After already spending $95 million on new players this summer, is Arsene Wenger set to splash the cash once again?
Reports from Spain suggest that Wenger is chasing Paris Saint-Germain forward Edinson Cavani and despite the forward stating he wishes to remain at PSG, Arsenal are set to make a bid believed to be in the region of $85 million. Wowza.
[RELATED: PL season previews]
Cavani, 27, has only been in the French capital for a season but was shunted out to the left wing as Zlatan Ibrahimovic played the lone forward role. The former Napoli man still managed to score 25 goals from the flank in all competitions for Les Parisiens but looked out of sorts for Uruguay at the World Cup this summer. His potential deal to the Emirates Stadium all hinges on Angel Di Maria’s reported move from Real Madrid to PSG, as Di Maria would take Cavani’s berth on the left wing of a three-man forward line and leave Cavani on the outside looking in.
Spanish journalist Kike Marin has set the rumor mill on fire after suggesting the Gunners are trying to push through a deal as PSG aim to cash in on Cavani to spend big on Di Maria. Ah, the old domino-effect.
So, do Arsenal need a new forward?
With Olivier Giroud as their lone targetman and youngster Yaya Sanogo backing him up, they do seem light in the central area after letting Nicklas Bendtner leave on a free. Alexis Sanchez has joined this summer for $55 million from Barcelona and can play out wide or as a second-striker. Sanchez’s pacey runs off of Cavani’s flick ons and their potential to develop a little and large partnership must have Wenger licking his lips in anticipation.
Of course Giroud isn’t a bad striker and despite a lean spell to end the season the French international bagged 22 goals in 51 games last campaign. Arsenal have options up top but if they have the chance to snap Cavani up and the funds are there for Wenger to spend, he must pounce.
Cavani, Mesut Ozil and Sanchez all in the same team… that would turn Arsenal from top four hopefuls to title contenders. No doubt.
PRAGUE (AP) Czech champion Viktoria Plzen is close to signing Austrian midfielder Andreas Ivanschitz.
Plzen says Ivanschitz agreed terms for a contract lasting 1 + seasons and will sign it when the team returns from a training camp in Spain. Ivanschitz has already joined the squad at the Oliva Nova resort, the club says.
Ivanschitz helped the Seattle Sounders win their first MLS Cup in December.
[ NEW HOMES: Fonte | Berahino ]
No financial details were given.
The 33-year-old Ivanschitz also played for Rapid Vienna and Red Bull Salzburg in Austria, Mainz in the Bundesliga, Levante in Spain and Panathinaikos in Athens.
Ivanschitz played 69 games for Austria in 2003-14, scoring 12 goals.
Joel Matip is going to get to play for Liverpool during AFCON after all.
The center back had turned down the chance to represent Cameroon at the Africa Cup of Nations, and Liverpool was forced to apply to FIFA for a waiver.
[ PL PREVIEW: Swansea vs. Liverpool ]
Matip suffered an ankle injury in December, adding to his desire to stay at Anfield. He declared himself internationally retired and was one of six Cameroon players who refused call-ups for AFCON.
He last played for the Reds on Dec. 11, and can be selected by Jurgen Klopp against Swansea City on Saturday.
MANCHESTER, England (AP) Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney says he raised 1.2 million pounds ($1.5 million) from a friendly game against former club Everton last year.
That represents the profits, after operational costs, from August’s sellout match at Old Trafford and goes toward the Wayne Rooney Foundation’s target of raising 5 million pounds for children’s charities.
[ NEW HOMES: Fonte | Berahino ]
Rooney said: “I’d like to thank all the fans who came to the testimonial and made it such a special night. They’ve raised a huge amount of money for children who are disadvantaged and it will make a real difference to their lives.”
Rooney is one goal from breaking Manchester United’s scoring record, with the striker currently tied with Bobby Charlton on 249 goals.
Rooney joined United from Everton in 2004.
Robert Lewandowski picked up where he left off.
The Polish striker scored twice for Bayern Munich, once in stoppage time, as the Bavarians improved their Bundesliga lead to six points after toppling Freiburg 2-1 on Friday.
[ MORE: Bundesliga second half preview ]
And what a winner it was, Lewandowski taking a Douglas Costa cross with two juggling touches before hitting an offspeed bouncer inside the post.
It was the league’s first match following the winter/holiday break, giving Bayern a cushion before RB Leipzig takes the pitch against Eintracht Frankfurt in a Top Five tilt on Saturday.
Lewandowski moves closer to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on the goal scoring chart. His 13th and 14th goals have him two back of Borussia Dortmund’s striker, as Lewandowski pursues a third Golden Boot in four seasons.
Full Weekend Schedule
Freiburg 1-2 Bayern Munich — Friday
Augsburg vs. Hoffenheim — Saturday
Schalke vs. Ingolstadt — Saturday
Darmstadt vs. Borussia Monchengladbach — Saturday
Werder Bremen vs. Borussia Dortmund — Saturday
Wolfsburg vs. Hamburger SV — Saturday
RB Leipzig vs. Eintracht Frankfurt — Saturday
Bayer Leverkusen vs. Hertha Berlin — Sunday
Mainz vs. Koln — Sunday