Arsenal

Wednesday roundup : Sneijder eyes move to London, Arsenal eye £12m St Etienne hot shot

Chelsea will move for Wesley Sneijder this summer as Jose Mourinho begins to overhaul the playing squad at Stamford Bridge.

Mourinho’s return to the west London club was confirmed on Tuesday as he was revealed as the successor to interim manager Rafael Benitez and the 50-year-old has brought with him a list of transfer targets for owner Roman Abramovich.

And the Special One wants Sneijder, who he worked with at Inter Milan, to be the first arrival of his second coming at Chelsea. The 28-year-old Holland international is currently tied to Turkish giants Galatasaray but is reportedly unsettled and would be open to moving to the Premier League, where he was linked with Manchester United in the past.

It’s yet unsure whether the Istanbul club would be open to sanctioning the sale of a player signed in January for a knockdown fee of £7 million, however, rumours suggest that they will allow him to leave if the money is right.

Moving up to the north of the capital Arsenal are intensifying their recruitment efforts and are planning a £12m bid for St Etienne striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The Gabon forward seems destined to move to England before next season begins with a clutch of Premier League clubs vying for his much-coveted signature.

Aubameyang scored 19 goals in Ligue 1 last season with Manchester City, Newcastle and Swansea mentioned as possible suitors for the 23-year-old, while French champions PSG and AC Milan have also said to be interested.

His form has also alerted Gunners boss Arsene Wenger as he continues his search for Robin Van Persie’s long-term replacement. Both Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud arrived at the Emirates Stadium last summer but failed in their efforts to convince Wenger prompting him to widen his search for a new striker.

Fiorentina marksman Stevan Jovetic has been mentioned along with Real Madrid’s Gonzalo Higuain but its Aubameyang that has now emerged at the forefront of Wenger’s transfer plans.

Aston Villa are also hoping to pull off an astonishing cross-channel raid to snatch Younes Belhanda from Montpellier. The Moroccan winger has professed his wish to move to the Premier League and Villa are hoping to fend off a number of top clubs to land the talented 23-year-old.

President Louis Nicollin has already confirmed Belhanda will leave the Stade de la Mosson this summer, also revealing that AC Milan, Inter Milan, Atletico Madrid and Galatasaray are the teams in pursuit.

Villa boss Paul Lambert is determined to acquire some of the leading talent in Europe in an effort to improve on last season’s 15th place finish and, more importantly, persuade striker Christian Benteke to stay at the club.

The 23-goal hit man was once again linked with a move away from Villa Park with Atletico goalkeeper and Belgium international teammate Thibault Courtois suggesting he would be the ideal man to fill the void left by Radamel Falcao at the Vicente Calderon after he joined big-spending Monaco last week.

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