Thursday Kickoff: Arsenal interested in Martinez; Pogba to remain at Juve; and more

JaviMartinezBayernMunich1-ManUnitedUCL2014 (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

With fourth place and UEFA Champions League qualification confirmed, Arsenal have already begun to look at options to add to their squad for next year.

Reports in England state that Arsenal have already inquired to see whether Bayern Munich would sell defensive midfielder Javi Martinez, who has also been linked this spring with a move to Barcelona. Martinez reportedly hasn’t been happy with his role under manager Pep Guardiola.

Even if Bayern do make Martinez available, the transfer fee will probably be out of Arsenal’s range. Bayern acquired Martinez for a reported $50 million from Athletic Bilbao in 2012.

Another option that the report states Arsenal might pursue is Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Lars Bender, who was subject to transfer rumors last summer as well. Arsenal are looking for an eventual replacement for the aging Mikel Arteta.

Here are some more stories to start off your Thursday:

RAIOLA SAYS POGBA IS STAYING AT JUVE

Paul Pogba is staying at Juventus for the time being, according to his agent.

Mino Raiola, who also represents Zlatan Ibrahimovic and a host of other top players, reportedly has taken Pogba off the market and is set to renegotiate a contract extension with Juventus.

The French midfielder has been a revelation this season and has not only broken into the Juventus first team but also into the French national team. Paris Saint-Germain has reportedly offered Juventus 70 million euros ($97.4 million) to sign Pogba but Juventus are unwilling to accept right now.

QUICK KICKS

Napoli have been punished for their fans actions prior to the Coppa Italia final last weekend and must play their next two home matches behind closed doors. (REPORT)

Arsenal are close to signing Laurent Koscielny to a contract extension but look set to miss out on re-signing Bakary Sagna. (REPORT)

Real Madrid’s appeal to have Xabi Alonso available for the UEFA Champions League final was turned down. (REPORT)

Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech could miss the start of preseason after undergoing an operation on his shoulder that will keep him out for 10 weeks. (REPORT)

AS Roma have agreed a deal with Sky Sports Italia to have the broadcaster’s name on the front of the Roma uniforms for the final two games of the season. (REPORT)

This entry was posted in European Soccer, Featured. Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Thursday Kickoff: Arsenal interested in Martinez; Pogba to remain at Juve; and more

  1. Raymon says:

    cause Arsenal dont have enough midfielders

  2. Nate Dollars says:

    not too familiar with lars bender, but javi martinez doesn’t really seem like a ‘replacement’ for arteta so much as a ‘completely different type of player’.

  3. Javi Martinez made his name as a centre back more than a defensive mid. I think what makes him attractive is his ability to play both spots.

    • Chris says:

      false, plays cb sometimes for bayern for whatever reason, but at bilbao and for spain he plays as a holding mid

  4. Tony in Quakeland says:

    Actually, I think Martinez is exactly what they need. The gunners have never replace Vieria. He would be the steel in the middle they need. And yes, they can afford him.

  5. Gerard D. says:

    Javi Martinez would probably put Barcelona over the top again as an unstoppable force. For the sake of European Soccer, hope he goes to Arsenal.

    • Chris says:

      as a huge barca fan i dont think i would really want martinez due to already having busquets who is marginally better and fits our style better. We have other needs such as 2 GKs, 2 CBs, a box to box mid, such as vidal, and a plan B stiker

      • Gerard D. says:

        Javi is a CB. He’s only been moved forward to play DM for Pep.

        • Vik says:

          Not sure about that. Jupp put him at cm with schweinstager for most of last year. This year I think Pep has used him at CB more than Jupp ever did.

      • bryan says:

        Martinez could be a solid CB option though.

  6. sorry but i'm kinda drunk says:

    how come nobody was interested for Dempsey and Bradley

    not fair. talentred american players. they could play for big clubs.

    ARSENAL? LIVERPOOL? SEVILLA? SCHALKE? MARSEILLE?

    makes no sense they in MLS

  7. sorry but i'm kinda drunk says:

    i just don;t get why big clubs (while having US players) didn’t do more to promote them. help them sell jerseys or get PR in the usa

    • timmytwoshoezzz says:

      because jersey money is a pittance compared to their main revenue streams.