BEIRUT

Football

Arsenal’s Song subject of Barcelona bid, United in for Dortmund striker

Arsenal haves rejected a $17.28 million bid for Song.

BEIRUT: Arsenal’s management rejected a bid of 11 million pounds ($17.28 million) from Barcelona for midfielder Alex Song. Spanish daily El Mundo Deportivo say the Spanish giants have their sights on the Cameroon international after being priced out of a move for Athletic Bilbao’s Javi Martinez.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger would prefer to hold on to the player but is reportedly willing to sell should Barcelona table an acceptable offer.

Reports in Spain suggest that Wenger would be willing to do business for 17 million pounds, but the British media claim that Arsenal would prefer a player-plus-cash deal.

Dutch midfielder Ibrahim Afellay has previously been linked with a move to the Emirates stadium, but it now appears that Arsenal will request Cristian Tello as part of any deal.

Responding to the speculation surrounding his future, Song played down suggestions that he is set to leave north London. “I am not going to lie [and say] there is no interest, but I am at Arsenal and I am happy at Arsenal,” he said.

“Barcelona are the best team in the world, and speculation will always continue until the window closes.”

After growing seemingly frustrated with Arsenal’s demands for club captain Robin van Persie, Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has launched a bid to sign Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski.

Reports in Poland suggest that United have allegedly offered 23.6 million pounds ($37 million) for the Polish international who impressed at Euro Cup 2012 after a devastating campaign for Dortmund.

The Bundesliga champions have long insisted that they have no desire to sell Lewandowski, but the player has spent the summer courting interest from Old Trafford.

United have already signed Japanese international Shinji Kagawa from Dortmund this summer.

Ferguson expects a deal taking Bulgarian forward Dimitar Berbatov to Zenit St. Petersburg to be completed soon and supposedly views Lewandowski as an ideal replacement.

After confirming the arrival of Jack Rodwell from Everton, Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini revealed he plans to make one or two additions to his squad before the club’s title defense kicks off Saturday against newly promoted Southampton.

British newspaper The Sun say that Mancini plans to step up his interest in Swansea City’s Scott Sinclair, who impressed while on Olympic duty with Team GB.

Mancini has been unhappy with City’s pursuit of transfer targets this summer, conceding defeat in the club’s attempts to sign van Persie.

“Every manager is unhappy when, one week before the start of the season, we haven’t bought any players,” he said.

“But I hope we can do something about that this week.”

City could move for Athletic Bilbao striker Fernando Llorente after the Spanish club’s president Josu Urrutia confirmed the player said he would not sign a new contract.

“We spoke with him last season and emphasized how important it was that he renewed [his contract],” Urrutia said.

“Ten days ago I received a call from his agents telling me that there was no financial reason for him to continue [with Athletic], and that what was more important for him was to challenge for championships and success.

“I still want Llorente to stay here. In interviews he has said that he wants to stay but now he has told me that he wants to go.”

Wigan Athletic have completed a loan deal for Arsenal’s Japanese winger Ryo Miyachi, opening the door for Victor Moses’ departure to Chelsea.

Chelsea are desperate to land Moses before the start of the domestic season, viewing the young Nigerian playmaker as the final piece of the club’s overhaul of their attack.

Tottenham are closing in on the signing of Rennes’ French midfielder Yann M’Vila, with the French club’s chairman confirming a bid has been made by a Premier League side.

Spurs are said to be willing to pay 9.5 million for the France international, as new Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas looks to shore up his midfield.

“He has a concrete offer from England,” Rennes chairman Frederic de Saint-Serni said, speaking after his team’s 1-0 defeat to Lyon.

The player had reportedly been close to joining Spurs’ fierce local rivals Arsenal before the club pulled out of the deal after questioning his temperament, and insists that he is not desperate to leave Rennes.

“I am happy – I’m not complaining and I’m playing,” M’Vila said.

“As long as I’m at Rennes, I will be available to the manager.”

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on August 14, 2012, on page 14.

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