By DAN KARELL
Arsenal’s English Premier League and UEFA Champions League title hopes have taken a huge hit as of Tuesday morning.
According to reports in France, Arsenal are set to be without frontman Olivier Giroud for approximately three months after the French international suffered a broken foot in Arsenal’s 2-2 draw with Everton. While the club have yet to confirm the reports, Giroud has been ruled out for at least Arsenal’s return leg Champions League match on Wednesday against Besiktas at the Emirates Stadium.
The harsh news means that Arsene Wenger is left with only the inexperienced and oft-injured Yaya Sanogo and the talented but slight Alexis Sanchez as options to play the center forward role. This could mean that Arsenal may venture back into the transfer market, though with less than a week remaining in the summer transfer window, any purchase would be difficult.
L’Equipe in France is reporting that Arsenal have their eyes on Manchester United’s Danny Welbeck, Queens Park Rangers’ Loic Remy, Paris Saint-Germain’s Edinson Cavani, and AS Monaco’s Radamel Falcao. The latter two transfers seem much more unlikely than the former two.
Here are some more stories to kick off your Tuesday:
ROMA READY TO CASH IN ON BENATIA
AS Roma left it late, but it seems that Mehdi Benatia is getting his wish after all.
A few months after reportedly making comments that he’d prefer to move to another club, AS Roma have reportedly agreed to sell the Moroccan international defender to Bayern Munich for a fee of €26 million, with an additional €4 million in add ons. Benatia is set to arrive in Munich on Wednesday to undergo a medical and sign a five-year contract worth €4 million per season, according to reports in Italy.
Benatia is coming off a stellar season where he revived his career and led Roma back to the Champions League for the first time since 2010.
In Benatia’s place, Roma have lined up the signing of Olympiakos defender Kostas Manolas, for a reported €13 million. The Greek international has Champions League and World Cup experience, and is expected to arrive in Rome on Tuesday to complete the transfer.
NEYMAR, TER STEGEN BACK IN TRAINING
Barcelona welcomed Neymar and Marc Andre-ter Stegen back to the training pitch on Tuesday, even though they’re still a few weeks away from returning to full fitness.
The pair, along with Thomas Vermaelen, trained on their own on Tuesday morning at Barcelona’s training complex, as they return from their various injuries. Ter Stegen is suffering from a lower back injury, Neymar picked up a sprained ankle in training last week, and Vermaelen carried a thigh injury with him from the World Cup into Barcelona, and is expected to return in mid-September.
It’s early in the week but Barcelona could be expected to start Rafinha and Munir El Haddadi up front alongside Lionel Messi for the second consecutive week. The young pair helped Barcelona to a 3-0 victory over Elche in their La Liga opener.
Former Barcelona and Inter Milan star, Samuel Eto’o, is closing in on a free transfer to Everton, and he’s expected to sign a two-year contract. (REPORT)
Queens Park Rangers are preparing a bid to sign Ghanian international Andre Ayew from Marseille. (REPORT)
Santos may have to sell wonderkid Gabriel in order to balance their books, with reports in Brazil expecting the transfer to be worth at least €13 million. (REPORT)
Borussia Dortmund are looking at signing 18-year-old French forward Neal Maupay, who is currently on the books of OGC Nice. (REPORT)
Former Chivas USA head coach Jose Luis “Chelis” Sanchez Sola has been appointed Puebla head coach. (REPORT)
Oscar Garcia has resigned from his post as manager of Maccabi Tel Aviv, with fellow countryman Pako Ayestaran taking the reigns. (REPORT)
What do you think of these reports? Who do you see filling in for Giroud up front for Arsenal? Do you see Benatia starting regularly for Bayern? Think Manolas is a good replacement at Roma?
Share your thoughts below.