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30th Jan 2014

Transfer Talk: Liverpool and Arsenal get bizz-ay and City set to add some badly-needed recruits

Liverpool and Arsenal look likely to seal the deal after plenty of flirting with respective long-term targets, while Man City look set to add the new players they *obviously* need. *don’t really*

Conor Heneghan

Liverpool and Arsenal look likely to seal the deal after plenty of flirting with respective long-term targets, while Man City look set to add the new players they *obviously* need. *don’t really*

Anyone watching Manchester City dismantle Spurs at White Hart Lane last night (to complete an 11-1 aggregate victory over two league fixtures) would have immediately jumped to the conclusion that they are in dire need of new players. And fast.

Obviously thinking the same thing, the club’s hierarchy are set to sanction a move for Porto pair Fernando (a midfielder) and Eliaquim Mangala (a central defender) according to The Times and in the process frustrate their city rivals Man United, who are believed to have eyed up Fernando as a much-needed recruit in central midfield.

But hey, why stop there? Sergio Aguero came off with a minor hamstring injury last night so a bid for a replacement, one Lionel Messi, should be expected at some stage today, with Zlatan waiting in the wings in Paris if that move hits any snags along the way.

The club who City replaced at the top of the table last night, Arsenal, are also set to be busy bees before the transfer deadline tomorrow, with the Guardian reporting that chief transfer negotiator Dick Law (would you mess with a man called Dick Law?) was in Germany yesterday for advanced negotiations with Schalke.

Whether Arsenal will be prepared to meet Draxler’s £37 million buy-out clause remains to be seen, but the Guardian and most of this morning’s papers expect a deal in the region of £25-30 million to be done in the next couple of days. The Sun say that Arsenal won’t stop there and want Juventus striker Mirko Vucinic as well, while in news that might disconcert some Gunners fans, the Star say that Plan B is a £2.5 million move for former Chelsea forward Salomon Kalou.

We might have claimed not to know a whole lot about Liverpool target and Ukrainian winger Yevhen Konoplyanka in yesterday’s Transfer Talk but it appears as if he’s quite popular indeed, with The Independent reporting that Spurs and even Manchester United might attempt to spoil Liverpool’s fun and snap him up for themselves.

The ball remains in Liverpool’s court, however, with Ian Ayre having reportedly flown to the Ukraine to get the deal done, a deal that will cost Liverpool somewhere between 15 and 20 million quid.

United’s apparent interest in Konoplyanka may have been fuelled by suggestions in the Daily Mail that Inter Milan want Nani on loan, while some papers are again linking Toni Kroos with a move to the Red Devils, particularly after he reacted badly to being substituted during their 2-1 win over Stuttgart last night, a win sealed by a glorious injury-time winner by a man who was on the verge of a move to United in the summer, Thiago Alcantara.

Elsewhere, the Mirror say that Crystal Palace boss Tony Pulis wants to bring in three players before the deadline, although Ireland international and former Pulis favourite Jon Walters is not one of them, The Star say that Chelsea are planning a big move for either Diego Costa or Falcao in the summer and that they won’t be bringing Romelu Lukaku back, while The Sun reckon that QPR boss Harry Redknapp wants to sign Marseille’s Rod Fanni, surely a hall-of-famer when it comes to the most brilliantly named footballers to have ever played the game.