By Alan Duffy
Transfer Balls: Rounding up the day’s football tittle-tattle so you don’t have to…
Gunners Act On Jackson
According to the Metro, via Portuguese outlet Jornal di Noticias, Porto’s Jackson Martinez has signed a pre-contract agreement with Arsenal. The 28-year-old Colombian has netted an impressive 32 goals in 41 games for Porto this season but now looks set to move to the Premier League.
While Gunners’ boss Arsene Wenger has publicly backed Olivier Giroud, the need for a striker who can make the difference in the really big games for Arsenal remains, and the £25million-rated Martinez could just be that man.
Arsenal Line Up Lyon Duo
Sticking with Arsenal, the Telegraph tells us that the Gunners are preparing a £60million bid for Lyon pair Alexandre Lacazette and Nabil Fekir. The club sent scout Brian McDermott to cast his eye over the French internationals, both of whom have lit up Ligue this season. 23-year-old striker Lacazette was voted Ligue 1 player of the season this month after netting a chart-topping 27 goals for the Les Gones while the 21-year-old attacking midfielder Fekir picked up the Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year award.
Fekir would make a fine replacement for Theo Walcott if the England man decides to leave the Emirates while Lacazette could provide that big-game cutting edge the Gunners still need. Although as we have already seen in the Metro, Jackson Martinez may well be that man.
Citizens Seize Sterling
I know we haven’t seen much written about him in recent weeks, but I though I’d give a mention to forgotten man Raheem Sterling who, according to the Mail, is headed for the Etihad. Manchester City are apparently in pole position to sign the disgruntled Liverpool winger courtesy of a £120,000 per-week wage offer which, along with the £45million transfer fee, would take a five-year deal up over the £80million mark. Arsenal are also interested in bringing the 20-year-old to the Emirates but may not be able to match City’s megabucks deal.
Sterling’s days at Anfield do look numbered so a move to Man City seems realistic. Although Chelsea may well get involved too.
Potters Poised For Konoplyanka
Once a target for both Liverpool and Tottenham, Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk winger Yevhen Konoplyanka is currently being tracked by none other than Stoke City, according to Talksport. The 25-year-old has refused to sign a new deal with his Ukrainian club and is apparently desperate to move to England, particularly after a proposed move to Anfield broke down last year.
The signing of such a talented,sought-after player would be quite a statement of intent from Potters’ boss Mark Hughes, who wants his club to push on from mid-table regulars to Europa League contenders.
The best/worst of the rest: