Wenger Considering Llorente Loan Deal?
Arsenal FC have been linked with a shock loan move for Juventus striker Fernando Llorente in January.
The Spain international has found his path to the starting eleven blocked by Carlos Tevez, and with manager Antonio Conte adamant to play with just a single forward, his chances of regular first-team action in Turin are limited.
With next year being a World Cup year, Llorente wouldn’t want to risk missing out on the Spain squad and might be interested in making a loan move to revive his international career.
Arsenal are short of options up front with Olivier Giroud and Nicklas Bendtner being the only two real centre-forwards on their books. Llorente fits the bill, and although coach Arsene Wenger might try again for Luis Suarez and Karim Benzema, recruiting the Spanish giant seems to be the easiest and more realistic of options.
Benzema Rejects Criticism on His Attitude and Work Ethic
Real Madrid star and Arsenal FC transfer target Karim Benzema has accused Spanish press of twisting coach Carlo Ancelotti’s remarks and rejected suggestions that he doesn’t work as hard as some of his other teammates.
Benzema, 25, has become the primary target of criticism from Real Madrid fans and their media this season due to his laid-back style on the football field. His performances haven’t helped his cause either, with him scoring just twice in eight league matches so far this season. His form for France is even worse as he has scored just once in the past 16 months for them.
All this has led critics to question his attitude, and when Ancelotti recently commented on his and Angel di Maria’s defensive responsibilities, it was immediately portrayed as criticism. But Benzema says it wasn’t that.
In a recent interview, he said: “What attitude?. Carlo Ancelotti did not say (that I was not working enough). He said that me and Angel Di Maria did not have the same share of defensive work. I’m a frontman. Of course I’m the first defender but I won’t do the job of a full back or a midfield.
“It’s not a question of attitude. You talk about attitude when a player does not want to play football. But I walk on to the pitch, I want to play football. For example, when I play for France… I run almost 10 kilometres per game. It’s unfair because I do run.”
Ancelotti’s exact comments were: “One thing was very clear [after the Athletic Bilbao game]. Benzema was whistled a bit, while Di Maria was applauded by whole stadium. The fans look closely at the players. It’s a very clear sign for everyone that hard work is applauded.”
Gunners on Verge of Signing Bristol Goalkeeper
Arsenal are on the verge of signing Bristol Rovers’ highly-rated teenage goalkeeper, Matt Macey. (The Express)
The news was first reported by Sky Sports, who claim that as many as seven Premier League clubs were interesting in acquiring the 15-year-old goalie, but the Gunners and Everton were the most interested in him. He impressed during a trial at the Emirates Stadium in September, after which coach Arsene Wenger decided to pursue a permanent transfer.
Macey is expected to be handed a three-year deal with some compensation money heading Bristol’s way.
Song Not Ruling Out Arsenal Return
FC Barcelona’s bit-part player Alexandre Song says he might return to Arsenal in the future.
Song, 26, swapped North London for Catalonia last year but has struggled for playing time at Camp Nou Stadium.
He played in just 20 league matches last season while his appearance tally for the current campaign remains at a lowly three. With his chances of regular first-team action showing no improvement, the Cameroon international for the first time has spoken about the possibility of moving back to Arsenal, with whom he spent six successful years.
In an interview with RMC, Song said: “I do not know what will happen in the future, but it is true that I spent some fantastic seasons there [at Arsenal]. We will see what happens, but for now I’m a Barcelona player.”
Arsenal Win Race to Sign Swedish Teen
Arsenal FC have fended off competition from several Premier League clubs to sign highly-rated Swedish teenager Kristopher Da Graca. (The Express)
The 15-year-old defender, who is currently on the books of Swedish division four club Hisingbacka FC, will officially sign for the Gunners in the next few weeks with a view to linking up with them next summer.
The young centre-half was also being tracked by Chelsea, Tottenham and Aston Villa and had successful trials with all of them. But in the end, he shunned their offers in favour of signing for Arsenal.
Delighted by his imminent move to the Emirates Stadium, De Graca told Fotbolltransfers.com: “Arsenal are a big and good club. I’ve had a chance to become a good soccer player, it feels good. At first though I will have to train with them in my own age.”
Upon being asked when will the transfer be made official, he replied: “It could be next week or the following week. Moving to England is confirmed but not this year. I will move there the summer of 2014. Me and my dad wanted me to [get my] education first.”
When his current club Hisingbacka’s chairman Thoman Albinsson was asked for confirmation of any agreement with Arsenal, he said: “Yes, we are in full agreement with Arsenal. We had some discussions but now we are in agreement. One must think of the player as well and see more than just numbers.
“We are a pretty small club and do not want to stop him. We did get more than their initial offer, so to speak, and for a club in our division it is obviously good money. The agreement also increases on clauses. It is a package.”
Gunners Tracking Guzan?
Arsenal FC have added Aston Villa’s American goalkeeper Brad Guzan to their list of potential targets for January, according to MLSSoccer.com
The website claim that the Gunners have been impressed by the performances of the Villan gloveman, and while they haven’t officially approached the Midlands club, discussions about making a move for him next year are certainly taking place at the Emirates Stadium.
If true, the 29-year-old would become the fourth goalie reportedly on the shopping list of coach Arsene Wenger. Asmir Begovic, Tim Krul and Julio Caesar being the other three. The idea of signing Guzan seems a bit odd as he would hardly be any upgrade on the options already at Wenger’s disposal.