Backpage Roundup: Higuain Deal Close, Bendtner Nears Arsenal Exit, Mignolet Want to Leave Sunderland, Dein's Backing for Wenger and More

Higuain Deal Close
Want-away Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain is close to signing for Arsenal in a £19 million deal after meeting coach Arsene Wenger.
The 25-year-old Argentine and his dad have had several discussions with the Gunners boss, and he has been reportedly offered a weekly pay packet of £150,000.
Wenger turned to Higuain after Fiorentina refused to drop the price for their star striker and Arsenal’s number one transfer target Stevan Jovetic.
A few days ago, Los Merengues marksman seemed receptive to the idea of moving to Emirates Stadium when he said: “Arsenal? That would suit me. I’m still young and have more goals to score.”
However, they would have to fend off competition from Juventus, who have been tracking Higuain for several seasons.
Madrid will want to sell. Juventus or Arsenal? I guess he has spoken with them. But the clubs have to talk to Madrid,” Higuain’s father recently told the press.
Bendtner Nears Arsenal Exit
Nicklas Bendtner has claimed that he is in discussions with ‘five or six’ clubs and expects to seal his Arsenal exit in the upcoming two weeks. (Metro)
It is welcome news for the Gunners as they will finally be able to rid themselves of the unwanted Dane, who has been unable to find himself any permanent takers for the last two years.
I am talking with five or six clubs at the moment over a permanent transfer. Things are agreed with Arsenal and I will decide which club I sign for in the next two weeks,” the self-proclaimed World Class talent told the press recently.
It is believed that the Gunners are willing to do business for as low as £3million.
Mignolet Wants to Leave Black Cats
Sunderland goalkeeper and Arsenal target Simon Mignolet’s agent Nico Vaesen has revealed that his client is unlikely to extend his deal at the Stadium of Light and wants to change clubs in order to further enhance his career.
The 24-year-old gloveman still has two more years to run on his existing contract, but the Black Cats want to add more years to it due to the interest he has been attracting from heavyweights like Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool.
However, the Belgian’s agent believes the chances of his client signing an extension are minimal because he wants to step up a level in his career.
Sunderland Echo have quoted Vaesen as saying: “I think it is very unlikely that he will sign a new contract. Simon has obviously come to a point where he wants to step up a level and there is a lot of interest in him. He is very ambitious and wants to play in the World Cup, in Brazil, next year.
“It was a good thing that Sunderland stayed up and it is a fantastic club where he has had three great years. But it is maybe time to step up a level and play for a club competing for a European spot.”
He did make it clear that any transfer for his client would require the full blessing of Sunderland.
All teams that are interested in Simon, we direct them to Sunderland. He still has a two-year contract there and any interested clubs have to agree a price with Sunderland first. That is the way we conduct our business,” Vaesen added.
In Arsene Dein Believes
Former Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein is supremely confident that Arsene Wenger is capable of bringing the glory days back at the club.
After eight, long years without any major trophies, some fans have gotten fed up of the Gunners boss but not his BFF Dein, who believes that the Frenchman should be applauded for keeping the club relevant in all these years.
In an interview with Sky Sports, Dein said: “I think there is plenty to celebrate in finishing fourth. Arsene has yet again waved his magic wand to come fourth and get into the Champions League as he has done for the last 16 years. It was quite remarkable because it was not the greatest squad he has ever had, they are certainly talented, but I think for what he had working with him this season he has done really well to get into the Champions League.
“To a lot of Arsenal fans, of course, that’s not good enough, because in the final analysis they still finished 16 points behind Manchester United, and that’s not classed as success. I know Arsene will try to improve the squad if he can. It’s up to the scouting network around the world – they are looking to find the best players possible for Arsenal.
“But they are not alone, everybody else is trying to do the same thing. When I first used to go to the African Cup of Nations there would hardly be any scouts from England. Today you are getting scouts from all over England going to watch the talent there. They know that is a developing place where you can see young talent coming through.
Arsenal and City Confirm Helsinki Date
Arsenal and Manchester City have announced that they will face each other in a friendly match in the Finnish city of Helsinki before the start of the 2013/14 season.
The said clash between the two PL rivals will take place on August 10 at Olympic Stadium in what will be their final warm-up game before the new season.
The Gunners CEO Ivan Gazidis said: “We played Manchester City in the build-up to the 2012/13 season in the Bird’s Nest Stadium in Beijing and know that they will provide the team with a very competitive match as we finalise preparations for the 2013/14 domestic campaign. We have many passionate supporters in Finland, and it will be a wonderful opportunity to connect with them all in what will be our first-ever match in the country.”
His Man City counterpart Ferran Soriano added: “This is the perfect way to end our pre-season preparations before the 2013/14 campaign begins.”

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