Football transfer rumours: Arsenal to buy Juan Fernando Quintero for £16m?
Say what you want about Arsène Wenger, but the professor ain’t listening. For years he stubbornly refused to address the issue of Arsenal’s leaky defence, preferring to sign tiki-taka style midfielders and play five-a-side in training when fans and scribes alike were crying out for him to buy bruisers at the back and work on set pieces. When Bacary Sagna fled to Manchester City on a free this summer and supporters were desperate for a new right-back to support Carl Jenkinson, Wenger surprised them all by signing two and sending the young Englishman out on loan to West Ham. Now, when Arsenal are crying out for a commanding defensive midfielder who can help Alexis Sánchez fire a title charge, the sophisticated Frenchman with a penchant for luxury items has been busy trying to seal a £16m deal for Porto’s Juan Fernando Quintero, a shiny, young playmaker with quicksilver feet and a propensity for outlandish tricks in all the wrong areas. Journalists in the 21-year-old’s native Colombia say he will fly into London on Monday to complete a £16m move, with one even publishing what he claims are details of the new James Rodríguez’s flight from Bogotá to Heathrow. Cue Roman Abramovich scrambling the private jet to hijack the deal, especially if Porto refuse to accept anything less than Quintero’s £31.7m release clause.
Louis van Gaal’s attempts to revamp Manchester United’s defence took a dent on Wednesday when Stefan de Vrij signed for Lazio, but he will respond by trying to finalise deals for Mats Hummels and Thomas Vermaelen. Worryingly for United though, Hummels’ £20m switch is dependent on Borussia Dortmund finding a replacement, and their main target is Liverpool’s Tiago Ilori. The Mill suspects Brendan Rodgers will be disinclined to lend the Germans his young Portuguese defender if he thinks it will strengthen Liverpool’s hated rivals. Barcelona are also tracking Vermaelen.
Ronald Koeman is ready to show that the St Mary’s door opens inwards as well as out by paying £10m for Sporting Lisbon’s marauding left-back Marcos Rojo, and agreeing loan moves for Inernazionale’s tricky Algerian midfielder Sapher Taider and Parma’s rapid winger Jonathan Biabiany. Southampton face competition from West Brom for the Frenchman’s signature. West Ham have been on something of a transfer blitz so far this summer and have held talks with Samuel Eto’o over a shock free transfer. Sam Allardyce is ready to offer the 33-year-old Cameroon striker a 12-month deal as he seeks to cover the loss of Andy Carroll through injury.
Crystal Palace are close to completing a deal for the highly-rated Brede Hangeland, after the 33-year-old left Fulham following relegation.
Scott Sinclair could be the first of Manchester City’s missing men to beam back into the public consciousness after Aston Villa enquired about the possibility of a £3m deal. Micah Richards and Jack Rodwell are waiting patiently by the phone in a darkened room at the back of the training ground hoping Harry Redknapp will call on deadline day.
By Rob Bleaney The Guardian