Transfer Talk: Arsenal recoup £6m by moving on Eduardo
Arsenal are to sell striker Eduardo da Silva to Shakhtar Donetsk for £6m after the striker passed a medical with the Ukrainian champions. The striker suffered a shocking double fracture of his left leg at Birmingham City in February 2008 and, although he has physically recovered, the Croatia international failed to play well enough to earn a regular starting place with the Gunners.
Eduardo, 27, is to sign a three-year contract with Shakhtar, worth around £50,000 a week. He leaves Arsenal following the club's decision to sign striker Marouane Chamakh on a free transfer from Bordeaux in May. The Arsenal manager, Arsène Wenger, had been reluctant to let the Brazilian-born forward leave, but relented because he was determined to move on.
The Shakhtar coach, Mircea Lucescu, said: "We wanted to buy Eduardo before he moved to Arsenal. Not everything went his way last season, but he is still a player of very high quality, a real marksman. Yes, he had a serious injury, we are aware of the risk, but at the same time we realise he can give a lot to Shakhtar. We expect a lot from Eduardo."
The striker, who joined Arsenal for £7.5m from Dynamo Zagreb three years ago, decided on the move after speaking to Slaven Bilic, the Croatia manager. Bilic said: "I spoke with Eduardo. He was very pleased with the move to Shakhtar. He is going to a strong league. This season they will once again play in the Champions League, have many difficult matches and this is excellent for the national team."
Arsenal's Swiss defender Johan Djourou is to make another step in his return from injury in a friendly tonight against Sturm Graz in Austria. Djourou missed almost all of last season with a knee injury, making his only appearance as a substitute against Fulham on the last day of the season. He said: "The knee is good. This season is a new start for me. I had a hard season last time and now I feel good, I feel fresh, so I am ready to go."
The Internazionale manager, Rafael Benitez, has admitted that the striker Mario Balotelli could leave the European champions, which will encourage Manchester City, who are believed to be preparing a bid for the 19-year-old.
"Balotelli? Lets wait and see what happens," Benitez said. "The fact remains that one player doesn't make a team and Inter have plenty of strong players."
City representatives are thought to be in Milan to negotiate terms with Balotelli, but his agent, Mino Raiola, has hinted that "all doors remain open" to other possible bidders. Chelsea have also been linked with the Italian forward.
West Ham United
Nice have rejected the Hammers' £12.5m bid for striker Loïc Rémy as the London club battle with Liverpool and another unnamed Premier League side to sign him. Rémy, who prefers a move to Anfield, would be allowed to go to West Ham if they made an initial down payment of £7.5m. However, Rémy's agent has said that another club is also interested. "I have a meeting with the club on Wednesday," he said. "Whatever happens, Loïc will be leaving Nice this summer and his heart is set on England."
The Real Madrid midfielder Mahamadou Diarra has committed himself to the Spanish club despite an approach from Newcastle. The Mali international wants to fight for a first-team place at the Bernabau and the 29-year-old's agent Frederic Guerra said: "I spoke with Real Madrid and was told that Jose Mourinho wants Diarra, but I know Newcastle want Diarra." The former Lyons player was signed by Real for £22m in 2006 and Guerra insists he will see out his contract with the club. "He has one more year left on his deal."
Harry Redknapp has missed out on his second transfer target in two days as Luis Fabiano has decided against a move away from Seville. The Brazil striker was linked with Tottenham, Manchester United and Milan. "I have never said that I will be leaving," he said. "These are big clubs, but I am very happy."
Manchester City's supposed interest in Didier Drogba was denied by both clubs yesterday after one of the striker's agents claimed to have opened talks with City. "We have not spoken to him. There is no foundation to this," a City spokesman said. A Chelsea representative added: "It's irrelevant, Drogba is not for sale."
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