Top players and the premiership
LONDON — Tomas Rosicky ( has taken aim at Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger having been marginalised in north London after committing his short-term future to the club.
Wenger confirmed in May that the Gunners had exercised the option of extending Rosicky’s contract by a further year but featured in just one of the club’s last 10 games of the season and was left out of the squad entirely for the FA Cup final against Aston Villa.
The Czech Republic international has regularly hinted that his future could lie away from Arsenal and the 34-year-old has risked becoming further ostracised by slamming Wenger’s selection policy.
“Since the moment Arsene Wenger ‘used’ the option in my contract, I haven’t even been on the bench. I am laughing but it’s not funny. It’s frustrating but I am a professional. Even if you lose your place, you must still be prepared because the situation can change. I’ll start the summer preparation with Arsenal and that’s the whole of my plan for the time being,” he said.
Rosicky made eight starts in all competitions for Arsenal and his opportunities next season could be reduced further if Wenger caves to pressure and signs a holding midfielder to provide competition to Francis Coquelin.
“It is purely a coach’s decision,” he told Denik.cz. “It’s not my decline. My health is fine too. Of course I want to play, but there’s not much I can do about it. I’m not in this alone, there are other players in a similar boat. When we do get a chance it’s harder for us to get into our rhythm.” — IOL LONDON — The Premier League earns the biggest television revenue in the leading leagues. But, can they attract the top stars? Simon Jones has a look. Paul Pogba: Juventus — Cost: £65m Manchester City, United and Chelsea want the Juventus star but agent Mino Raiola is blunt about him going to the highest bidder. Paris Saint-germain think the France international can spearhead a Champions League push, as do Barcelona, who can do a deal from January 2016. CHANCES: 3/5 Lars Bender: Bayer Leverkusen — Cost: £22m City have contingency plans should they fail to land Pogba and Bender, 26, is on the list. Watched by Arsenal and Manchester United, he is the twin of Dortmund’s Sven. Lars is a rangy defensive midfielder comfortable bringing the ball out of defence. Contracted until 2019 but has had injury problems. CHANCES: 2/5 Gonzalo Higuain: Napoli — Cost: £37million The Argentina striker wants to leave but Napoli are reluctant to sell without recouping the £32million they paid. He is 27 and carrying a little weight, which concerned scouts at Manchester United. Juventus expressed an interest while Arsenal and Chelsea have monitored his progress. Jose Mourinho is a fan from his time at Real Madrid. CHANCES: 3/5 Bastian Schweinsteiger: Cost: £8m Manchester United have earmarked Schweinsteiger (right) for midfield and are also considering Morgan Schneiderlin of Southampton. The German is on big wages and will be 31 on August 1 but Louis van Gaal wants someone to share Michael Carrick’s burden of pulling the strings in midfield. CHANCES: 2/5 Kevin de Bruyne: Cost: £45m The ex-chelsea midfielder was named best player in the Bundesliga and City sporting director Txiki Begiristain has spoken to agent Patrick de Koster. Bayern Munich, PSG and Juventus are also keen. Wolfsburg want him to sign a new contract. CHANCES: 3/5 Douglas Costa:
Bayern Munich —
Shakhtar Donetsk — Cost:
£24m Brazilian has made his love of Chelsea and Jose Mourinho clear and nearly moved in January. Instead Chelsea signed Fiorentina’s Juan Cuadrado, who has failed to shine. Inter Milan want Cuadrado on loan with a view to a permanent deal and that could pave the way for Costa. Liverpool and Arsenal have also shown an interest in the attacker, who has a Portuguese passport. CHANCES: 4/5 Karim Benzema: Real Madrid — Cost: £35m Could struggle to make the starting XI at Real Madrid next season, with Rafa Benitez considering playing Cristiano Ronaldo as centre forward. Agent Karim Dajziri is undeterred. ‘I haven’t met with any club in London,’ he said. ‘Not with United or anyone else. He would only leave if Real Madrid told him he was surplus to requirements, because he isn’t going to leave of his own accord.’ CHANCES: 1/5
These are more likely to arrive Yohan Cabaye -(PSG) £10m The stylish midfielder (below) has been pushed out by PSG’S all-star cast so wants a return to the Premier League and Crystal Palace want to sign him. Cedric Soares-( Sporting Lisbon) £3.5m Stoke have bid £3.5m for the Portugal right back, also watched by Arsenal and Barcelona. Anthony Martial-( Monaco) £18.5m Exciting French forward, 19, who shone in the Champions League. Tottenham will push for a deal. Cristian Benavente-( Real Madrid) £4m ‘Peruvian Ronaldinho’ has starred for Castilla and is in talks with West Brom. Pedro Obiang-( Sampdoria) £4.4m A tough, technical midfielder, 23, who is heading to West Ham. Shinji Okazaki-( Mainz) £9m A long-term Leicester target, the Japan striker looks set to move for £8m. Franck Tabanou-( St Etienne) £3.5m French left back wants to join Swansea., and the clubs are close to a deal. — Daily Mail
Kevin de Bruyne