Teenage Rubin Kazan forward Sardar Azmoun has claimed that Arsenal are in talks to secure his signature. The Iranian, 19, has scored four goals in 13 appearances for his Russian club this season but has yet to be capped by his country. Yet Azmoun told Iranian soccer show Navad that Arsenal are just one of several major European clubs keen to arrange his transfer.
“I have offers from three major clubs: Arsenal, AC Milan and Juventus,” he said, according to the Daily Star. "I also had an offer from Barcelona, but due to their transfer ban the club is out of the picture at the moment.
“The talks with both Milan and Arsenal are getting very serious. Both clubs have spoken to Kazan. But for me, it's important to keep focus on Kazan. We have seven games left, I will decide after these games.
"I'm very proud to have Arsenal looking at me but, as I said, right now I'm only focusing on the Russian league."
The Sun believes that Arsenal could renew their interest in another young striker. M’Baye Niang, 19, had a trial with the Gunners before instead securing a move to Milan in the summer of 2012. The France Under-21 international is currently back in his home country on loan with Montpellier, but the Ligue 1 club’s chairman, Louis Nicollin, has suggested it may prove beyond their budget to do a permanent deal.
“About Niang, we will see with AC Milan because it will be expensive,” he told Montpellier newspaper Midi Libre. But if [coach] Rolland [Courbis] wants to keep him..."
A link has also resurfaced to another former Arsenal target, in Luiz Gustavo. The defensive midfielder was thought to be close to a move to the Emirates last summer before leaving Bayern Munich for Wolfsburg. The 26-year-old had even spoken of his desire to join Arsenal, with that interest reciprocated, according to Sky Sports.
After a strong first season for Wolfsburg, the Bundesliga club are hopeful of hanging onto him, although general manager Klaus Allofs admits that a strong World Cup with Brazil, for whom Gustavo is a key fixture, could change that situation.
“We are very happy to have Luiz Gustavo," Allofs told German publication Kicker, according to Sky Sports. "He is a regular first-team player and he is also an important player for the team.
"He has a long-term deal at our club. Of course, he is a Brazil international player and we know there could be a lot of changes to this if he is going to play a pivotal role at the World Cup."
With Bacary Sagna yet to sign an extension to a contract that expires this summer, Arsenal could yet be forced to enter the market for a right-back. Arsene Wenger recently spoke with confidence that Sagna would sign his deal, although The Sun believes that Arsenal have already lined up Toulouse’s Serge Aurier as a replacement. And the 21-year-old Ivory Coast international has admitted that he would relish a move to the Emirates.
“You cannot turn down Arsenal,” he said, according to the Daily Mail. “PSG and Monaco are building -- but it is the English league that makes me dream. “It is a bit crazy, where smaller clubs can beat the big ones.
“Everyone wants to play there because of the amazing atmosphere inside stadiums. Discovering this kind of league interests me in terms of sensations and emotions.”