By Chris Wright
Here’s the interplanetary round-up…
Rumour No. 1: After losing out to Newcastle United in the race to sign Sol Campbell and watching Johan Djourou celebrate his return from a long-term injury by limping off with an injury during a pre-season game yesterday, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is now ready to spend big in a bid to strengthen his waning defensive ranks.
Reports this morning suggest that Wenger has already tabled a £10 million bid for Werder Bremen’s German international centre-back Per Mertesacker, and will also return with a fresh £12 million offer for Everton defender Phil Jagielka after having a £10 million bid knocked back last month.
Rumour No. 2: Despite only joining the club in January, Liverpool midfielder Maxi Rodriguez is already angling for a loan move back to former club Espanyol after supposedly being told that he is surplus to requirements at Anfield.
It is thought that Espanyol are keen to rush through a deal, but Liverpool are keen to get shot of the Argentinian international permanently whilst the Spanish club are eyeing up an (initially, at least) temporary switch.
The Best of the Rest: Liverpool are filling the gossip columns this morning, and are being linked with Monaco’s £6-million-rated South Korean striker Park Chu-Young, Lyon anchor man Jeremy Toulalan and Aston Villa’s want-away full-back Luke Young.
Arsenal target Federico Marchetti has been transfer-listed by Cagliari, sparking rumours that the Italian ‘keeper is trying to force through a move to the Emirates.
Manchester City are keen to use Craig Bellamy and Stephen Ireland as bait to land James Milner, but Villa will not sell their prize midfielder for a penny less than £30 million.
Marseille have joined Juventus in the race to sign City striker Emmanuel Adebayor on loan and Stoke City have made an £8 million bid for their benchwarmer-extraordinaire Roque Santa Cruz.
Fulham are waiting in the wings to snap up Monaco forward Eidur Gudjohnsen, should he fail to renew his loan terms with Tottenham.
West Ham have offered Scott Parker a 5-year contract worth over £20 million in a bid to stem speculation of a summer move.
West Brom have had a £3 million bid for Ivory Coast midfielder Cheick Tiote rejected by his club FC Twente.