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Saturday, Oct 16th

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Despite recent reports linking Chelsea to a winter swoop for Arsenal’s summer transfer target, Gonzalo Higuain, ex-England coach Fabio Capello believes that the Blues are more likely to land AS Monaco’s Radamel Falcao than Higuain.

The current Russian coach, Capello, pointed to the paucity of world class strikers who are willing to move in January prior to the World Cup as a possible reason why there may not be much movement among the big names this transfer window. Speaking to Sky Sports, he said, “There aren’t many strikers who can make the difference in January, but I’d see Radamel Falcao settling in well at Chelsea.”

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Arsenal are locked in a transfer battle with Manchester United for two starlets from Benfica’s youth academy. The Sunday Mirror reports that Arsenal have been scouting Joao Nunes, and Goncalo Guedes over the past few months and are looking to bring the Portuguese youths over to the Emirates in the summer. The Gunners have always been committed to developing world class players through their youth academy and these acquisitions could help them bring the next top players into their side.

Goncalo Guedes is a 17 year old winger who plays in Portugal for Benfica’s B team. He plays on the left wing and has impressed scouts with his performances in the UEFA Youth League. The league is a companion league to the UEFA Champions League which sees the Champions League group stage games take place at an under-19 level also. Arsenal’s scouts are reported to have sent back positive reviews after his performances in the Youth League where he has recorded 2 goals and an assist in 5 games.

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Mega-rich French club AS Monaco seems to be on the verge of having acquired another accomplished attacking player in its rank in the form of Angel di Maria.

Di Maria, who has been reported as being unsettled in Real Madrid colours after the world record signing of Gareth Bale, was being targeted by English Champions Manchester United and current Premier League leaders Arsenal.

Di Maria though has other ideas, ones which are far more lucrative than the English sides are willing to offer, as he set his sights on a potential move to the Principality in the January transfer window. Reports have emerged that negotiations have already begun, led by Di Maria’s agent Jorge Mendes. The same Mendes who have a host of international stars in his roster as clients. Cristiano Ronaldo, Jose Mourinho, Joao Moutinho, James Martinez, Radamel Falcao, Ricardo Carvalho to name a few.

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Jose Mourinho’s trip to Brussels may very well turn out to not have been in vain. The ‘Special One’ was in Belgium to supposedly monitor firsthand the performance of his rumored number one winter transfer target Radamel Falcao and the Colombian hotshot has responded in kind to the Portuguese’s advances.

Goals by Falcao and Víctor Ibarbo sealed a 2-0 friendly win over a much hyped Belgium side and after the match Falcao put his best foot forward when asked to respond to the presence of the mercurial Chelsea manager, “He came here to see good football, played by good players and to see a good spectacle, I hope to make a good impression on him in the match. Would I like to play in the Premier League? It’s one of the most important leagues in the world.”

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While most would agree that Chelsea’s record setting £50 million adventure in Fernando Torres hasn’t been a jaw dropping success, the Blues are looking to wipe out past mistakes with promises of even bigger risks. Jose Mourinho has had an indifferent start to his second coming as Chelsea manager and the ‘Special One’ has earmarked Radamel Falcao as just what the doctor ordered to get the party started.

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Less than a year after ending long-running speculation over his future at Arsenal, Theo Walcott is back in the gossip columns thanks to rumours of strong interest from across the English Channel. Monaco’s wild spending ways wasn’t seemingly restricted to last summer as the Daily Mail report that the French giants are keen to splash £34m on Walcott in January to ensue they qualify for the Champions League next season.

Walcott signed a three-and-a-half year deal with the Gunners in January after spending the best part of 2012 flirting with other clubs. The winger has been sidelined for most of this season with an abdominal injury, which coincided with Mesut Ozil establishing himself in the starting eleven. The 24 year old isn’t guaranteed a place in first team when he returns from injury but Arsene Wenger most definitely doesn’t consider the Englishman disposable.

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Porto’s French born central defender Eliaquim Mangala’s stakes are said to be rising in the transfer market, according to the Daily Express. It is believed that France’s big spenders AS Monaco are the latest club to join in the race to sign the highly rated defender who is also being scouted by English Premier League giants Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City.

Mangala, despite being born in France, began his youth career in Belgium and progressed to the senior team with Standard Liege, where he established himself as a world class prospect, so much so that he was instantly drafted into the French U21 team as a mainstay in the squad. Portuguese big shots FC Porto splashed 5.5 million pounds to land the defender from Belgium in 2011. Mangala is progressing even faster in the Portuguese Premiera Liga, having now become a mainstay at Porto at just 22.

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