The Sweeper: Champions League qualification key to Arsenal's Jovetic swoop

The Montenegro international is keen on moving to Arsene Wenger’s side but one of his main objectives is to play in Europe’s elite competition next term


Arsenal have made Stevan Jovetic one of their principal targets as they formalise their summer recruitment plans.

But The Sweeper understands that the Gunners’ hopes of landing the Fiorentina striker are dependent on them securing a top-four Premier League finish.

Early talks with Jovetic’s camp have revealed that the Montenegro international is keen on moving to Arsenal but one of his prime concerns is to play in next season’s Champions League.

The Gunners are not hopeful of signing the forward without the carrot of Europe’s biggest stage, something that Manchester City, another of the clubs pursuing the player, will almost certainly be able to offer.

The FA Cup finalists negotiated first option on Jovetic when they bought his former team-mate Matija Nastasic on deadline day last August for €14 million.

But the Montenegrin is likely to be a fall-back option only if City fail to secure the signing of one of their A-list striker targets, headed by Napoli’s Edinson Cavani.

City pursued Jovetic as part of a double swoop last summer but Fiorentina held on to the 23-year-old fans’ favourite amid fears of a huge backlash from supporters if they sold him.

It is understood that Jovetic agreed to remain in Florence for another season on the proviso that he can leave in the forthcoming summer.

– Wayne Veysey


Everton midfielder Leon Osman is taking his coaching badges.

The 31-year-old now has one eye on the future, having been at Goodison Park since his teens.

Osman is determined to play on for a few more years yet, but has ambitions to join the club’s backroom staff one day.

– Paul Clennam


Don’t dare suggest it to Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, but the title butterflies are now kicking in around his players.

The inside of United’s Carrington training complex has been overrun by Red Admiral butterflies.

Staff have been forced to dive for cover as the insects swoop around the corridors.

United coach Brian McClair told the latest issue of Inside United magazine: “One of our more intelligent colleagues thought it would be a good idea to liberate one of our pets by putting it out of the window.

“He was puzzled as to why it plummeted straight to the ground in the Arctic wind!”

– Paul Clennam


Rival football-supporting builders working on Manchester City’s new £150 million training campus are up in arms after being forced to wear sky blue high-vis vests with ‘Man City team member’ written on the back.
Scores of workmen have already complained and tried to get out of wearing the official attire but have been told they will be off the site if they do not get their kit on.
City are building a state-of-the-art academy on a run-down 80-acre site next to the Etihad Stadium – set to be the biggest in the world – which will open next year.

It will include nature running trails, 16 pitches, a 7,000 seater youth team stadium, a college and will create hundreds of new jobs in the deprived area of east Manchester.

– Paul Clennam

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