Atletico Madrid target Manchester United star Chicharito to replace Falcao

EXCLUSIVE
By Greg Stobart

Atletico Madrid want to sign Manchester United star Chicharito as they prepare to lose strikers Radamel Falcao and Adrian Lopez.

The Spanish side are ready to pay up to €18 million to land the Mexican in the summer and make him the focal point of a new-look strikeforce.

Falcao is one of the hottest properties in Europe and almost certain to leave Atletico Madrid at the end of the season amid serious interest from Chelsea, Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain.

Arsenal are preparing a fresh bid for Adrian, Falcao’s strike partner at the Vicente Calderon, having already made an offer worth €12m after tracking the Spanish forward for a number of weeks.

Atleti are resigned to losing both players – with Adrian likely to leave this month should the Gunners make a bid approaching the €17.7m release clause in his contract – and have made Chicharito their top target.

A transfer in January is described by sources as virtually impossible, but United are willing to listen to offers for the Mexican as they eye a move for Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski.

Chicharito signed a new five-year contract in October 2011 but the 24-year-old has fallen behind Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck in the pecking order at Old Trafford.

The Mexican has scored 12 goals in 22 appearances for United this season but has mainly been restricted to a role as a substitute for the Premier League leaders, with Atletico Madrid ready to offer him a regular starting role.

He is considered the most fitting long-term replacement for Falcao as a natural goalscorer. The Colombian striker has been in stunning form this term, netting 21 times in 18 matches, and prompting clubs consider triggering the £48m buyout clause in his contract.

Chelsea remains the most likely destination for the 26-year-old and the Blues have been in contact with Atletico and the player’s representatives for several months as they attempt to pave the way for a summer deal.

Chicharito is also an instinctive goalscorer who has made an instant impact following his £7m move to United from Guadalajara in 2010 and has been identified as a fitting replacement for Falcao and Adrian.

Newcastle, QPR & third club all reach Remy deal, reveals Marseille chief Jose Anigo

Marseille sporting director Jose Anigo has revealed that the French side have reached agreements with Newcastle, QPR and an unnamed third club for the services of Loic Remy.

The Magpies were believed to have already sealed a £10 million move for the 26-year-old this week, with Marseille loanee Joey Barton writing “Good luck to Loic in Newcastle” on Twitter.

However, Barton claimed on Monday evening that the Frenchman could yet join QPR, and Inigo has confirmed that competition for his signature is tight.

He told RTL: “We have an agreement with Newcastle, but also with QPR and another third club.”

Remy has struggled for form this season, scoring just twice in 12 appearances, but netted 20 times last term.

Wantaway Ben Arfa sounds out Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool

Hatem Ben Arfa has signalled his interest in a move away from Newcastle, with Chelsea, Arsenal or Liverpool his preferred destinations.

The Frenchman stated that he turned down offers, most notably from the European champions, to remain on the Tyne side, however now believes it is time for him to make his move to a bigger club.

The 25-year-old hailed the quality of the Premier League, insisting that it is difficult for any player to leave English football once they have had a taste of it. While also predicting his compatriot Loic Remy to make a big impact once he joins Alan Pardew’s side.

“I am interested by Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool. Today, these clubs are over Newcastle,” Ben Arfa told BeIn Sport.

“During the summer, there was contact with Chelsea. But I wanted to stay in Newcastle.

“Whoever tasted England, it’s hard to go elsewhere. There is everything to be happy.

“Rémy is right to come here. This is a player who has shown that when it is confident it can be a great striker. He will much like and we, along with other French players, we’ll help much. He will explode.

“Today, my goal is to stay in England.

“Paris Saint Germain, why not? This is the club of my dreams. It’s just because that.”

Barton claims Remy move to Newcastle is off… and Marseille star will join QPR!

Marseille midfielder Joey Barton has claimed team-mate Loic Remy will not join Newcastle after making a last-minute decision to sign for QPR.

The Frenchman has been strongly linked with a £10 million move to St James’ Park this week, with Barton previously tweeting “Good luck to Loic in Newcastle”.

However, again writing on his personal Twitter account, the QPR loanee hinted that the 26-year-old has had a change of heart.

He said: “Watching Patriots. Just heard from a magician that Loic Remy has signed for QPR. Not sure what happened at Newcastle probably Llambas again!

“Gift of the gab from Harry Redknapp perhaps? Thought it was done and dusted to Newcastle. Something must of gone amiss. Great news 4 #QPR.

“Am not sure whether am being wound up or i’m winding you up! Better than Sky sports news coverage anyway…”

Remy scored 20 goals in 42 appearances for the French side last season but has largely struggled this campaign, netting just twice in 12 outings.

BREAKING NEWS: Barton claims Remy move to Newcastle is off… and Marseille star will join QPR!

Marseille midfielder Joey Barton has claimed team-mate Loic Remy will not join Newcastle after making a last-minute decision to sign for QPR.

The Frenchman has been strongly linked with a £10 million move to St James’ Park this week, with Barton previously claiming a deal had been sealed to take Remy to Tyneside.


However, writing on his personal Twitter account, the QPR loanee hinted that the 26-year-old has had a change of heart.

He said: “Watching Patriots. Just heard from a magician that Loic Remy has signed for QPR. Not sure what happened at Newcastle probably Llambas again!

“Gift of the gab from Harry Redknapp perhaps? Thought it was done and dusted to Newcastle. Something must of gone amiss. Great news 4 #QPR.

“Am not sure whether am being wound up or i’m winding you up! Better than Sky sports news coverage anyway…”

Remy scored 20 goals in 42 appearances for the French side last season but has largely struggled this campaign, netting just twice in 12 outings.