Cazorla to Arsenal, Hulk to Tottenham: The good, bad and ridiculous of this week's transfer rumours

With speculation, reports and the loosest of links doing the rounds this summer, looks at the potential deals we may - or may not - be seeing in the Premier League
By George Ankers

The Premier League transfer bandwagon continues to careen crazily on the rocky road towards the end-of-August deadline with concrete developments and outlandish rumour abound.

Chelsea caught the eye with even more additions to a youthful and very promising attacking midfield, with Eden Hazard's younger brother, Thorgan, being followed to Stamford Bridge by Internacional's Oscar.

Meanwhile, with the door seemingly closing on Manchester United's bid for Lucas Moura, the Red Devils are back in for Leighton Baines, but have set a £12 million limit on a fee for the left-back.

Now, in the latest edition of's weekly feature, we take a look at the best, the worst and the simply ridiculous of this week's transfer rumours.


Arsenal hope for cut-price Cazorla

Gunners fans' ears pricked up as reports emerged on Tuesday that Arsene Wenger was keen on snapping up Malaga star Santi Cazorla, one of La Liga's best non-Clasico players. The Guardian claimed that financial difficulties at the Spanish club, who at times failed to pay the attacking midfielder promptly, had encouraged Arsenal that a €20m [£15.6m] deal could be done.

As the rumour spread, so it was said that the Spain international had told his club that he was ready to leave and informed the north Londoners of his willingness to join up with them.

However, can reveal that Malaga will demand at least £20m as they fight to keep hold of their biggest talent. The Qatari-backed side have debts which must be paid off imminently but they are steadfast in their desire not to lose Cazorla and Wenger will be hoping that the player's desire to leave can tip the balance in his favour.

Carroll and Remy are Toon targets

Plenty of talk surrounds Newcastle and new forwards, despite Papiss Cisse's heroics in the second half of last season and Demba Ba's in the first. Andy Carroll's name continues to be linked with a return to Tyneside and Alan Pardew not-so-subtly stoked the flames by advising Liverpool to cut their losses and sell the big man.

The Magpies boss went on to nonchalantly add that he could "take or leave" re-signing the striker, but Carroll is widely reported to prefer a Sports Direct Arena comeback if he does leave Anfield.

But that wasn't all the talk up front. Marseille star Loic Remy, said to have been close to a Tottenham switch in January, was claimed by various sources to have been the subject of an enquiry from the Toon - with the Ligue 1 side willing to sell.

Squad numbers signal RVP departure?

There's been so much from all sides on the Robin van Persie saga that his future is as murky as anything.'s Greg Stobart cleared things up by detailing why Manchester City are taking their time to finally push for the striker's signature before we all got a Pardew-esque hint of what might be to come later on Wednesday.

In a move that probably could have been timed better, Arsenal announced their squad numbers for the new season, with captain Van Persie retaining his No.10 shirt - but new signing Lukas Podolski is conveniently still without a designation.

Immediately, football erupted into speculation. Are the Gunners holding back with the No.10 expected to become vacant this summer? We'll have to sit and wait to find out how one of this summer's blockbuster sagas pans out.


Babel Get Back?

As Martin Jol assembles the Premier League's most eclectic forward line, Monday saw Fulham linked with another character to potentially join the likes of Mladen Petric, Hugo Rodallega and Bryan Ruiz at Craven Cottage.

Former Liverpool attacker Ryan Babel was claimed by the Daily Mail to be on the shopping list for countryman Jol after falling out of favour at Hoffenheim, where he has been since January 2011 after leaving Anfield.

With attacking midfielder Clint Dempsey a confirmed target for the Reds, Fulham could replace the Liverpool-bound star with an ex-Liverpool man in a return to England for the Dutchman. Whether the fans would be inspired by the swap is yet to be seen.

Gunners to ship out Park

Sport360 and Gulf News in UAE both reported this week that local champions Al Ain were on the trail of Arsenal fringe player Chu-Young Park after losing Yasser Al Qahtani to Al Hilal.

"We're in talks with a player from the Premier League to cover Yasser's position," the club's chief executive had previously told The National, but whether the Gunners would be willing to sell is uncertain.

Park did not make a huge impact in his debut season last term but those No.9 shirts of his - which he has retained for 2012-13 - are valuable commercial assets and the north Londoners already look likely to be losing another high-profile striker this summer.

Spurs consider Brazilian blowout

Both players have long been linked with a move to the Premier League but some eyebrows were raised when the Daily Mail reported last Friday that Tottenham were targeting a £63m double swoop for Brazilian stars Hulk and Leandro Damiao.

Internacional's Damiao has been a name connected to Spurs for seemingly endless months and Hulk, constantly mentioned in the same sentence as Chelsea, seems to be willing to leave Porto, but an expensive two-in-one signing would be a surprise.

Andre Villas-Boas's side, as has previously revealed, are set on securing a permanent deal for Manchester City’s Emmanuel Adebayor, and Hulk's £100,000-a-week wage demands would likely clash. The Portuguese coach has also spoken of his happiness to have only three strikers at the club and, with Jermain Defoe also still at White Hart Lane, a two-in-one move for the Selecao Olympic colleagues would count as a shock.


North London chicanery over Lloris

If Le 10 Sport is to be believed, there is some amusingly childish behaviour going on the capital. With Tottenham still in pursuit of preferred goalkeeping target Hugo Lloris of Lyon, the French source claimed that Spurs had accused rivals Arsenal of putting in a "fake bid" for the stopper in order to drive up his price.

Noting the friendship between OL coach Remi Garde and Gunners boss Wenger, the white half of north London was said to be fuming at a possible collusion between the two clubs to mess them around.

We look set to find out what becomes of the Lloris saga on Sunday, the date on which Lyon promised their keeper that they would make a final decision on his future.

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