Gunners to battle Spurs for Sebastian Giovinco’s signature?
Premier League trio Arsenal (odds-on at 4/9 with Coral for a top four finish), Liverpool (11/10) and Tottenham (3/1) are set for a three-way dance to secure small Italian striker Sebastian Giovinco on a free transfer from Juventus next summer.
The 27-year-old, 5ft 5in attacker has won back-to-back Serie A titles with the Turin giants, but lost his place at Juve last term, with Massimiliano Allegri and predecessor Antonio Conte preferring to pair Fernando Llorente and Carlos Tevez up front.
Giovinco made a name for himself during two seasons on loan at Parma, netting 15 times in 2011/12. Arsene Wenger, Brendan Rodgers and Mauricio Pochetino will all be evaluating their current forward options as the season progresses.
Spurs are especially short in attack, with Spanish flop Roberto Soldado strongly linked with leaving White Hart Lane for La Liga champions Atletico Madrid or Inter Milan. Pochettino and club chairman Daniel Levy are rumoured to be preparing an offer of £15m for West Bromwich Albion frontman Saido Berahino in the winter window, however.
Rodgers, meanwhile, already has Giovinco’s compatriots Mario Balotelli and Fabio Borini on the books at Anfield. The former has failed to fire since a £16m summer switch from AC Milan, though, while English pair Rickie Lambert and Daniel Sturridge have struggled for form and fitness respectively.
The Gunners have a glut of forward options, including recent arrival Danny Welbeck, Theo Walcott, who will soon return from a lengthy lay-off , Yaya Sanogo, Alexis Sanchez, Lukas Podolski, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, injured France frontman Olivier Giroud and Joel Campbell.
Giovinco, who can also operate on the left flank or in a support striker/number 10 role, is a Tuscany native, and has never played outside of northern Italy. He also counts Empoli among his former clubs.
An Azzurri squad selection by Cesare Prandelli for Euro 2012 and the 2013 Confederations Cup, Giovinco has 17 caps for his country to date, and Conte, now Italy national boss, has called him up for the latest round of qualifiers. He is a 7/2 chance with Coral to net last in the away game in Malta.