Ben Arfa to Arsenal, Man Utd eye Lugano, Coentrao to Spurs?
As the dark nights draw in, the all-important January transfer window gets tantalisingly closer, meaning there are red-hot rumours aplenty this week. Here, the Life’s a Pitch team give their expert opinions on the chances of Manchester United tempting Diego Lugano to Old Trafford, Gareth Bale heading to Real Madrid in a swap deal with Fábio Coentrão and Arsenal snagging Hatem Ben Arfa from Newcastle, giving each rumour a rating out of 10.
“Sir Alex Ferguson has told his scouts to search for the best centre-backs of different ages around Europe,” says David Walker of the Sunday Mirror, in response to United’s reported interest in Paris Saint-Germain’s Lugano. “He is a tough Uruguayan who takes no prisoners and knows how to defend. I think the big problem is PSG, who have their own ambitions of becoming a Champions League winning club. So, persuading [manager] Carlo Ancelotti to release his key men will be a problem. I put this down as a five [out of 10].”
The Guardian’s Dominic Fifield writes off any prospect of a swap deal between Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur over Bale in the next window, saying, “Coentrão has had a stop-start time at Real Madrid since he went there, and signed a six-year contract in 2011. In January I give this a one out of 10. I think Spurs would be mad to sell Bale at any price when they’re pursuing Champions League football. It may be one we have to revisit at the end of the season.”
French winger Ben Arfa (pictured) has been strongly linked with Arsenal, especially if the Gunners are forced to sell contract rebel Theo Walcott. Recalling an interview prior to Euro 2012 when Arsène Wenger was asked about the Magpies man, John Cross of the Daily Mirror is convinced the Gunners boss is a fan. “There was a glint in Wenger’s eye that told you: ‘I really like this player’,” says John. “He’d be a good fit. He’s an inventive player that could play wide or come inside and create things but I still feel there’s life in the Theo Walcott saga yet, so signing Hatem Ben Arfa? Perhaps not at the moment. I’ll give it a cautionary five out of 10.”
Watch the full video discussion by clicking on the play button in the image above.
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