1. Rooney has heart set on Chelsea:
Wayne Rooney’s camp have informed Arsenal that the player has made up his mind to join Chelsea, sources close to the negotiations have told ESPN.
With the pursuit of Liverpool’s Luis Suarez reaching an exceptionally tense impasse, Arsene Wenger has attempted to keep the Rooney option open as he seeks to bring in a forward.
Although Rooney is understood to have made his huge admiration of Wenger clear to him, he is determined to join Chelsea and team up with Jose Mourinho, something Arsenal have been notified of.
At the moment, however, the prospects of that remain slim. United are steadfast in their refusal to sell Rooney and it is understood the club may attempt a more conciliatory approach in order to keep him happy.
The developments could force Arsenal to turn their attention even further afield, given that Anfield sources have maintained that Liverpool owner John Henry’s comments on Thursday were no mere negotiating ploy.
In a stance that is said to be even more hardline than United’s attitude to selling Rooney, Liverpool officials are unequivocal about not selling the Uruguayan to another English club. One Anfield insider cited how it would be tantamount to ceding the race for fourth before the season has even begun.
United, meanwhile, are re-assessing their options as the club’s pursuit of Cesc Fabregas appears to have terminally stalled. Widely reported approaches for Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines are expected to be made in the next week, with David Moyes considering his next move as regards to bringing in a central midfielder.
Moyes is known to have been happily surprised by the progress Anderson, 25, in training and pre-season games, but still feels the club may need to bring in midfield reinforcements, even beyond Fellaini.
2. Arsenal set to beat Chelsea to Kondogbia:
Reports in Italy suggest that the Gunners are the latest club to express interest in Kondogbia, who has also been linked with a move to Manchester City and Chelsea.
But according to transfer website Tuttomercatoweb Arsenal’s biggest rivals for the 20-year-old’s signing will come from Spain, with Real Madrid also known to hold an interest in the player.
Kondogbia has a contract at Sevilla until 2017 having only joined the club from Lens last season, but Los Rojiblancos seem resigned to seeing the midfielder depart this summer if someone meets his release clause of£8.5m.
Sevilla coach Unai Emery told Marca: “We want him to stay here but there are circumstances that could lead to an exit.
“We will not make any movement to sell. There is no need to sell and we all know that in the club.”
Last month Kondogbia spoke at his pride at being linked to Real Madrid but seemed to suggest he would remain at Sevilla for the upcoming season at least.
He said: “I am flattered to be linked with Real Madrid.
“They are a top club, but Sevilla are fantastic for me at the moment.
“Chelsea are also a great team with a great manager, so let’s wait and see what will happen after the World Cup.”
Since then though Sevilla president Jose Maria del Nido has confirmed that a bid has been received, but that he still hopes the player will stay.
He said: “We have rejected an offer for Kondogbia – the bid was not sufficient. Our idea is that he continues growing at Sevilla, just like he did last year. But there is a release clause that says if we have a written offer of £8.5million, we must accept it and he can go.”
Kondogbia made 31 appearances for Sevilla in La Liga last season and is thought to have impressed France coach Didier Deschamps with his displays at the Under-20 World Cup in Turkey this summer, where he played in the same side as recent Arsenal arrival Yaya Sanogo.
3. Monaco to beat Chelsea to Arda Turan:
Monaco have already added extensively to their squad ahead of their return to Ligue 1 this season and are reportedly still in the market for a goalkeeper.
But reports in Spain and France now suggest that the Monegasques also hope to add further attacking impetus and have identified Turan as the man they want to complement the signings of Joao Moutinho, James Rodriguez and ex-Atletico hitman Radamel Falcao.
According to Spanish channel Cuatro Monaco hope that a £14.5m offer will be enough to sign the 26-year-old and beat out interest from Chelsea, Liverpool and Real Madrid.
But Atletico may also insist on any suitors for Turan meeting the player’s release clause, thought to stand at £20m.
It was thought that Real Madrid would move for Turan as a replacement for Fabio Coentrao, ironically linked with a move to Monaco and Chelsea, as well as Tottenham.
But it seems that Monaco are now keen to cut out the middle men and move directly for Turan themselves.
Turan scored six goals in 21 games for Atletico in La Liga last season after moving to Madrid from Galatasaray in 2011.
Turan’s reputation as one of the most promising talents in Europe was enough for Atletico to pay £10m plus extras to bring the Turkish international to Estadio Vicente Calderón, making him his country’s most expensive player ever.
But after two season with Los Colchoneros it now seems Turan is destined for pastures new and Monaco now seem to be the most likely destination ahead of the new season.