Football NewsSunday 4th December 2016

Hot Football Transfer Gossip: Martial ‘wanted by Barca and Real Madrid’, Arsenal ‘target Fabregas’

Hot Football Transfer Gossip: Martial ‘wanted by Barca and Real Madrid’, Arsenal ‘target Fabregas’

Andy Carroll’s strike for West Ham in the Hammers’ 5-1 home defeat by Arsenal yesterday means he has now scored the same amount of Premier League goals this season as Manchester United hotshot Anthony Martial - one.

But only one of those players is being linked this morning with a £60m move to Barcelona and Real Madrid, and it’s with deep disappointment that Hot Football Transfer Gossip must inform you that it’s not Carroll.

It’s not fair really. Martial needed eight games to score his goal, while Carroll has reached his landmark in just 107 minutes - making him one of the most effective marksmen in England this term. But despite Martial’s slump in form, the Sun on Sunday claims the two Spanish giants are still keen to sign him.

The tabloid says Barca “wanted Martial before he went to Old Trafford, and they still are”. While it’s by no means a grammatically perfect sentence from the country’s biggest selling Sunday newspaper, we know what they mean, so that’s fine.

As for Real, they “can consider themselves favourites” to snare Martial because they are able to offer James Rodriguez in part exchange, and United are always being linked with him.

And as for Carroll, as long as the goals keep flying in, it’s surely just a matter of time before Barca and Real want him too.

Going to La Liga isn’t all it’s cracked up to be anyway, as Cesc Fabregas will testify. And the Sunday Express says the two-time Barca reject could end up going back to the only place where the people have really appreciated him: Arsenal.

Arsene Wenger is reportedly preparing a “sensational offer” to re-sign his former midfield star and “offer him a way out of his Stamford Bridge hell”. Although the most surprising thing about this is that no one suggested it sooner.

The Blues, meanwhile, have got their eye on a young Italian striker called Andrea Pinamonti. The Sunday Mirror says the 17-year-old Inter player is “well known by Antonio Conte” and could be available for a knockdown fee of £400,000, although Roman Abramovich might feel a bit weird it he doesn’t round it up to at least a couple of million.

Manchester United wingers are in demand, with Ashley Young wanted by Everton, West Bromwich Albion, Watford and Swansea (ESPN) and Memphis Depay set for a permanent £21m move to Roma (Sun).

Elsewhere, Liverpool will face competition from Paris Saint-Germain for Borussia Dortmund’s American starlet Christian Pulisic (Bild), Everton have joined the race to sign £20m-rated Burnley centre-back Michael Keane (Sunday Mirror) and Mesut Ozil has further fuelled rumours he could return to Real Madrid by describing Bernabeu boss Zinedine Zidane as his “idol” (Sun on Sunday). Presumably he should have said he thought Zidane was a rubbish player.