Tuesday Kickoff: Giroud could miss 3 months; Benatia set for Bayern move; and more

OlivierGiroudArsenal1-Everton2014EPL (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

Arsenal’s English Premier League and UEFA Champions League title hopes have taken a huge hit as of Tuesday morning.

According to reports in France, Arsenal are set to be without frontman Olivier Giroud for approximately three months after the French international suffered a broken foot in Arsenal’s 2-2 draw with Everton. While the club have yet to confirm the reports, Giroud has been ruled out for at least Arsenal’s return leg Champions League match on Wednesday against Besiktas at the Emirates Stadium.

The harsh news means that Arsene Wenger is left with only the inexperienced and oft-injured Yaya Sanogo and the talented but slight Alexis Sanchez as options to play the center forward role. This could mean that Arsenal may venture back into the transfer market, though with less than a week remaining in the summer transfer window, any purchase would be difficult.

L’Equipe in France is reporting that Arsenal have their eyes on Manchester United’s Danny Welbeck, Queens Park Rangers’ Loic Remy, Paris Saint-Germain’s Edinson Cavani, and AS Monaco’s Radamel Falcao. The latter two transfers seem much more unlikely than the former two.

Here are some more stories to kick off your Tuesday:

ROMA READY TO CASH IN ON BENATIA

AS Roma left it late, but it seems that Mehdi Benatia is getting his wish after all.

A few months after reportedly making comments that he’d prefer to move to another club, AS Roma have reportedly agreed to sell the Moroccan international defender to Bayern Munich for a fee of €26 million, with an additional €4 million in add ons. Benatia is set to arrive in Munich on Wednesday to undergo a medical and sign a five-year contract worth €4 million per season, according to reports in Italy.

Benatia is coming off a stellar season where he revived his career and led Roma back to the Champions League for the first time since 2010.

In Benatia’s place, Roma have lined up the signing of Olympiakos defender Kostas Manolas, for a reported €13 million. The Greek international has Champions League and World Cup experience, and is expected to arrive in Rome on Tuesday to complete the transfer.

NEYMAR, TER STEGEN BACK IN TRAINING

Barcelona welcomed Neymar and Marc Andre-ter Stegen back to the training pitch on Tuesday, even though they’re still a few weeks away from returning to full fitness.

The pair, along with Thomas Vermaelen, trained on their own on Tuesday morning at Barcelona’s training complex, as they return from their various injuries. Ter Stegen is suffering from a lower back injury, Neymar picked up a sprained ankle in training last week, and Vermaelen carried a thigh injury with him from the World Cup into Barcelona, and is expected to return in mid-September.

It’s early in the week but Barcelona could be expected to start Rafinha and Munir El Haddadi up front alongside Lionel Messi for the second consecutive week. The young pair helped Barcelona to a 3-0 victory over Elche in their La Liga opener.

QUICK KICKS

Former Barcelona and Inter Milan star, Samuel Eto’o, is closing in on a free transfer to Everton, and he’s expected to sign a two-year contract. (REPORT)

Queens Park Rangers are preparing a bid to sign Ghanian international Andre Ayew from Marseille. (REPORT)

Santos may have to sell wonderkid Gabriel in order to balance their books, with reports in Brazil expecting the transfer to be worth at least €13 million. (REPORT)

Borussia Dortmund are looking at signing 18-year-old French forward Neal Maupay, who is currently on the books of OGC Nice. (REPORT)

Former Chivas USA head coach Jose Luis “Chelis” Sanchez Sola has been appointed Puebla head coach. (REPORT)

Oscar Garcia has resigned from his post as manager of Maccabi Tel Aviv, with fellow countryman Pako Ayestaran taking the reigns. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Who do you see filling in for Giroud up front for Arsenal? Do you see Benatia starting regularly for Bayern? Think Manolas is a good replacement at Roma?

Share your thoughts below.

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14 Responses to Tuesday Kickoff: Giroud could miss 3 months; Benatia set for Bayern move; and more

  1. brian mcbrewed says:

    tv schedule for the day?

  2. matt c in tampa says:

    Re: Gunners. Isn’t it best to have that injury now…before the window closure. NOt much time to do anything….but time to do something?

    Wouldn’t Chicartio (sp) fit in well at Arsenal?

    • Brain Guy says:

      As long as they don’t come after Henry . . .

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      Arsenal have had a recurring pattern of neglect at forward since RvP left. As it was Giroud was productive at a second fiddle, Chicharito kind of level, not a Suarez scores every week type. Arsenal for years has been a team with plenty of midfield but no one to finish it, and Arsene never finishes the job. They neglected it again this offseason and are now in serious trouble.

      • Brain Guy says:

        This is apparent even to a non-expert like me. Lots of nice passing, lots of possession, but precious little real finishing. My dad used to criticize such teams as “trying to walk the ball into the goal.”

        • The Imperative Voice says:

          And it’s not so much that Giroud stinks as that you could already see this approach was not sufficient to compete with the top 3. He scores his 10-15 and then they struggle beyond that. Like ManU relying on Rooney and Chicharito. At which point why is a team this caliber sitting on their hands? Maybe it’s a debt issue, I dunno, but an article last year indicated they didn’t spend near as much as the teams ahead of them.

          I mean, Liverpool went and got Balotelli and Lambert, Chelsea got Diego Costa. Like Houston trying to match Keane/Donovan/etc. with Will Bruin.

          • matt c in tampa says:

            But i seem to recall the hullabaloo this past summer was that Arsenal WAS actually spending money…bringing in decent players.

            seemed like every time i checked soccer websites, Gunners were buying another player…and not relegated teams’ cast offs.

            Just not on the front line?

  3. onlyagame says:

    AH HA HA HA
    but you forgot that Davis is a step better than donovan

  4. Soccer God Texas 915 says:

    Wow no MLS team went for Eto, not even chicago or red bull. Not even a playoff team,that would have very interesting and smart from MLS, DC could have done the move and or even Whitecaps.

    • bryan says:

      how do you know that? the article doesn’t mention anything about who went after him, just that he will sign with Everton. sounds like he is asking for a lot of money, could have priced out MLS teams. hard to say.

  5. Raymon says:

    Well this may force Wenger’s hand into finally splashing some cash on a long awaited and much needed pure 9.

  6. Kung Fu Kangaroos says:

    Arsenal should sign Jozy!

    • bryan says:

      if only he had had a better season last year, just maybe. too bad AJ is injured, Wenger has always kept an eye on him.

      United could use Cameron, that’s for damn sure.