We’re Gunner get David Villa
Arsene Wenger held showdown talks with the Arsenal hierarchy as the Gunners’ manager figures out who to try to swoop for with Transfer Deadline Day approaching. According to reports Arsenal have been unable to secure their primary January targets and are going to throw everything into trying to secure the signature of Barcelona’s David Villa.
The long wait for a trophy has gone on too long for a large number of Arsenal fans and the lack of January activity will anger plenty of the Emirates faithful. David Villa is Spain’s all-time top scorer and is apparently keen on coming to the Premier League, but not necessarily to Arsenal. With Mario Balotelli on his way out of Manchester City, could the reigning Champions make a surprise swoop for the striker? The Daily Mail and The Mirror.
Bye bye Balotelli, we’ll miss you
Today is the day Mario Balotelli will reportedly join AC Milan for £19.5 million and end his time at Manchester City. The maverick striker was at the Etihad for two-and-a-half chaotic years, and boss Roberto Mancini said he had no choice but to sell the Italian.
‘We are so sad because Mario was an important player for us’, said the gaffer. ‘With Mario we won the Premier League and the FA Cup in two years. For me, Mario was like another one of my children. You can be upset with him but afterwards he’s a lovely lad’.
‘I invest a lot of time with all players. With Mario, maybe more. It was emotional when we said goodbye. When I say that I love Mario, and all his team-mates love him, it’s true’.
Balotelli is due to tidy up his personal terms, complete a medical and then dot the i’s and cross the t’s at some point this afternoon. The Sun.
Jack the lad – Chelsea close in on Butland
Birmingham’s shot-stopper Jack Butland could be on his way to join the European Champions Chelsea. The 19-year-old will have a chance to talk to the Blues after Brum accepted a £3.5 million offer for the England keeper. Liverpool, Everton and Fulham have all been interested in the keeper but it appears Chelsea are leading the race as they look for a long-term successor to Petr Cech.
Birmingham’s finances are worse than the Greek economy at the minute so the entire squad has been put up for sale. After Sunderland had a £6 million offer for Jack Butland rejected last year, Birmingham have had to accept a knock-down fee this time around to try and get some pennies in the bank. The Sun.
Seal the deal – Coutinho photographed with a Liverpool shirt
Either Philippe Coutinho is more forward than a desperate 30-year-old at a bar fearing a life of loneliness, or his move to Liverpool is pretty much done. The Brazilian play-maker has been pictured holding up a Liverpool shirt after Liverpool agreed a fee of £8.5 million with Inter Milan.
The only thing preventing the deal being confirmed appears to be one of those pesky work permits, but once that is sorted everything should be laughing. Coutinho will become Liverpool’s second signing of the January window as Brendan Rodgers attempts to seal a top four spot. The Daily Mail.