Backpage Roundup: Rooney Needed to Scare Opposition, Arsenal’s Bids for Bender and Grenier Rejected, Arshavin Was Battling Depression, Mannone, Cesar and More

Rooney Needed to Scare ‘the Opposition’ – Wilshere

Jack Wilshere believes that Wayne Rooney would add some much needed intimidation factor to the Arsenal squad, and so the club should do everything to recruit him. (The Sun)

The 21-year-old midfielder feels that the Gunners aren’t as fearsome as they used to be and have also forgotten how to win trophies. And he is confident that the potential arrival of his England teammate could solve both of those problems.

Speaking of Rooney, Wilshere said: “He is the type of player who can win you trophies. If it happens, it would be amazing. Just to see his name in the team brings fear to the opposition. We could do with more of that.”

 

Leverkusen Determined to Hang On to Bender

Arsenal FC on Monday reportedly offered Bayer Leverkusen a staggering £19 million for their highly-rated midfielder Lars Bender, but their bid still got rejected.

The German club made it known that they have already sold André Schürrle and Daniel Carvajal this summer, and so they have no intention of losing another talented member of their first-team squad.

It is unclear whether the Gunners would raise their initial offer or pursue alternate targets such as Marouane Fellaini, Étienne Capoue or Ilkay Gundogan.

 

Arsenal’s Grenier Bid Rejected Too

Arsenal FC’s offer of £6million for Clement Grenier has been rejected by Olympique Lyonnais, according to Le Parisien.

The 22-year-old Frenchman only has one more season left on his current Lyon deal, which is why the Gunners made such a modest opening offer for him. But it failed to impress Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas, who then proceeded to turn it down.

The North Londoners are expected to return with a second offer, but it still won’t be too big an improvement as signing Grenier isn’t very high on coach Arsene Wenger’s agenda.  Also, it is unlikely to appeal too much to Les Gone because Aulas genuinely believes that he can convince the player into signing an extension during the course of the 2013/14 season.

It should be noticed that a few weeks ago, Grenier confessed he would be tempted by the chance of moving to a club like Arsenal this summer.

 

Arshavin Was Battling Depression at Arsenal

Andrey Arshavin has revealed that he was battling depression due to lack of playing opportunities at Arsenal during the 2012/13 season.

The former Gunner recently re-joined Zenit St Petersburg on a two-year deal after his unhappy spell in North London finally came to an end. Soon after penning the deal, the Russian claimed he found it very difficult to train at Arsenal since it was made clear to him that no amount of effort would see him regain his first-team place at the club.

In an interview with Sport Express, he said: “The fact is I didn’t want to stay in England, this was clear since January. I don’t regret anything, but I had to leave. It was a punishment sat on the bench. To train even though you know you won’t play – it is psychologically difficult. I nearly suffered depression, but I didn’t because I’m mentally strong. The monotony of life there was crushing me.”

 

Vermaelen Could Still Have Arsenal Future

Thomas Vermaelen could end up staying at Arsenal beyond this summer after the club’s hopes of recruiting Swansea City’s Ashley Williams were dealt a major blow. (The Daily Mail)

The Swans are unwilling to lower their asking price of £10million for their Welsh centre-half, and the Gunners are reluctant to match that valuation as they are already planning a major outlay on the likes of Gonzalo Higuain and Marouane Fellaini.

As a result, they may decide to give another chance to Vermaelen, who was horribly out of form in the 2012/13 season and isn’t considered an integral part of Arsene Wenger’s first-team squad anymore.

 

Cesar Set for Gunners Switch

Arsenal FC and Queens Park Rangers goalkeeper Julio Cesar’s representatives will resume transfer talks after the final of the 2013 Confederations Cup, reports The Daily Mail.

A preliminary round of discussion between the two parties has already taken place but the player has been representing Brazil at international level for the past few weeks, so a formal agreement has yet to be reached. However, Roma’s rumoured interest in the player’s services means that the Gunners will speed up things as soon as Cesar returns to London from Brazil.

 

Mannone to Meet’s Sunderland’s Di Canio

Arsenal’s third-choice goalkeeper Vito Mannone is purportedly close to signing for Sunderland and is scheduled to hold a meeting with Paolo Di Canio next week. (The Express)

The 25-year-old Italian was signed by the Gunners from Atalanta in 2005, and despite some early promise, he never managed to become a first-team regular under Arsene Wenger.

The Black Cats recently sold their star gloveman Simon Mignolet to Liverpool and have decided to recruit Mannone as his replacement.

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