Transfer news round-up: Chelsea linked with Mario Balotelli; Toni Kroos interests Arsenal; Yevhen Konoplyanka still destined for Liverpool

A look at the latest rumours from around the web

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The Independent Football

Chelsea will be in need of a striker in the summer with none of their current forwards in the 'prolific' category and Samuel Eto'o destined to spend just a season at Stamford Bridge. It would seem that Jose Mourinho has his eye on Mario Balotelli according to Sports Direct News. Since leaving Manchester City for AC Milan, the Italian has found the back of the net on a more regular basis - but could Mourinho really handle a player with an ego even more inflated than his own?

Yevhen Konoplyanka was the 'saga' of the most recent transfer window. He was seemingly on the verge of joining Liverpool in a £15m deal before it collapsed with blame then being aimed at either side for it doing so. The Ukraine international will be among the most hotly tipped players for a move in the summer and according to Dnipro executive director Andriy Rusol, the player is "a thousand per cent sure" to be targeted by Liverpool again. He adds that Dnipro will "let him go".

Toni Kroos, a key member of the Bayern Munich side that continue to sweep away all who stand before them, has emerged as a target for Arsenal according to reports. The German midfielder was strongly linked with Manchester United last month after it emerged he was playing hard ball over a new contract at the Allianz Arena. Despite that, Bayern seem unlikely to let the 24-year-old go, but should they relinquish, Arsenal will be among those in the queue.

Newcastle may have lost Joe Kinnear, the man drafted in to sign new players for the club, but having failed to sign a single player on a permanent deal during his time at St James' Park most may see it as an obstacle having been removed in their quest for new players. Despite that, long-time target Bafetimbi Gomis has indicated he may opt to remain with Lyon beyond the summer according to Talksport.


Thomas Vermaelen might be the Arsenal captain, but being the skipper hasn't helped him get into the starting XI at the Emirates this season. Rumour is rife that he will depart in the summer and the latest side linked with his services is Russian outfit Zenit St Petersburg who are reportedly preparing a bid for the 28-year-old centre-back.