Friday Kickoff: Arsenal shift focus to Källström; Hernanes en route to Inter; and more

KimKallstromSweden1-Argentina (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

After reportedly balking at FC Schalke’s price for 20-year-old midfielder/forward Julian Draxler, Arsenal have shifted their focus to signing a veteran midfielder before the end of the January transfer window.

The latest reports in England state that Arsenal are interested in bringing Swedish international midfielder Kim Källström to the Emirates Stadium on a loan until the end of the season. The 31-year-old is currently on the books of Russian club Spartak Moscow, but spent six years at French club Lyon, winning two Ligue 1 titles and two Coupe de France titles. Källström has made more than 100 appearances for Sweden in his career.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is reportedly hoping to sign a midfielder to help the squad’s depth with the four-match ban of Mathieu Flamini, continued injury troubles of Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey, and the season-ending injury of Theo Walcott.

Arsenal have until 11 p.m. local time to complete the signing before the window closes.

Here are some more stories to start your Friday:

HERNANES EN ROUTE TO INTER

Inter Milan have bolstered their midfield ahead of the second half of the season with a deadline-day signing.

Though it’s yet to be officially announced, Lazio midfielder Hernanes confirmed to Italian radio outlets and on his personal Facebook account that he’s on his way to join Inter. The transfer fee is reportedly 13 million euros ($17.6 million) with 2 million euro add-ons for the 28-year-old Brazilian international, with a contract to be signed through June 2018.

“I am a little emotional, yesterday was not an easy day. I did not sleep at all last night. The fans have loved me beyond belief,” Hernanes told Lazio Style Radio. “Those on Facebook were my true words. Since I was a child I have wanted to do something special. When I came here, I wanted to win the Scudetto with Lazio, I have given everything to achieve this goal even though it was not easy.

“The Coppa Italia was really special, I realize that perhaps that was the ultimate goal I could achieve. My choice has nothing to do with money or fame, as a I child I always had the ball at my feet. I want to do something important, this is the reasoning for my choice.”

So far this season, Hernanes has played 24 times for Lazio in all competitions, scoring four goals from his holding midfield position. The Hernanes signing has made it more likely that the swap deal between Inter and Juventus for Fredy Guarin and Mirko Vucinic could indeed go through.

MAN CITY LOSE AGUERO FOR A MONTH

Manchester City might seem like the strongest team in the English Premier League right now, but they have a huge challenge ahead with the loss of one of their stars.

Man City manager Manuel Pellegrini confirmed to reporters at a press conference that Sergio Aguero will miss the next month with a hamstring injury suffered on Wednesday in his side’s 5-1 victory at Tottenham. Aguero pulled up with the injury and was forced off just a minute short of the halftime break.

The news comes as a big blow to Man City, with a challenging month ahead. In the next 28 days, Man City will face Chelsea twice (Monday in the EPL and later in the FA Cup) and Barcelona twice in the UEFA Champions League.

OSVALDO ARRIVES IN TURIN FOR JUVE MOVE

Southampton’s Dani Osvaldo looks to be on his way out after just five months at the club.

Osvaldo was pictured in Turin, Italy, and is reportedly undergoing a medical ahead of a move to Serie A leaders Juventus, though a deal has not been agreed to by either club. Reports in England and Italy state that it will be a loan deal worth 400,000 euros with an option to buy, including a transfer fee of around 18 million euros. Osvaldo was recently suspended for two weeks for taking part in a training ground fight.

Since signing in August, Osvaldo has shown flashes of why Southampton signed him from AS Roma for a record 17.1 million euros. So far this season, Osvaldo has scored three goals in 13 EPL appearances.

QUICK KICKS

Spanish third division club Racing Santander protested on the field against the club president over four months of unpaid wages, forcing the referee at their Copa Del Rey match to suspend the game after 30 seconds. (REPORT)

Chelsea have confirmed the signing of 19-year-old French defender Kurt Zouma to a five and a half year contract, though he’ll remain on loan with Saint-Etienne until the start of July. (REPORT)

Dimitar Berbatov is set to leave Fulham for AS Monaco on Friday, and is reportedly already in the principality taking a medical. (REPORT)

After confirming the signing of former Man United full back Fabio, Cardiff City are close to completing a six-month loan for Wilfried Zaha. (REPORT)

Fulham have signed Tottenham midfielder Lewis Holtby on loan until the end of the season. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Do you think Källström would be a good signing for Arsenal? What kind of impact will Hernanes have with Inter? Do you see Guarin leaving the club now?

Share your thoughts below.

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3 Responses to Friday Kickoff: Arsenal shift focus to Källström; Hernanes en route to Inter; and more

  1. Reboot says:

    Kurt Zouma is really good in my FIFA career :)

  2. Travis says:

    I dont know if anyone saw it but the video of Hernanes leaving the Lazio training ground for the last time was heart wrenching, the man cared about his club and their fans a ton