Press Watch: Arsenal linked with cut-price Claudio Lopez

Ferguson ponders more Elland Road plunder

Jon Culley
Monday 02 June 2003 00:00
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Arsene Wenger, the Arsenal manager, may be strapped for cash these days compared with his rival, Sir Alex Ferguson, but Gunners fans may yet see a big-name summer arrival if the News of the World's spies are correct.

The Argentinian striker Claudio Lopez, who cost £18m when he left Valencia three years ago, is reportedly about to quit Lazio for nothing after the hard-up Rome club imposed a 35 per cent pay cut - and Arsenal are the favourites to land his signature.

The People says Old Trafford is the likeliest destination for Leeds United's Harry Kewell - whose future, like Beckham's, must apparently dovetail with that of his wife. Mrs Kewell - a star of the ITV soap Emmerdale - wants to remain in England for the sake of her television career.

Kewell's Elland Road team-mate, the goalkeeper Paul Robinson, is also bound for Manchester, according to the News of the World. The Mirror says Sir Bobby Charlton is urging Ferguson to go for Bayer Leverkusen's Brazilian defender Lucio.

Tottenham's search for a striker has thrown up a number of possible targets. The People reckons the club's manager, Glenn Hoddle, is on the trail of West Ham's Frenchman Frédéric Kanouté but wants to pay only half the Hammers' £6m asking price so he has change left for Brighton's Bobby Zamora. The News of the World, however, reckons Tottenham are planning a £6m swoop for the PSV Eindhoven striker Mateja Kezman.

The People says Liverpool are about to unveil the capture for an initial £8m - rising to £12m - of the Auxerre striker Djibril Cissé and are ready to sell Didier Hamann to Bayern Munich for £4m, replacing the German with Bastia's Michael Essien under the noses of Everton, who were also keen on the Ghanaian international. Cissé's move is also forecast by the News of the World, which also predicts a £2.5m Liverpool move for the Bayer Leverkusen midfielder, Yildiray Basturk.

Pierre van Hooijdonk, the former Nottingham Forest striker, could be bound for Birmingham City for £700,000, according to the Mail on Sunday, which says Leicester City are interested in his fellow Dutch international Michael Mols, currently with Rangers.

The News of the World reports interest from Everton in Gothenburg's £4m-rated defender, Fredrick Risp, 22, and says Sunderland have told Middlesbrough they want £4m for the striker Kevin Phillips, said by the Daily Express to be a target for Premiership newcomers Wolves.

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