Schalke consider Podolski loan
German daily Bild understands that Schalke are hoping to sign German forward Lukas Podolski from Arsenal by the end of the summer transfer window.
The Germany international is looking to leave the Emirates after playing just nine minutes in team’s first two matches of the season.
Podolski is desperate to keep his place in the national team ahead of the 2014 World Cup and he is aware regular playing football will aid his chances.
Bild has revealed a couple of days ago that Schalke are prepared to offer the player an escape route from the Emirates, but the Miners don’t seem to have enough transfer funds to sign the forward outright.
With Podolski valued at €23 million and earning around €7 million per campaign, a season-long loan is a more realistic option.
Even if the player agrees to make a move to Veltins Arena, Arsenal would have to continue paying a part of his wages.
It was somewhat of a surprise to see Podolski lose his starting place after managing 11 goals and 10 assists in 33 Premier League matches during his first season at the club.
Julio Cesar flattered by Benfica interest
QPR goalkeeper Julio Cesar has added fuel to speculations linking him with a summer switch to Benfica.
The Brazilian is set to leave the Championship side as the club aim to get rid of one of their highest earners, and he has been linked with a number of high-profile sides.
After the move to Napoli fell through because of his high wage demands, Benfica have reportedly joined the chase for the player’s services.
Julio Cesar admits he is aware of the interest and claims he is prepared to consider an offer from Estadio da Luz.
“Benfica are a big club and I am proud to have been associated with them,” Cesar explained to TSF.
“I will speak to my agent to learn exactly what is going on. I only like to talk when things are concrete.”
It is no secret Benfica are searching for a new goalkeeper, but it remains to be seen if they can persuade the 33-year-old to lower his wage demands.
Juan Iturbe on Espanyol radar
Espanyol are stepping up their interest in Porto attacker Juan Manuel Iturbe, according to Record.
The 20-year-old forward has returned to Estadio do Dragao after his loan spell at River Plate came to an end, but he does not seem to feature in first team plans of coach Paulo Fonseca.
As a result, the Dragons are prepared to farm him out on loan one more time, with Espanyol ready to pounce.
Los Periquitos are looking for attacking reinforcements after Joan Verdu left the club and sporting director Oscar Perarnau has already travelled to Porto to discuss a deal for Juan Manuel Iturbe.
With the talented forward predicted a bright future in the game, outright transfer appears to be out of the question, but a season-long loan could be a perfect solution for all the parties involved.
Juan Manuel Iturbe has made just five league appearances for Porto since arriving from Quilmes, but he largely impressed while on loan at River Plate and playing for Argentine Under-20 side.