Porto President Deny Chelsea Contact

FC Porto President Pinto da Costa has rubbished off rumors linking Hulk to Chelsea and PSG and confirm that there has been no formal approach from either clubs.

Chelsea have long been linked with a move for the Porto star and the talks are believed to have reached a dead end following the club’s refusal to climb down from their valuation of the Brazilian winger. The media was abuzz with news of Hulk’s supposed completed move to the European champions but according to da Costa they were false.

“At this point, there have not been any offers made to Porto, or anyone related to Porto, with regard to Hulk,” the Porto President said.

“That is the truth, despite what the papers say about Chelsea and PSG (Paris St Germain).

“Those stories are simply rumours. If you believe what they say, Hulk has already left us.”

In a recent interview to a newspaper, the 25 year old stated his desire to sign for the Blues. It was believed that the £38m asking price for the player has proven to be the barrier in this deal. Although da Costa steered clear from ruling out an eventual move, it could very well serve as a warning for the interested duo to act faster.

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Arsenal A Better Destination For Ben Arfa?

Arsenal are believed to have developed interest in Newcastle winger Hatem Ben Arfa and are now favorites to land him as the player is promised regular starts at the Emirates unlike at Chelsea, after the Blues have also decided to go for him.

It was reported earlier that Chelsea are lining up a move for the French winger this summer as Roman Abramovich continues a major overhaul at the London club.  Ben Arfa was unwelcoming of the interest as concerns over his playing time seemed to weigh heavily on the winger’s mind. Alan Pardew has reiterated his desire to keep all his star players at the club as the Magpies look to build on their last season’s success but a sum around £15m and upwards could prove too tempting to turn down.

Arsene Wenger , who has already signed German international Lukas Podolski and is on the verge of getting Olivier Giroud’s signature from Montpellier, considers Ben Arfa as a perfect option to sort out the problems on the wings as Theo Walcott is yet to sign a contract extension at the club. The prospect of playing regularly for the North London club and be a part of Champions League could be hard to turn down for the 25 year old.

Ben Arfa, who joined the Tyneside club in 2010 on loan and then securing a complete transfer in the summer of 2011, has earned himself plenty of admirers with his fine displays. The player is currently in Poland-Ukraine for the Euros and a call on his future will be taken once he returns.

Vermaelen Set For Barcelona?

The rumor mills are buzzing after Arsenal defender and Barcelona transfer target Thomas Vermaelen has been spotted with Carles Puyol having a good time in a restaurant.

The Belgian defender only recently reiterated his desire to stay at the London club for a long time but the recent photograph with Puyol has raised serious doubts over the future of the player. Barcelona are looking for a top class center half this summer and after failing to capture Thiago Silva from Milan, they have turned their attention to the 26 year old Arsenal defender. Tito Vilanova, who has taken over the reigns of the Catalan club from Pep Guardiola, has prioritized the purchase of a defender this summer and with the possibility of getting David Luiz from Chelsea almost zero he has turned to Vermaelen.

Vermaelen’s agent Kees Vos however denied any possibility of the player moving to Camp Nou and termed the incident as a complete ‘coincidence’. “It is just two world class defenders in the same restaurant,” he was quoted as saying by a Spanish newspaper.

 

Lille Beat Arsenal To Marvin Martin

North London duo Arsenal and Tottenham have lost out in the battle to sign highly rated Sochaux midfielder Marvin Martin as the player announced his move to Ligue 1 rivals Lille.

Lille having made a huge profit from the sale of their star playmaker Eden Hazard to Chelsea and have managed to outbid the Premier league clubs to land the 24 year old. Martin rose to prominence in the 2010-11 season when he took over the duties of the primary playmaker following Stephane Dalmat’s departure. He has been really impressive over the last two seasons in Ligue 1 earning himself his international debut and a place in the Euro 2012 squad. He was one of the players who were shortlisted for the UNFP Young Player of the Year for the 2011-2012 season along with Andre Ayew, Yann M’Vila and Mamadou Sakho.

“I am very happy,” Martin told Lille’s official website. “I wanted to sign for Lille because they are an ambitious club I have been interested in for a long time.

“You can talk about a real choice here, and I hope from all my heart that everything will go well.”

Arsene Wenger have been considering Martin as one of his top signings this summer as he continues his overhaul at the club. With Jack Wilshere’s fitness woes and Aaron Ramsey’s inconsistent performances, Martin had evolved as a key target for the Gunners.

 

Arsene Wenger Reveals Giroud Will Be A Gunner

Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Montpellier’s striker Olivier Giroud is on the verge of joining Arsenal and is confident of the impact he will have on the Premier league.

The 25 year old has been one of the key performers for the Ligue 1 side and helped them to the league title last season. He has had bit roles to do so far in the Euros but with Karim Benzema yet to break the duck, it won’t be surprising if Laurent Blanc shows faith in Giroud and hands him a start.

The striker is valued at £13m by the French club and after weeks of negotiations the deal seems to have been finally struck. Speaking to French TV channel TF1 Wenger said, “Giroud didn’t play much (at the Euros so far), but he’s going to be an Arsenal player 90 per cent next season.

“I think he has exceptional potential and will integrate very well in our collective and our way of playing.

“He is a real team player and knows how to combine with other players and I’m sure he will do well with us.”

Olivier Giroud would become the second signing for the Gunners this summer after Lukas Podolski joined them earlier from FC Cologne. The manager was all praise for the 27 year old who only recently became the youngest ever player to reach 100 caps for any footballing nation.

“Podolski did a great job for the German team, he has superb team work,” said the Arsenal boss.

“He plays in a cautious way sometimes, but he’s still scored a very important goal against Denmark for his 100th cap. I am very happy with what I’ve seen from him.”