With only ten days to go in the summer transfer window, Arsene Wenger still hasn’t brought in a centre-back to appease Arsenal fans. However, it’s not a defender he’s being linked to in today’s newspapers, while Chelsea have reportedly turned their attentions to a Croatian striker.
Brahimi to Arsenal
After missing out on Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez, Arsenal are chasing Porto winger Yacine Brahimi, according to reports. The Sunday Mirror claims Arsene Wenger is ready to make a move for the Algerian after Mahrez signed a new four-year deal at the King Power Stadium.
It’s believed Porto are prepared to sell the 26-year-old, who was left out the squad for their Champions League qualifier in midweek, for £40million. Brahimi grabbed eight assists and seven goals in 33 league appearances for the Portuguese giants last campaign. He has also been linked with Liverpool and Chelsea in the past, but the Gunners are understood to be the only side with concrete interest.
— Mirror Football (@MirrorFootball) August 21, 2016
Wenger has frustrated Arsenal fans after only bringing in Granit Xhaka, Rob Holding and Takuma Asano so far this window, with Xhaka the only player likely to feature in the starting line-up regularly this season.
Rumor ratings: 6/10. Wenger has made it clear that a centre-back is his main priority for the rest of the transfer window, although he did hint he could bring in reinforcements in other areas if the quality was right. It doesn’t sound like Wenger to spend £40million on one player, but desperate times call for desperate measures. We’ll believe it when we see it.
Burke to Premier League
Nottingham Forest youngster Oliver Burke is attracting interest from a host of Premier League clubs, according to reports. The Sunday Mirror claims that Arsenal, West Ham, Tottenham and Liverpool have already been to watch the Scot on a number of occasions and Sunderland are the latest club to check him out.
Yes! Delighted to get two
👈🏻👉🏻 madness of a game but I'm sure that entertained you all! 👍🏻#35 pic.twitter.com/jNW9I0fGzd
— Oliver Burke (@OliverBurke55) August 21, 2016
At 19, Burke is already a full Scotland international and he scored twice in Nottingham Forest’s 4-3 victory over Wigan on Saturday in the EFL Championship. The newspaper claims that Forest boss Philippe Montanier wants to hold on to the teenage sensation and that his best hope of keeping Burke would be if one of the big clubs bought him and then loaned him back for the season. The asking price for Burke is thought to be around £10million and the report goes on to say that a successful bid from Sunderland or West Ham could see the winger being required straightaway.
Rumor ratings: 8/10. In a market where young British players cost an arm and a leg, this could be a cheap bit of business for moneybag Premier League sides.
Mandzukic to Chelsea
New Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is set to raid his old club Juventus for striker Mario Mandzukic after missing out on Romelu Lukaku, according to the Sunday Mirror.
Everton boss Ronald Koeman confirmed over the weekend that the Blues’ previous target, Lukaku, has decided to stay at Goodison Park for at least another season. The Dutchman said: “He spoke to me yesterday morning that he made a decision by himself to stay at least one more season at Everton. That was great news for everybody. It’s possible (he signs his new contract).” The news has meant that Conte, who would like to add more firepower at Stamford Bridge, will be forced to change tact.
The newspaper report adds that Mandzukic is top of his list as Chelsea look to sign a proven striker to score goals at the highest level. The Croatian has only spent one season in Turin and would reportedly be available for around £25million.
Rumor ratings: 6/10. Mandzukic is definitely that tried and tested goalscorer Conte is after, but it could be too much of a gamble on a 30-year-old that has never played in the Premier League.