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Liverpool's move for young Chelsea striker Daniel Sturridge appears to have hit a roadblock over his wage demands. The Daily Mirror reports that Sturridge has asked for a salary of Â£80,000 a week and a guarantee that he will be given a central striking berth and not be deployed on the wings. Liverpool are likely to scoff at both demands, but Sturridge's move to Merseyside in serious jeopardy. (read more)
Arsenal meanwhile are likely to know the future of their interest in Klaas-Jan Huntelaar in the first week of January. The Gunners are being widely tipped to present Schalke with a New Year's present of a formal Â£6 million bid for the Dutch striker. Arsene Wenger has finally admitted that he is open to the idea spending money to improving his team. Wenger is quoted in the Mirror as saying, "In England, the response is always sort out your problems by buying players. Itâ€™s one way to do it, and I donâ€™t deny it. If itâ€™s needed, weâ€™ll do it."
Chelsea's pursuit of Pep Guardiola may struggle to come to fruition should the Catalan legend opt to work with PSG's Qatari owners rather than a trigger happy Russian with a happy knack of sacking managers. The Mirror reports that Guardiola is being lined up as a replacement for Carlo Ancelotti should the former Chelsea manager fail to take PSG to the promised land. The super-rich French club are currently fourth in the Ligue 1 standings.
Jose Mourinho meanwhile has rubbished rumours published in Marca earlier in the week that he will be looking to leave Real Madrid this summer. Mourinho has had to take in a lot of flak from the fans, and has had a rather public fallout with star defender Sergio Ramos, but maintained in his post match press conference, "I am not speaking about this (because) there's no story".
Meanwhile, the BBC reports that rumours that veteran Israeli manager Avram Grant will be returning to Chelsea in an advisory capacity are just that. They quote a Chelsea spokesman as having said, "There is no truth in reports that Avram Grant will be returning to the club." (read more)
Money to Spend
While we are on the subject of managers, it is worth pointing out that two bosses with rather contrasting starts to their respective seasons are likely to see plenty of money coming their way in the January Transfer window. Martin O'Neill's Sunderland side are languishing a place above the relegation zone and the Mirror reports that American owner Ellis Short will give the Northern Irishman a princely sum of... wait for it... Â£8 million to spend in January. In fairness to Short though, he did finance the moves of Steven Fletcher and Adam Johnson in the summer. O'Neill reportedly wants to bring in Gary Hooper from Celtic, but it will be interesting to see how he reacts to possible bids for star man Stephane Sessegnon.
The other boss with cash to splurge will be West Brom manager Steve Clarke, who has taken the midlands club up to the dizzying heights of fourth place. Albion have lost back-to-back games over the last week though, and with Youssouf Mulumbu and Peter Odemwingie heading to the African Cup of Nations in January, Clarke could be required to add to his squad in an attempt to ensure the Baggies don't lose out on a possible European place. He was quoted in Express and Star as having said, "We have spoken about what we might need to do in January and if the chairman, Dan Ashworth and I decide we need to strengthen the squad then we can do that.â€
Two teenage sensations have caught our eye this morning with England youth international Will Hughes garnering attention from Arsenal and Fulham, while 18-year old Austrian striker Marcel Sabitzer is being chased by Juventus and Manchester United.
Hughes, is currently plying his trade in the Championship with Derby County, and is quite a talent. Fulham are poised to lure him to the Premier League with a Â£4 million bid in January. Arsenal meanwhile have been tracking the player all year, and while no official news has come through about a possible bid, the Gunners are unlikely to let Fulham steal the march on the youngster. (read more)
Sabitzer meanwhile is reportedly priced at a rather enticing Â£1 million because his contract is expiring in the summer, and his interestingly named club Admira Wacker could be forced to sell him in January now that he is drawing attention from the big guns according to reports in talkSPORT. The young striker has already won his first international cap, and reportedly has an extremely bright future.
Rumours of Nani heading for the exit at Old Trafford have gathered steam with the Portuguese hot shot having been left out of Manchester United's 2013 calendar reports the Daily Mirror. Most United fans will agree that they don't need to see the calendar to know that Nani is leaving.
The Sun meanwhile reports that Borussia Dortmund Manager Jurgen Klopp has in no uncertain terms told all suitors of Robert Lewandowski (read Man Utd and Chelsea) that his striker is not available for sale in the January transfer window. The Daily Telegraph meanwhile says that United are more than comfortable waiting for the player to become available in the summer given their prolific scoring record at the start of the season. Don't think Chelsea can afford to be that patient though. - new
The Metro brings news that star striker Demba Ba could be leaving Newcastle United with talks over a new contract having stalled once again. Meanwhile, ESPN reports that Alan Pardew remains 'haunted' by Demba Ba's release clause (didn't that expire - apparently not). Pardew has done a terrific job of drawing attention to the fact that his 27-year old striker can leave for Â£7.5 million by stating, "The truth of it is that Demba has got a clause in his contract and it is still hanging over us. We have tried to negotiate a way and we have not managed to do that as yet." Ba scored twice again on Monday night to take his Premier League tally to 10 goals for the season.
And the Sun reports that Arsenal are set to swoop in for the Senegalese super striker, offering him a competitive wage hike of 60,000 a week to convince him to leave the North East for London. - new
The Daily Mail meanwhile shares Arsenal's shopping list in their lead story this morning, declaring that the pursuit of Huntelaar will be joined with moves for Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha, former Gunners' legend Thierry Henry and Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina. Our response... sigh... tell us something we didn't already know... (read more)
The Guardian reports that 28-year old Dutch playmaker Wesley Sneijder has once again attracted attention from Manchester with United and City both ready to pounce on the midfielder after his latest fallout with the Inter Milan hierarchy. Sneijder has reportedly been benched by the club unless he agrees to sign a new contract, and is considering taking legal action against the club and is speaking with the FIFA Football Union reps. Can't help but wonder if the presence of RVP in the United squad might help sway him towards the Red half of Manchester. (read more)
No Way Jose Rumour
The Daily Star today has an absurd story where in David Luiz is blamed for Chelsea's defeat at Upton Park at the weekend, I guess you can blame him for being suspended, but surely the players on the pitch should take the bulk of the criticism. On a more serious note though, there is a useful tit-bit of information at the end of the article where Bayer Leverkusen sporting director Rudi Voller rejects Chelsea's proposal to sign Andre Schurrle in January. However, considering the source, we don't really know anymore whether we should believe them.
- 04/12/2012 12:26 - Sturridge wants 80k per week to join Liverpool
- 04/12/2012 12:01 - Wenger prepares to line up bids for Huntelaar, Zaha and Reina to bolster struggling squad
- 04/12/2012 10:49 - Arsenal, Fulham battle over 17-year old midfield starlet