Backpage Roundup: El Shaarawy, Benayoun & transfer rumours

Stephan El Shaarawy has ruled out a move to Arsenal this summer, according to his agent. Arsene Wenger has been tracking the 19-year-old forward since his days at Genoa. The Frenchman has continued to keep close tabs on the Italy Under-21 striker, who now plays for AC Milan after joining the Serie A giants last summer.

“Arsenal were watching him before his arrival in Milan but the Rossoneri have signed him and will not be letting him go. [El Shaarawy] would also be happy to stay at Milan.”

Carlos Vela has revealed he wants to stay at Real Sociedad once his loan deal expires at the end of the season. The 23-year-old Mexican, who’s set La Liga on fire this year scoring 5 goals in the last six games for Sociedad, is likely to make the move permanent this summer.

“I am not thinking about what Arsenal think of me. In every game, whether I play well or badly, I give all my effort for Real Sociedad. Afterwards I will talk with them and make a decision. The best thing is for me to enjoy every moment that is left.

“From my point of view, from a footballing and lifestyle standpoint it is better to stay in this league. I have a contract with Arsenal and if I have to return there I will adapt, but if I could stay here I would be happier.”

Real Sociedad president Jokin Aperribay also confirmed his interest in signing Vela in a permanent deal.

“It is true, we want the player and we are prepared to fight to close the deal. But at the moment things have stopped because Arsenal only want to speak at the end of the season.

Arsenal are being linked with Lazio’s midfielder Hernanes. The Brazilian, who’s also been linked with Tottenham and Liverpool, is reportedly growing frustrated at Lazio and the Serie A side have apparently stuck a £16m price tag on the 26-year-old.

Arsenal target Gylfi Sigurdsson’s future remains in doubt as his parent club Hoffenheim have insisted they will have the final say. The Icelandic midfielder has been in fantastic form scoring 6 goals in just 11 appearances for Swansea this season.

“It is true, we want the player and we are prepared to fight to close the deal. But at the moment things have stopped because Arsenal only want to speak at the end of the season.

Bordeaux have said they would happily take back Marouane Chamakh – but only as long as they can negotiate a cut-price deal. Bordeaux president Jean-Louis Triaud this week expressed his interest in re-signing Chamakh.

“The salary is out of our reach, and the demand from Arsenal is too high, but we would welcome [Chamakh]. We met in January, we spoke about it. If he wants to come we must reduce economic pretensions.”

Germany international Lukas Podolski has already agreed a £10m deal, so it looks certain the Moroccan striker will be shipped out this summer, after a disappointing spell in North London scoring just 12 times in 61 appearances for Arsenal.

Yossi Benayoun insists he has no regrets about joining Arsenal. The Israeli international is on a season-long loan from Chelsea, and has also revealed he will consider making a permanent move to The Gunners this summer.

“I have a good relationship with the [Chelsea] owners and when I decided to take this step, he[Abramovich] gave me the permission to do what I want and choose the team [I joined]. I was negotiating with three teams but as soon as I heard Arsenal were in, I knew it was a big chance for me.

“I am committed to Arsenal 100 per cent and I don’t think about Chelsea or another team. I want first Arsenal to finish in the top three and if it depended on me I want Chelsea to finish in top four and Liverpool [where Benayoun played before joining Chelsea] also to finish in top four. But it can’t happen.

“Five points is a big gap but we have to keep playing well and win some games. Next we have Wigan. They beat Man United [on Wednesday] so that is a warning for everyone. It will not be an easy game and after there is a game against Chelsea, which I can’t play in [he is not allowed to face his parent club].

“There are still a few hard games but five points is a big gap and I am sure that in the end we will finish in the top three. I will not lie – I love Chelsea, because I have a good relationship there. I didn’t play much because I had a big injury. I still have a lot of friends there I talk to every day. Of course I want them to do well but it is difficult.”

“I knew that with Andre Villas-Boas, I felt I would not get enough credit although I felt good in the pre-season and I did a few good games, so I took the decision. I have not played as much as I want, but it is great to be at a club like Arsenal. The dressing room is so great and to be at a big club is always nice.

“It has been up and down this season for me. I try to be focused and concentrated but it’s not easy. I was waiting all the time for my chance. A few times in the season I got my chance and then didn’t get another for a long time. But in big clubs, you have to be patient. I have had the luck to be in three big clubs and I know you have to be patient, wait for your chance and when I get it, try to do my best.

“I think it is difficult to speak now about the future. It’s better to concentrate on the last five weeks that are left and do my best for the club. I am fully committed to Arsenal and after we will see. After June 30, I am going back to Chelsea and then the club decides and I need to decide also. Each one has to think what is best for them. But the most important thing is to concentrate on these five weeks and whatever will be will be. I want to keep my place until the end of the season.”

After beating Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Molineux on Wednesday, Arsenal host Wigan Athletic on Monday night. After beating Manchester United – and narrowly missing out on picking up three points at Chelsea – Arsene Wenger’s side must be cautious going into the game.

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