It seems as though Arsene Wenger is getting his wallet out again this summer.
Nope, no more moths will be flying out when he opens it up this summer, as Arsenal’s new-found wealth is burning a hole in his pocket.
Reports in the Guardian suggest that Barcelona’s Chilean forward Alexi Sanchez is close to agreeing his switch to Arsenal and the deal will be completed by the end of this week, or perhaps Monday next week at the latest. A fee of $50 million has been agreed by both clubs and Sanchez’s agents have flown into London to agree personal terms on a four-year deal.
[ RELATED: Arsenal, Liverpool to battle for Sanchez ]
The deal is thought to hinge on Barca’s imminent signing of Luis Suarez from Liverpool, with the only hold up being that the Catalan club want to secure Suarez’s signature before letting Sanchez join the Gunners.
If Wenger does succeed in luring another top talent to the Emirates stadium this summer, just like he did with the $65 million signing of Mesut Ozil this time last year, it will be a huge coup for the North London club as the likes of Liverpool were hot on the heels of the Chilean speedster. Arsenal are finally flexing their financial muscle and are proving they can mix it with the big boys of European soccer once again.
Sanchez was a key member of Chile’s side at the 2014 World Cup as they were knocked out by hosts Brazil on penalty kicks in the round of 16. The former Udinese winger joined Barca in 2011 and has gone on to score 47 goals and added 34 assists in 141 games for the Spanish giants. His ability to play centrally or out wide would fit into Arsenal’s model, as the 25-year-old’s pace would replicate that of Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in the attacking third. Plus, the boy can finish.
Can Wenger pull this deal off early in the summer, much to the envy of the rest of the Premier League?
Sanchez would be a truly wonderful signing for Arsenal and, no disrespect to Olivier Giroud, he’d be the world-class striker the Gunners’ faithful have been pleading for.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic may be 35 and coming off major knee surgery, but that isn’t stopping suitors from lining up across Europe.
Ibrahimovic’s agent, Mino Raiola, says that MLS is not an option for the Swede over the next two seasons. From Sky Sports:
“Many clubs have asked for Zlatan. He can play two more years and will stay in Europe, 100 per cent.”
It would make sense for Ibrahimovic to stay around Manchester United, where he is admired by Jose Mourinho and coming off a season that showed he’s still capable of contributing at a high level.
But he remains beloved in Italy, and would be effective for most clubs in the Top 5 leagues should he return at even 75 percent of the Zlatan we’ve seen regularly.
Manchester United wants Ivan Perisic, and both the player and his current club are all about it.
Perisic, 28, is ready to leave Inter Milan, and the Serie A mainstays are happy to accept $46 million for his services according to Sky Sports.
[ MORE: No China for Costa ]
Primarily a left winger, Perisic moved to Inter from Wolfsburg at the start of the 2015-16 season. He scored 10 goals and added nine assists in Serie A play this season, and has kept up his production pace since moving from the Bundesliga to Italy.
United needs stars and depth for its Champions League campaign, and Perisic would buttress an attack with Marcus Rashford, Henrikh Mkhitaryan amongst others. He was a difference maker for Croatia at EURO 2016, and can do the same at Old Trafford.
GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) Celtic completed a trophy treble in Scottish soccer and finished the domestic season undefeated after beating Aberdeen 2-1 in the Scottish Cup final thanks to an injury-time goal on Saturday.
Midfielder Tom Rogic scored from an acute angle in the second minute of stoppage time at Hampden Park to ensure Celtic added the cup to the Scottish Premiership and the Scottish League Cup.
[ MORE: No China for Costa ]
Brendan Rodgers became the third manager, after Jock Stein (1967, 1969) and Martin O’Neill (2001), to lead Celtic to a treble of domestic titles.
Celtic hasn’t lost any of its 47 games across in the league and both cups, and is the first team to go through the whole of a Scottish domestic season unbeaten.
Blues striker Diego Costa offered some insight into his future following Chelsea’s FA Cup Final loss to Arsenal on Saturday.
The combustible striker was subject to a head-turning bid from the Chinese Super League this winter, but is only looking at two European locations for his future.
Those are his current club, Chelsea, as well as former home at Atletico Madrid.
[ JPW: Poignant FA Cup Final reflects English mood ]
The 28-year-old Costa has kept his scoring pace level since arriving in the Premier League. He scored 64 goals in 134 matches for Atleti, and has notched 58 goals for Chelsea in 120 appearances.
Costa reportedly said, “No, no, no” when asked about China, as well as the following: