Backpage Roundup: Juve Jump Ahead In Jovetic Chase, Garde Wants Grenier to Stay, Spalletti Talks up Arshavin, Walcott's Title Ambitions and More

Juve Jump Ahead In Jovetic Chase
Juventus are reportedly in pole position to land Fiorentina star Stevan Jovetic after tabling an offer of £15million in cash and two of their own players. (Gazzetta dello Sport)
Arsenal FC were hoping to sign the highly-rated Montenegrin this summer but the Old Lady have stolen a march on them by offering the Viola a part-exchange offer which includes versatile Chilean Mauricio Isla and one of Sebastian Giovinco, Alessandro Matri, Fabio Quagliarella or Luca Marrone.
Garde Wants ‘Nice Guy’ Grenier to Stay
Olympique Lyonnais manager Remi Garde has praised his club’s rising star Clement Grenier and expressed his desire to keep hold of him amidst of interest from Arsenal.
Grenier, who has just earned his first senior France call-up, was recently compared to his compatriot Samir Nasri by the Gunners boss Arsene Wenger. As a result, it is believed that the North Londoners will try and sign him this summer, but Garde wants the 22-year-old to stay with OL and further his footballing education.
Talking to press, the Les Gones trainer said: “I hope he will quickly find a solution with the club and will continue to grow here because the environment is very favorable. He ended this season very well. He grew up in the group and on the field and I am very happy for him.
“He is a nice guy and he is always looking to the collective. With Maxime Gonalons and some others, he took things in his hands in difficult times in March. He proved to be a driving force.”
Zenit’s Spalletti Shows Interest in Arshavin
Zenit St Petersburg manager Luciano Spalletti has opened his club’s doors to Arsenal outcast Andrey Arshavin by admitting that the Russian veteran could be a good addition to his squad.
Arshavin, 31, will be out of contract this summer and is unlikely to be offered an extension by the Gunners. His loss of form in recent years means that there won’t be too many offers for him in England but Spalletti says that he is still highly-rated back in his homeland.
In an interview published on, Spalletti said: “We do our job and do what we’re expected to do and our aim is to be useful for the team. If Arshavin is the man who can add anything for this then we can think about him. Andrey is interesting for everyone in Russia because he’s a charismatic player.
Walcott Planning PL Onslaught Next Season
Theo Walcott is confident that Arsenal will be challenging for the Premier League title in the 2013/14 season and has urged his fellow-Gunners to also share his belief.
The 23-year-old forward believes that he and his teammates are capable of achieving anything they want next season but need to have a bit more faith in their own self.
The Sun have quoted Walcott as saying: “I think this Arsenal team can achieve anything. We should be competing for the Premier League every year, that’s our first priority. In every competition we can go far – as long as we believe we can. We need to realise how good we really are because, at times, we don’t think that. When we go a goal down you do see the players stepping up. And if we do that from the start we can beat anyone.”
The former Southampton man then sang coach Arsene Wenger’s praises and vowed to repay him for his unconditional support by winning some silverware next year.
He added: “Every time we don’t perform, he (Wenger) always puts it on himself. And at times it’s not fair, because we’re the players that go out there every week. I think the boss always had such belief in me from such a young age, so I’m going to repay him by trying to win something. He’s a great manager, one of the managers I always wanted to play for. And having so many years with him, I’ve learned so much.”
Giroud Expects More Improvement Next Term
Olivier Giroud is content with the way his first season at Arsenal went and believes that he will become even better next season.
The France international scored 17 times for the Gunners in the recently-concluded 2012/13 season, and he is confident that his game will improve more as he gets used to his teammates’ style of play.
In an interview with, Giroud said: “For me it’s a good season. I’ve scored 17 times and got 10 assists. I’m happy with that statistic but I think I can improve my game and my relationship with my team-mates. I’m sure that next season will be better. I always want to improve myself so I’m very confident for next year. For the first season, it’s not been so bad.
“For a first season in a league like the Premier League, it’s never easy to play very well, like Didier Drogba or Thierry Henry. I was always looking for the Premier League, the atmosphere around the football, how the English live it and it’s wonderful for me. I was ready for it and I’ve really enjoyed my life in London and at the club. I wanted to show that I feel very well here. I want to keep going and doing my best.”

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