Arsenal Set for £8m Double Swoop

Serie A giants target Emirates pair.

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Roma, the club with more front than Margate, are reported to be eyeing another Arsenal ace. As the First Post reported yesterday, the Serie A side despatched their “dealmaker” Daniele Prade to London earlier in the week with the aim of persuading defender William Gallas to sign along the dotted line for next season. It now appears that Prade, who sat in awe in the Emirates as Arsenal crushed Porto 5-0 in the Champions League, is trying to lure Gallas’s Gunners’ teammate, Emmanuel Eboue, to Roma instead.

Gallas has apparently cooled on the possibility of joining run-of-the-mill Roma – whose only European silverware was their Inter-Cities Fair Cup’ triumph of 1961 – after Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger reached out a hand of friendship to his fellow Frenchman. “I am not concerned,” Wenger replied when asked if he thought the 32-year-old Gallas would leave at the end of the season after his four-year spell at the Emirates. “He is under contract until the 30th of June. We have not found an agreement yet. I meet his agents again next Thursday and we will try to find a solution. I feel I have to respect both parties and not to come out about the details of negotiations. William is speaking to us and our desire is to keep him here. I think he wants to stay here.”

So with Gallas likely to remain a Gunner, Italian daily Gazetta dello Sport is reporting that Roma have ordered Daniele the dealmaker to turn his attention to Eboue. The paper says Roma “are attracted by the versatility” of Eboue, who can not only play in defence or midfield, but who can also score stunning goals as he showed on Tuesday when he netted Arsenal’s fourth against poor Porto.

The 26-year-old Ivorian international joined Arsenal in 2004 and has grown in stature ever since thanks to Wenger, the man Eboue refers to as “the daddy”. Not surprisingly, Eboue’s agent, Franjo Vranjkovic, has been quick to address the rumours, saying: “It isn’t true that Emmanuel is close to Roma. He is happy in England, he has a nice role. I don’t understand why this news has spread in Italy.” (First Post)

Roma, must like Juventus, appear to be very interested in raiding Arsenal for any player who may consider leaving the Emirates but the Serie A side may find that Arsene Wenger is not keen on losing either of the Stadio Olimpico targets.

With William Gallas hoping for a change of heart and contract policy from the Gunners boss and Emmanuel Eboue performing well when called upon, it seems neither player would be keen on making a swap from the Premier League to Roma even though in the Ivorian’s case, they could offer regular first team football.

The 27 year old utility player has come a long way since his barracking from the Arsenal faithful who felt he wasn’t putting enough effort or ability when selected and now even though not a regular starter Eboue offers the north London club a solid option in a number of positions and as such will not be someone the club would want to lose.

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