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Latest transfer news 3/May/2000

Wenger is closing down on Panucci, Franca and Pires - Soccernet

Arsenal have launched a £4million move for Italy defender Christian Panucci - and are also exploring the possibility of adding Brazilian striker Franca to the Highbury attack.

Panucci has publicly expressed his desire to leave Inter Milan and although former employers AC Milan have also shown an interest, Arsenal are still leading the chase.

The 27-year-old - a European Cup winner with AC Milan and Real Madrid - was in London this week, joining close friend and AC Milan star Alessandro Costacurta at Wednesday's match between England and Ukraine.

Arsenal have made three approaches to Inter, returning after an initial bid of £3m was rejected, and have now been given permission to discuss personal terms.

Panucci's massive wage demands - he earns £60,000 a week at the San Siro - will certainly test the north London club's resolve during a summer that has already seen hectic transfer activity.

The arrival of Panucci, able to play anywhere across the back but most comfortable at right back, would bolster the side's ageing defence.

However, manager Arsene Wenger is also seeking to strengthen his front line and he flew to Brazil this week to eye up Sao Paulo striker Franca, scorer of Brazil's goal in Saturday's 1-1 draw with England at Wembley.

Sources in Brazil say Sao Paulo expect Wenger to return with an official enquiry but add that the club will ask no less than £13m for the 24-year-old, who is undoubtedly the unrivalled star of their team.

Arsenal are also looking to add to their midfield, with Wenger resigned to losing Emmanuel Petit.

The unsettled French international, who said this week that he wanted to move to a 'dream club', is expected to leave Highbury if interest in Italy and Spain is converted into a reasonable offer.

Wenger has already preempted the loss by signing Cameroon international Lauren - a midfielder who is also comfortable in central defence - for £7m from Real Mallorca this week.

The Arsenal manager is also closing in on Lens midfielder Alexander Nyarko after meeting with the player's representatives in Strasbourg. A bid was due to arrive in Lens this week.

Personal terms have been agreed with Marseille's Robert Pires, leaving both clubs to finalise the £6.5m transfer first revealed in Soccernet.

EXCLUSIVE: "If someone makes a
"good " bid for Nicolas Anelka, the Frenchman will be sold immediately,- declares Sans.

But then Real president added that no one has actually made the right bid.
" If someone makes £18ml bid for Nicolas, I will not be against him leaving the club. Of course, it will be hard without him, because he scored some very important goals for Real, but that's business."
It's interesting that immediately after the Champions League final Sans declared that Anelka was not for sale. How would you trust people after that?
Do you think that these people just make business on this and must not tell the truth all the time? You tell us!

Petit happy to stay at Arsenal, reckons Daily Soccer

France midfielder Emmanuel Petit says he will not be seeking a move from premier league club Arsenal before next season.
"My contract with Arsenal runs for the next three years and there is no reason for not staying there," he said.
A number of reports last season suggested Petit was unhappy in the English game and wanted a transfer.
"If something comes up maybe I will consider the opportunity to go but I won't do anything to trigger a transfer now. My first goal is to have a good European championship," he said.
Petit joined the London club from Monaco in 1997, helping them to a league and FA Cup double.

Barthez joins United to become Premiership's highest paid player

This move was only made possible when Barthez broke up with his girlfriend, supermodel, Linda Evangelista.  Before that French keeper did not want to leave Monaco only because Linda felt at home there. This transfer opens news prospects for Barthez and Mark Bosnich would probably be looking for a new club, not wanting to be the second choice keeper. Full story 30/May/2000 

Petit to join Real Real Madrid, reports eurofootball.com 

According to sources close to Real Madrid, Emmanuel Petit will complete a FF 100m (Ђ13m) transfer to Real Madrid in the next few days.
The Arsenal defensive midfielder will sign a four year contract with Lorenzo Sanzís club which will see him earn FF 16m (Ђ2.5m) a year.

Arsenal have signed Cameroon international Lauren, says Daily Soccer

Real Mallorca's Cameroon international Lauren Etame-Meyer has signed for English premier league Arsenal, the Spanish club announced on Friday.
Arsenal have paid the player's buy-out clause of 2,000 million pesetas ($10.71 million), Mallorca said after they had lost 2-1 at home to Atletico Madrid in the club's last game of
the season. Lauren, as he is known in Spain, did not play in the game "in order to avoid any possibility of an injury", a club spokesman said.
The spokesman added that the transfer had been signed and sealed in less than 24 hours.
The 23-year-old midfielder, who has been at Mallorca for the last two seasons, is due to arrive in London on Monday for a routine medical examination. He was one of the stars of the recent African Nations Cup, held in Ghana and Nigeria during January, wich was won by
($1=186.71 Peseta)

Chelsea chasing £17ml. Salas, reports Soccernet

Chelsea are ready to break the British transfer record to bring Chile star Marcelo Salas to Stamford Bridge. The FA Cup finalists have already begun talks with the striker and Lazio which would see Salas move this summer. And this while Ј10m Chris Sutton is being left in doubt about whether he will even be a substitute against Aston Villa at Wembley.

Arsenal are closing down on Pires, Soccernet reveals

France, May 19 (Reuters) - Olympique Marseille midfielder Robert Pires said on Friday he was very keen to join Arsenal and hoped a deal could be set up before the start of the European championship.

'My manager told me he had had contacts with (Arsenal manager) Arsene Wenger and so far it's the best track he is following,' Pires said.

'I haven't talked myself to the Arsenal people but I know that if they sign me up it will be to play on the left side in the position of Marc Overmars.'

'Having a coach like Wenger ensures a player will improve,' said Pires. 'It's obvious that Emmanuel Petit, Patrick Vieira and Thierry Henry are now outstanding players thanks to Wenger.'

The French midfielder said he was interesting in playing in the Champions League next season, an opportunity he would be denied if he stayed at Olympique Marseille.

'When you start playing the Champions League you want to play it every year,' he said. 'Because this is the best way to stay at the top.' Arsenal qualified for next season's Champions League by finishing second in the premier league.

Pires, who joined Marseille from Metz in 1998, said he had learned a lot playing for the former European champions.

'I had one good and one bad season at Marseille. Even this year, with relegation looming over our heads, forced me to be strong mentally.'

'I don't know what Marseille want to do next season. But one thing is sure, I'm not going to spend another year playing for nothing,' he said.

'The question of my transfer should be settled in the coming days and we will see.'






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"If someone

makes a
"good " bid 

for Nicolas Anelka,

the Frenchman will

be sold immediately,- 

declares Sans.




president:" I will 

not sell Rivaldo or

Figo to anyone"


Fatich Terim  

to take control 

of Fiorentina


Barthez joins 

United to become 

Premiership's highest

paid player


Figo - Beckham

swap sensation


$23.24 million 

deal for Italian 








All pictures are courtesy of Reuters Limited