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22nd Aug 2013

Arsenal go after Benzema AND Di Maria, Bale deal all but done while Rooney to Chelsea still alive too


It’s been a very busy morning in the rumour mill, with Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea, Spurs and Liverpool all featuring heavily.

Just hours after Arsenal effectively booked their Champions League slot via a 3-0 win over Fenerbahce in Turkey, the papers are all full of stories about how Arsene Wenger may now, finally, bolster his squad.

The Frenchman confirmed that the Luis Suarez deal was dead last night, but there are lots of new names linked to the Gunners this morning. The BBC report that Arsenal are plotting a £40million swoop for Real Madrid pair Karim Benzema and Angel Di Maria. Benzema has long been linked with Arsenal but the arrival of the French striker, plus the Argentine winger, would be a huge boost to the Arsenal squad. The BBC also report that Arsenal are still after a defensive midfielder and a goalkeeper.

In other Arsenal news, the Independent report that PSG may try to outbid the Londoners for Yohan Cabaye while the Times suggest that ex-Gunner Mathieu Flamini may be on his way back after his contract at AC Milan expired.

Part of the reason that Real Madrid may be willing to ship out Benzema and Di Maria is the increasing likelihood that Gareth Bale will move from Spurs to the Spanish capital. With all the talent flooding into White Hart Lane it has certainly looked more and more certain that Spurs were re-equipping for life after the Welshman and today’s papers all carry reports that Daniel Levy is in Spain to complete the monster £94m deal.

Speaking of monster deals, life was injected back into the Wayne Rooney to Chelsea deal last night. After the Aston Villa game, Jose Mourinho said that he wouldn’t make another bid until after they played Manchester United next Monday. That suggests, of course, that the Blues will try again on Tuesday to sign the England man, and the papers all agree.

The Mirror report that Chelsea have been told they have a shot at landing Rooney if Manchester United can get a replacement in. Who that might be isn’t mentioned in the Mirror, but the Express reckon it’s Luka Modric.

Elsewhere, Manchester City are looking to shore up their defence with Atletico Madrid’s £2.5m Martin Demichelis (Mirror), West Brom and Southampton want Scott Sinclair (Sun and Star) while the Times report Stoke want Werder Bremen striker Marko Arnautovic and Aston Villa’s Marc Albrighton.

Finally, Rafa Benitez continues his quest to recreate the Liverpool team by bidding £10m for Martin Skrtel (Mirror). The Reds politely declined.