European champions Bayern Munich are eying a surprise move for Arsenal’s attacking midfielder Tomas Rosicky as contract talks stall between the two parties.
The 33-year-old’s current deal runs out at the end of the year but Gunners manager Arsene Wenger is confident that Rosicky will stay at the Emirates.
Discussions are thought to be progressing slowly but Bayern’s tentative interest could complicate matters with Rosicky making just seven Premier League starts this season.
However, Wenger has often turned to Rosicky in key matches — the Czech international has started five of the Gunners’ eight Champions League games to date — and believes he remains an important part of his future plans at Emirates Stadium.
According to the Evening Standard, Wenger is hopeful of announcing his own contract extension in the coming weeks alongside fresh deals for Per Mertesacker, Bacary Sagna and Rosicky but the latter pair are proving more difficult to tie down.
Arsenal remain confident that Rosicky will commit his future to the club but Bayern’s involvement will test their resolve. Sources in Germany claim that while Pep Guardiola is thought to be an admirer of Rosicky’s, the club’s interest comes from a more senior level.
Bayern wanted to sign Rosicky as far back as 2001 when the midfielder was at Sparta Prague but Borussia Dortmund won the race for his signature for a fee of 14.5million euros.
He became the most expensive player in Bundesliga history and in his first full season Dortmund won the League title. Rosicky joined Arsenal in 2006 for £7m but Bayern continued to monitor his progress and the prospect of his availability on a free transfer has once again sparked their interest.
Bayern already have plenty of attacking midfield options including Mario Gotze, Thomas Mueller, Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery but Rosicky’s versatility is viewed as an important factor.
A deal is improbable with Rosicky thought to be happy at Arsenal but Bayern hope a move to the current European champions — who the Gunners face in the last 16 – will tempt him to Bavaria.
The timing of Bayern’s interest emerging lends itself to the possibility that Rosicky’s camp are using Bayern’s interest to leverage a better deal at Arsenal.
As with Sagna, it is thought that Rosicky would prefer a two-year contract but the club are reluctant to sanction anything more than a 12-month extension at present.
What are the biggest January transfers yet to happen?
What are the biggest January transfers yet to happen?
1/8 Tom Ince to Monaco, £10m
Monaco are leading the race to sign Blackpool winger Tom Ince according to reports. The England U21 international was reportedly driven by his father, Blackpool boss Paul Ince, to a meeting with representatives of the French club in London. The Blackpool boss cancelled a press conference ahead of his side's match with Barnsley earlier in the month after refusing to answer questions about his son's future. Instead he reportedly went to meet Monaco representatives, who can speak to the player whose contract expires in six months.
2/8 Edinson Cavani to Manchester United, £40m
Should United take the plunge and sell Wayne Rooney (either to Chelsea or otherwise) they'll need a replacement to fill his impervious shoes. The England striker will be out of contract next summer and is believed to want to make a decision on his future once the season has developed. Edinson Cavani is the international strike partner of fellow Uruguayan Luis Suarez and is reportedly disillusioned by football in Ligue 1. Reports surfaced this month that Sir Alex Ferguson had rung his former player Laurent Blanc, the current PSG manager, to sound out a possible move.
3/8 Yohan Cabaye to PSG, £21m
Newcastle United are preparing themselves for a considerable offer for Yohan Cabaye from the French giants after it emerged that they are willing to part with £21m for the midfielder. PSG have held a firm interest in the 28-year-old Frenchman for over a year and were expected to rival Arsenal for his signature in the summer. The Gunners' £10m bid was rejected and the Parisian club opted to bide their time despite Cabaye missing three games in an attempt to force a move away from St. James' Park.
4/8 Dimitar Berbatov (back) to Tottenham, £1.5m
His agent has already claimed that the Bulgarian would like to leave Fulham this month despite his contract expiring at the end of the season. With £2m believed to be enough to secure skillful striker, it would be a low cost, low risk option, but questions remain over his work rate and energy levels. Whether Berbatov would quench the thirst of fans who feel another striker is integral to their top four hopes remains uncertain, but he does come with a natural talent that few in the Premier League can match – if only he produced it regularly.
5/8 Miralem Pjanic to Manchester United, £27m
Roma star Miralem Pjanic has left the door open on a possible move to reigning Premier League champions Manchester United after admitting that he is 'flattered' by their interest. The 23-year-old Bosnia and Herzegovina international is also attracting attention from French giants Paris Saint Germain. Despite a move seeming unlikely during January, Pjanic appears open to a potential switch. It's a shame he isn't moving to a club in the capital, just because we could bring out our best 'Pjanic on the streets of London' gags.
6/8 Andriy Yarmolenko to Liverpool, £10m
Should they miss out on Salah, Liverpool may switch their attention to Dynamo Kiev's Andriy Yarmolenko. The Reds have held a tentative interest in the 24-year-old after he figured prominently for the Ukraine against England in last year's World Cup qualifiers. Yarmolenko has scored eight league goals in sixteen appearances for Kiev this season, and has fourteen goals for Ukraine. Kop manager Brendan Rodgers is rumoured to prefer Salah, but the Swiss club continue to stall on any potential deal.
7/8 Ravel Morrison to Fulham, £8m
West Ham want a minimum of £10m for their sought-after midfielder Ravel Morrison, according to reports. Sam Allardyce's side have already rejected a £5m bid from Fulham and reported the club to the FA for alleged tapping up of the player. Fulham boss Rene Meulensteen has now reportedly been banned from talking about any transfers as the club try to avoid any more trouble. However West Ham No. 2 Neil McDonald said: “I would imagine everybody has a price. Asked if the Hammers want to keep the England under-21 star, he added: “Why not? He’s a talented player and we need talented players."
8/8 Ilkay Gundogan to Manchester United, £25m
United’s search for midfield reinforcements has led them to Borussia Dortmund’s Ilkay Gundogan, although they could face a fight with Real Madrid to sign the Germany international. With Anderson at Fiorentina on loan, it is believed David Moyes has stepped up his interest in 23-year-old Gundogan whose contract expires in 18 months and is valued at £25m. Part of the attraction is that the midfielder is not cup-tied for the Champions League as he has been out for most of the season with a back injury, although German newspaper Bild reports that Real are also admirers. “I will soon make a decision that will be well considered. It’s still really open,” Gundogan said yesterday.