WHAT THE PAPERS SAY
Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling will delay contract talks until after the World Cup, the Daily Mirror says. The stall over a new deal at City could alert Real Madrid, who showed an interest in the winger two years ago, the paper reports. The England star has two and a half years remaining on his current £180,000-a-week deal.
Chelsea face a battle to keep hold of star forward Eden Hazard, The Times reports. The Belgian is said to be holding off from signing a new £300,000-a-week deal, a club record, in the hope of piquing the interest of Real Madrid. The 26-year-old does not want to harm his chances of a move to Madrid by agreeing a contract of more than two years at Stamford Bridge, it is reported. Contract talks are expected to resume at the end of the season.
Theo Walcott‘s 10-year spell at Arsenal could be coming to an end, according to The Sun. The Gunners are apparently happy to let the 28-year-old leave the club if a suitable offer is made for the winger in the January transfer window. West Ham and Southampton are thought to be interested in the player, the paper says.
Tottenham defender Danny Rose could be swapping London for the North West, the Daily Mail reports. Manchester United appear to be targeting the 27-year-old for a move in January or next summer, the paper says, with boss Jose Mourinho said to be confident a deal – worth £50million – can take place.
West Ham may have to fight off Real Madrid in order to bring Russian striker Fyodor Smolov to the Premier League, the Daily Mail reports. The Spanish giants are said to be looking to bolster their attacking positions and Smolov has impressed. West Ham, meanwhile, also want to strengthen their squad come the January transfer window and reportedly hope to persuade the 27-year-old to move to London Stadium.
SOCIAL MEDIA ROUND-UP
@talkSPORT – Roma lining up January move for Arsenal and Tottenham target
@TheSunfootball – Arsenal and Spurs target ‘determined to quit regardless of contract’
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Newcastle might have to be prepared to pay a hefty sum if they want to bring Cenk Tosun to England, the Chroncile and Turkish media report. The 26-year-old’s impressive run of form means Besiktas bosses appear to have upped their demands. Newcastle have reportedly considered the forward as part of a swap deal with Aleksandar Mitrovic, but are thought to have been unwilling to pay a previously touted £20million.
Dani Ceballos could be prepared to leave Real Madrid in search of more game time, the Daily Mirror says. The Spain Under-21 international moved to the Bernabeu only last summer but has struggled to frequently make the starting XI, reports suggest. Arsenal and Tottenham are tipped to be interested in the player, along with AC Milan and Roma.
The transfer window is closed until January but that doesn’t keep the rumour mill churning as clubs look to get a leg up on potential transfers.
Here are three big stories dominating the headlines on Monday.
Will any of the following deals happen?
REAL MADRID CONSIDER KROOS-DYBALA SWAP
Rai Sport is reporting that Real Madrid have earmarked Paulo Dybala as one of their primary transfer targets for next summer, and are willing to offer Juventus Toni Kroos in exchange for the Argentine. The Italian side are said to be prepared to increase Dybala’s salary in order to keep him at the club, but are not ready to keep him at all costs.
It’s no surprise that Real Madrid would step up their interest in Dybala – the Juventus playmaker has plenty of high-profile suitors, having been linked with Manchester United and Barcelona as well as Los Meringues. And as the Paul Pogba saga of last year showed, despite Juventus’ stature and success, ultimately even their best players have a price. Whatever increased salary they can offer Dybala, it’s almost certain that other clubs could match or beat it.
This proposed deal may be the best Juventus can get; even if other clubs are willing to pay a transfer fee close to £150million or even £200million, there aren’t many players who Juventus could buy with that money who’d be as good as Toni Kroos. And for Madrid, while Kroos has been a stellar player, they have plenty of promising midfielders in the ranks to offset the loss. It’ll be hard for their rivals to top this offer.
PREMIER LEAGUE RIVALS PLAN CEBALLOS SWOOP
Diario Gol claims Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos is a target for both Arsenal and Tottenham, with AC Milan, Roma, and Ceballos’ former club Real Betis also said to be interested. Ceballos has struggled for game time at Madrid and could move in January.
Dani Ceballos is 21, has just arrived at the reigning European and Spanish champions, not to mention one of the biggest clubs in the world, and has a midfield of Casemiro, Luka Modric, and Toni Kroos to try to unseat. If anyone in his camp, including the player himself, thought he’d instantly be a regular, they were deluding themselves.
But, by that same token, it makes little sense that he’d lose hope and want to leave so quickly. Learning from the midfielders ahead of him in the Madrid pecking order, as well as remaining under the tutelage of Zinedine Zidane, while getting whatever playing time he can get, is an excellent strategy for Ceballos’ development, and one he’s likely to keep trying for at least another year or so.
ALLARDYCE PLANNING N’ZONZI REUNION
According to the Daily Mail, Sam Allardyce wants to bring Steven N’Zonzi to Everton. The Sevilla midfielder worked under Allardyce at Blackburn, and he could be allowed to leave his current club having apparently fallen out with manager Eduardo Berizzo.
This transfer would make a lot of sense, especially if the reports of the fall-out between Berizzo and N’Zonzi are true. Allardyce scouted N’Zonzi and brought him to the Premier League, so the Everton manager is clearly aware of the France international’s talent. The Toffees struggling to find a reliable midfielder within their own squad at the moment, and N’Zonzi seems a natural fit.
He’s not quite the typical robust, physical Sam Allardyce midfielder, given his technical ability, but N’Zonzi’s previous experience in England shows he can handle the Premier League. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see this move go through in January.
Neymar spent four years at the Camp Nou before sensationally moving to Paris Saint-Germain in August for a world record €222million fee.
However, rumours of a move back to Spain with the European champions surfaced after Neymar clashed with new strike partner and Suarez’s international teammate Edison Cavani back in September.
“No, not at all,” Suarez told Spanish sports daily Marca on Monday when asked about the prospect of Neymar moving to Madrid.
“Sincerely, I don’t see it. I know how Neymar is and the admiration that he had for Barcelona and his teammates. I don’t see him now going to play for Real Madrid.”
Along with five-time World Player of the Year Lionel Messi, Suarez and Neymar formed one of the deadliest strike forces of all-time as they won two La Liga titles and a Champions League in three seasons together.
However, despite a bitter fallout between the club and Neymar after PSG paid the Brazilian’s buyout clause, Suarez insists he has only admiration and love for his former colleague.
“Ney is now mature enough and was completely aware of the decision he took,” added Suarez.
“I am sure it was painful because he was happy here, but we all have to accept that he had other challenges he wanted to take on.
“It was an understandable decision that he took with his family. There is no reproach, only admiration and pure love for what he gave this club and the relationship we had during those years.”
And Suarez said he had no role in calming tensions between Cavani and Neymar.
“No, I was an outsider. They weren’t situations that I could control.”