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Dublin: 8 °C Friday 22 August, 2014

The Depatures Lounge: Llorente on Arsenal’s radar as Spurs haggle over Lloris

A Llot of Ll’s going on in today’s transfer round-up.

Fernando Llorente celebrates his Europa League goal against Manchester United last season.
Fernando Llorente celebrates his Europa League goal against Manchester United last season.
Image: AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos

WE THOUGHT THAT it would be a welcome change to give Arsenal fans reason to be optimistic about the new season rather than mention idle chatter about a certain Dutch striker.

So, today TheScore.ie focus on the ‘In’ door rather than who may not be playing at The Emirates next season.

Arsene Wenger has already made a couple of astute attacking signings and Tomas Vermaelen should be fit and ready to go for the opening game of the season at home to Sunderland.

Who knows, maybe Jack Wilshere will return at some stage to help out too.

GOING?

There may soon be room at Arsenal for a man who can notch at least 20 goals a season. Arsene Wenger and his scouts are said to be tracking Atletico Bilbao’s Fernando Llorente. The Spanish forward was most impressive in his side’s Europa League campaign last year and would not shirk the physical challenge that the Premier League is sure to present. The price tag may be a stickler but the Gunners’ Champions League status would help to entice the hitman.

Wenger will be keeping a close eye on the burgeoning football talents on show at London 2012 and is reported to have a keen interest in Brazilian playmaker (aren’t they all) Ganso. The 22-year-old currently plays in the Santos midfield in his homeland.

The news that Lyon are willing to let Hugo Lloris leave has alerted many of Europe’s top clubs but Tottenham have squeezed their way to near the front of the queue.

Is £16m too much to ask for the French international goalkeeper? (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

The stumbling block for Andre Villas Boas and Spurs may be the princely sum of £16m that the French side are seeking for the national team’s goalkeeper. Lloris has years of Champions League and international experience and would be a longer term solution that Brad Friedel, who is 41-years-old and stubbornly ageing every day.

GOING?

Brazilian defender Douglas is blithely ignoring advances from Newcastle United as the new season approaches. The FC Twente man, who qualifies as a Dutch citizen later this year, is not overly enamoured with the prospect of playing with Fabio Coloccini and co. at St James Park. He said:

I and my agent know nothing of a bid from Newcastle. I want to stay at Twente this season.”

If only wanting was getting.

Roque Santa Cruz, lingering at present in the Manchester City cafeteria and trying his best to keep aloof with the new arrivals, is hoping his old boss Mark Hughes will spring him from Eastlands.

“Who knows? I want to play, I want to do good and I want to be successful. Who knows, we might work back together,” he subtley hinted.

GONE!

One man who will definitely be lining up in blue and white next season is Junior Hoillet, once that pesky work permit gets rubber-stamped. The Canadian born player, who was one of the shining lights for Blackburn last season, should add some direct running and pace to the QPR cause this season.

The Oscar jerseys will soon be in the club-shop but Chelsea will officially finalise the deal for the talented Brazilian midfielder over the weekend after he passed a midweek medical.

Europa League reports: Pat’s undone by late goal, as Sligo errors punished

The Morning Score: Friday

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