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West Ham ready to move for Berbatov, Agent talks up Milan option

West Ham United have made an audacious bid to bring Manchester United misfit Dimitar Berbatov to Upton Park according to reports in the Daily Mirror, this after the striker confirmed the possibility of an exit this summer. Berbatov, who was a £30 million signing for United in 2008, never managed to replicate his form for ex-empoyers Tottenham at Old Trafford, and despite being the Premier League's joint-top scorer in 2010-11, remained a peripheral figure for the Red Devils throughout the last season.

Seeing his chances of first-team action diminish at United, the 31-year old made public his desire to move to another club, suggesting that a bid of around £5 million would be enough to sign him. It is believed though that West Ham have offered to take him on loan, and have not made an official offer to sign the player permanently.


Van Persie returns to training at Arsenal, City stay on his case

Robin van Persie has returned to training with Arsenal for the first time since his outburst when he declared that he would reject a new contract because of differences between his ambitions and the steps being taken to drive the club forward. According to The Guardian, Van Persie underwent a medical assessment at the club after he returned from holiday.

The situation though regarding his future remains tense, and Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will surely feel let down by his captain's attitude. The van Persie saga looks set to spiral into a situation similar to last summer, and whether van Persie boards the flight to Kuala Lampur for Arsenal's pre-season tour of Asia may be a sign of what to expect in the future.


Arsenal considering Lewis Holtby as a replacement for Theo

Arsenal are lining up Schalke midfielder Lewis Holtby as a possible replacement for Theo Walcott, should the young England winger choose not to extend his contract with the Gunners reports the Daily Mirror. Walcott, who like club skipper Robin van Persie is in the final year of his contract, could well follow in the Dutchman's footsteps in rejecting a new deal with Arsenal. With Walcott's excessive wage demands of £100,000 per week proving to be a stumbling block, Arsenal could well be forced to sell the 23 year old winger.

Liverpool and Chelsea are reportedly interested in signing the pacey Englishman, and if Arsenal do sell him, they are looking at Lewis Holtby as an option. The 21 year old Holtby is a similar player to Walcott, and also has a similar contract situation with his club Schalke.


Arsenal man Carlos Vela edges ever closer to Sociedad switch

Mexican international Carlos Vela could finally part ways with the Gunners after Real Sociedad boss Philippe Montanier expressed the possibility of a deal by next week, reported Sky Sports. The 23 year-old never really managed to break into the first team at the Emirates and is said to be keen to move on this summer.

After an impressive performance at the 2005 U-17 World Cup, where Mexico emerged champions, the Gunners bought the young striker from Guadalajara on a five-year deal. Over the years, work permit issues and injuries hurt his chances with Arsenal's first team. As a result, he has spent considerable time in Spain playing on loan at Salamanca, Osasuna and Real Sociedad. His loan spell with Sociedad last season was a highly successful one as he scored 12 goals and provided 8 assists in 35 appearances.


Liverpool, Arsenal eyeing Olympiacos forward Kevin Mirallas

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers is said to be weighing up a move for Olympiacos forward Kevin Mirallas, reported the Daily Star. Arsenal are also said to be in the hunt for the Belgian, who had a very impressive last season for Greek giants.

Mirallas started his career with the youth side of hometown club Standard Liege before joining French side Lille in 2004. The 24 year-old joined Greek champions Olympiacos in 2010 after two years at Saint-Etienne. The striker played an instrumental role as Olympiacos won the Greek League for two consecutive years and was even the top scorer in Greece last season with 20 goals in 25 league games. He is known to be a versatile player capable of playing out wide or up front to lead the attack and is also a regular for his national side.


Finances force Hamburg to withdraw from Van der Vaart chase

Tottenham playmaker Rafael van der Vaart has been linked with a move back to the Bundesliga all summer, and Schalke and Hamburg were said to be eyeing the Dutch international. Hamburg though now appear to have withdrawn from the race due to financial constraints, revealed ESPN Soccernet.

The 29 year-old started his career at the famed youth academy of Ajax and move to Bundesliga side Hamburg in 2005. After three years in Germany, the attacking midfielder moved to Spanish giants Real Madrid in 2008 where he failed to establish himself as first choice. He was snapped up by Spurs two years later for a negligible fee. At Tottenham, he left an indelible mark scoring 24 goals in 61 games for the North London side in two years. Although the midfielder enjoyed considerable playing time under Redknapp, he became disillusioned last season because of being deployed in a variety of positions, often coming off the bench.


Real Madird beat Chelsea to Maicon's signature

Chelsea have seemingly lost out on one of their many targets to fill the right-back role as Marca reports that Maicon has chosen Real Madrid over the current European Champions. The Inter Milan defender is part of a large scale clearout in the Italian Serie A as a whole and Jose Mourinho has used this opportunity to snap up one of his former players. €8m is what Los Blancos will pay Inter for Maicon, with the player expected to sign a three-year contract.

Maicon was one of the stars under the 'Special One' during Inter's historic 'treble' season in 2010 and although age has caught up with the Brazilian, he is still a potent threat down the right. Madrid currently have Alvaro Arbeloa filling up the right-back role but Mourinho is keen on adding further dynamism to a line-up that ended Barcelona's hegemony over the Spanish game last season.


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