the Frenchman, Wenger has decided to discuss a move for Doumbia with his Russian employers.
The 24-year-old Ivorian bagged a massive haul of 38 goals last season for CSKA and is one of their prized assets. They value him at around £26 million but are reportedly willing to accept less than that.
Martin Alerts Arsenal by Announcing Intention to Leave Sochaux
French international Marvin Martin has declared that the time has finally come for him to leave his current club Sochaux for an ‘overseas’ challenge. (The Daily Mail)
The 24-year-old playmaker, who has been tracked by Arsenal in the past, told France Football: “I’m ready to go play overseas, but I have not made a decision about my future. I know there has been contact but I’m 100 per cent focused on France and the Euros.
“I do not know if something can be done before the Euros. If not, we will wait and see how things develop.”
It remains unclear whether coach Arsene Wenger would revive his interest in Martin or not.
Vermaelen Wants To Remain a Gunner Forever
Ahead of the upcoming summer transfer window, Thomas Vermaelen has assured Arsenal fans that he is committed to the club for the long term and is even prepared to spend the remainder of his career at Emirates Stadium. (
While the Gunners are sweating over the future of their talismanic captain Robin van Persie, they can breathe easy about Vermaelen, who told reporters: “I will stay at Arsenal forever. There will be no transfer for me. I love London. I’ve got a house there, I’m happy there and I don’t see any reason to ever leave the club.
Afellay Available For £6 Million
Ibrahim Afellay has been made available for transfer by Barcelona, according to a report published by Metro. The Spanish giants are seeking a transfer fee of £6 million in return for the Dutch international, who is currently a part of the Netherlands’ Euro 2012 squad.
Coach Arsene Wenger has been a long-term admirer of Afellay, but it remains to be seen whether he is prepared to invest in a player who has struggled with injuries for the past few years.
In addition to Arsenal, the 26-year-old playmaker is also on the radar of Newcastle United, Tottenham and Liverpool, with the former being the favourites to land him in the summer transfer window.
Djourou Could Leave Arsenal In Summer
Johan Djourou has said that he may decide to leave Arsenal this summer due to his lack of playing time last season. The Swiss centre-back started just 14 matches in the 2011/12 BPL season for the Gunners and was also played out of position on several occasions.
The 26-year-old has also been urged by his national team coach Ottmar Hitzfeld to quit Arsenal for the sake of retaining his starting place in the Switzerland team and he has confessed that a summer transfer could be on the cards for him.
My situation at Arsenal is not easy. I’ve never played so little and especially not in my own position. If an interesting offer comes, I’ll look at it carefully,” Djourou is quoted as saying by Swiss website 20 Minuten.

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