Coral rumour reel: Carvalho, Firmino and Kondogbia to Premier League?
Arsenal, 5/1 shots with Coral to be Premier League champions this coming campaign, are rumoured to have bid £28.5m up front for Sporting Lisbon and Portugal anchorman William Carvalho.
The weekend tabloids claim a further £8.5m in add-ons and bonuses will be needed to trigger his release clause. Carvalho, 23, has gone with his country’s Under-21 squad to the UEFA European Championship in that age bracket currently taking place in the Czech Republic, playing in the 1-0 opening group game win over England.
Defensive midfield is widely perceived to be an area of the Gunners squad that requires improvement, despite Arsene Wenger steering the side to back-to-back FA Cup crowns.
An alternative anchorman could be Monaco and France’s Geoffrey Kondogbia. He played superbly against Arsenal as Leonardo Jardim’s team knocked the Gunners out of last term’s Champions League in the round of 16.
Now, the Gunners’ north London rivals Tottenham, 5/1 top four chances, have joined the queue for 22-year-old’s signature. Kondogbia could cost as much as £25m.
With Brazil star and skipper Neymar now to miss the rest of the Copa America through suspension, the Samba spotlight will shine more intensely on prized Hoffenheim asset Roberto Firmino, 23.
Liverpool, 5/2 for the top four, will be looking at him closely, if the weekend are to be believed, with Reds boss Brendan Rodgers ready to rival Manchester United for Firmino.
On the domestic front, Swansea City and Aston Villa are set to go head-to-head in the race to secure the services of Spurs and England winger Andros Townsend.
The 23-year-old has been in and out of the side at White Hart Lane under Mauricio Pochettino, and has an apparent choice to make between Garry Monk’s Swans, where wide options are plentiful, and linking up with former boss Tim Sherwood at Villa.
And finally, 9/2 relegation chances West Bromwich Albion have agreed a £1.5m fee with Wigan Athletic for Republic of Ireland winger James McClean, 26.
Baggies boss Tony Pulis has been keen to bolster his attacking options on the flanks and this bargain price reflects the Latics’ relegation from the Championship.