CHELSEA INCREASINGLY CONFIDENT OF ROONEY DEAL
We might as well begin where we ended last week, with the news that Chelsea are growing more and more optimistic that they can complete a deal for Wayne Rooney.
The Daily Mirror claim the Blues believe a fee of £30m should persuade United to sell, but first they are preparing to table a second bid of £24m this week. Just for sh*ts and giggles, we imagine.
Interestingly, the Mirror also add that Chelsea are 'resigned to not landing Rooney in time for him to return to Old Trafford in a Blues shirt on August 26'.
'United boss David Moyes will not want his first home game as Sir Alex Ferguson's successor to be overshadowed by Rooney's return to Manchester,' report the paper.
'And while Chelsea feel the champions have no option but to sell before the transfer window shuts on September 2, they are willing to have to wait until the final days to get their man.'
It seems any deal for Rooney could hinge on United's pursuit of Cesc Fabregas, with Moyes apparently hoping to soften the blow of the striker's departure with the capture of another big name.
ARSENAL PONDER NEW HIGUAIN BID
If we were Arsenal, we'd be do everthing we can right now to have a quick word with Gonzalo Higuain while he's in the country.
The Real Madrid striker scored in his team's 6-0 win over Bournemouth on Sunday before Carlo Ancelotti denied that a deal has been agreed to sell Higuain to Napoli.
Ancelotti's dismissal hasn't deterred speculation, though, with the Daily Mirror reporting that the Serie A club have arranged a £30m deal for Higuain, who now wants 48 hours to mull over the transfer.
According to The Mirror: 'It is believed Higuain would still prefer moving to Arsenal but his potential switch to the Emirates went cold after Real Madrid suddenly "moved the goalposts" and increased the price from £24m to £32m.'
Real are apparently hopeful a deal will be concluded soon so they can launch a bid to sign Luis Suarez.
LIVERPOOL JOIN SOLDADO RACE
After it was reported over the weekend that Spurs are planning to break their transfer record with an £18m bid for Roberto Soldado, the Daily Star now claim that Liverpool have joined the race for the Valencia striker.
It's our duty to remind you that the Star are the only paper to claim that Spurs have already had a bid rejected for Soldado - despite Valencia sporting Braulio Vazquez confirming no offers have been received - so how genuine this story is, we can't really be sure.
'Reds boss Brendan Rodgers needs a big signing if Luis Suarez quits Anfield this summer and is weighing up a £22m bid for Soldado,' report the Star.
'The Spain striker is aware of Liverpool's interest and expects to hold talks with Valencia president Amadeo Salvo when he returns from his holiday today.
'Soldado has an escape clause of almost £30m and Valencia are desperate to keep hold of him and are prepared to offer him a massive pay rise to stay.'
Apparently Soldado's release clause expires on August 3, so we're expecting a bit of movement on this one over the next week.
AND THE REST
Spurs are keen on Wigan midfielder James McCarthy but are unwilling to meet the £20million asking price...Stoke boss Mark Hughes has made a last-ditch move for Benfica striker Nelson Oliveira, 21, with Cardiff also interested...Swansea will make a £7million swoop for Mexican defender Hector Moreno with Ashley Williams expected to join Arsenal...Reading boss Nigel Adkins is set to raid former club Southampton for striker Rickie Lambert...Sheffield Wednesday are closing in on free agent Gary Taylor-Fletcher, 32, who has left Blackpool...
Left-back Ryan Bertrand, 23, sees his long-term future at Chelsea despite interest from Liverpool...Dutch midfielder Kemy Agustien, 26, is closing on a move from Swansea to Brighton, while striker Leroy Lita is set to join Sheffield Wednesday...Blackburn's French defender Gael Givet, 31, is set to join Italian side Livorno on a free transfer...Manchester City are ready to take their summer spending beyond £110million with a £22million bid for 30-year-old Real Madrid defender Pepe...
Newcastle have launched a £15m-plus bid for two more French players - Lyon striker Bafetimbi Gomis and Marseilles winger Andre-Pierre Gignac...German side Hamburg are set to make a £6million bid for 27-year-old Everton striker Nikica Jelavic...Southampton have revived their interest in Roma striker Pablo Osvaldo, but fear a bid from Inter Milan for midfielder Gaston Ramirez...Nottingham Forest have launched a £1.5million move for QPR's Jamie Mackie but have been told a similar bid for Celtic defender Kelvin Wilson is not enough...
West Ham are interested in bringing Tottenham midfielder Scott Parker, 32, back to Upton Park if their wage bill allows it...Didier Drogba is set to return to Chelsea next summer as a player-coach...Australian striker Scott McDonald, 29, is set to join Millwall after quitting Middlesbrough...Fulham are in talks with French side Evian about midfielder Mohammed Rabiu.