Backpage Roundup: Gunners to Return with Better Offer for Fellaini, Higuain Almost in the Bag, Hartson Urges Rooney Buy, Poldi and Lewa and More

Gunners to Return with Better Offer for Fellaini

Arsenal are set to make an improved contract offer to Everton star Marouane Fellaini after their opening offer in the preliminary discussions with the player’s representatives was turned down. (Goal.com)

The Gunners reportedly triggered the frizzy-haired Belgian’s release clause earlier this month with a bid of £22million, and even though he has not been granted permission to negotiate personal terms with the Londoners yet, it hasn’t stopped the two parties from talking basic numbers.

Goal claims that Arsenal’s initial wage offer of £70,000 per week failed to impress Fellaini’s people since it was even less than what he makes at the Goodison Park. However, the cash-rich Gunners are prepared to make significant increases to that initial proposal and intend to do so when the player returns from holidays next week.

Juve Concede Defeat in Higuain Chase

Juventus’ Director General Giuseppe Marotta has accepted his club’s defeat in the race to sign Gonzalo Higuain by confirming that the Real Madrid ace is already set to move to another club – believed to be Arsenal.

The Gunners are widely thought to be closing in on the 26-year-old Argentine, but there was still a small threat of the Old Lady hijacking their deal. However, Marotta claims that the Serie A champions were never officially in the running.

In a recent interview, he told the press: “To my knowledge, Higuain is already elsewhere. Even though we (wanted him) at the beginning of market, we never made proclamations, but only praise of players.”

Rooney Ideal for Arsenal – Hartson

John Hartson has urged Arsenal to use all their financial muscle and sign Manchester United’s unsettled superstar Wayne Rooney this summer.

The former Gunner believes that Rooney is currently in the prime of his career and signing a player of his calibre will provide a big lift to the club.

Goal.com have quoted Hartson as saying: “I think Rooney would be a fantastic signing. He’s actually coming into his prime. He’s only about 27, 28 and you don’t play your best football until this stage of your career so, in terms of his experience and everything he’s done at Manchester United, I think he would be a brilliant signing and Arsenal fans would welcome him into the side.”

“I think you will see Rooney take up a deeper role because of his experience and when he drops into that little hole behind the striker, he gives the centre-backs a real problem because he needs to be marked, and you couldn’t let a player like him come in on the half-turn and face your back four because he will just cause riots in there. He can pick people out, he can slide balls through, break the centre-backs by getting between the lines and by playing balls over the top.

“He has unbelievable individual ability and if they can find the right position for him, he’d be brilliant. Ryan Giggs and Roy Keane both dropped into deeper roles as they got older and wiser. Arsenal fans are used to players like Rooney. They’ve had Dennis Bergkamp, Liam Brady, Anders Limpar, they’ve had great ball players over the years and Rooney would be a magic signing, I’m a big fan of his. So, for me, I would just break the bank and go and get Rooney if United will let him go.”

Cazorla Sure of Success Next Season

Santi Cazorla is supremely confident that Arsenal will mount a genuine Premier League onslaught next season due to their newfound self-belief and planned summer acquisitions.

The Gunners’ strong finish to last season coupled with their interest in high-quality players such as Gonzalo Higuain and Marouane Fellaini means that the morale in and around the Emirates Stadium is quite high these days. And their 28-year-old Spanish playmaker believes their new confidence will translate into on-field success in the 2013/14 Premier League season.

In an interview with the official Arsenal magazine, Cazorla is quoted as saying: “When the team doesn’t win and we don’t get the results we want, the collective confidence does drop a little and that is natural. Now we have put in a spectacular run-in and you can see the difference in mentality.

“We have great players. I am sure next season we will be a better team and improve. Next season we hope we can be even better and win trophies and the supporters can enjoy it, that is what Arsenal really wants.”

Poldi Talks Up Lewa for Arsenal

Lukas Podolski believes that Borussia Dortmund star Robert Lewandowski would be a perfect fit for Arsenal.

While the Gunners have been linked heavily with summer moves for Gonzalo Higuain and Wayne Rooney, Podolski feels that BVB’s Polish marksman could also do a fine job at the Emirates Stadium.

Polish newspaper Polska The Times have quoted Podolski as saying: “He scored 24 times last season. He can make it anywhere and he would fit perfectly at Arsenal. At the end he has to decide, not the media or manager.”

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