CHELSEA CHUCK STRIKER IN LEMAR DEAL
Chelsea are said to be ready to ruffle feathers at Arsenal and Liverpool by making a January bid for Monaco star Thomas Lemar. And it’s a whopper.
According to the Mirror, an £80million package will be dangled in front of the Ligue 1 side, with Michy Batshuayi to be chucked in. The deal is supposedly being brokered by Michael Emanelo, who swapped Chelsea for Monaco last month.
Arsenal had a deadline day offer for Lemar turned down in the summer, which is said to have scuppered Alexis Sanchez’s hopes of joining Manchester City. Liverpool are also very keen, but Chelsea’s decisiveness in seeking a deal in January puts them firmly in the driving seat.
Antonio Conte clearly doesn’t trust Batshuayi but reports on Friday suggested he might not be around very long to work with Lemar, should the Blues pull their finger out.
MKHITARYAN ROW REVEALED
The reason behind Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s continued absence from the Manchester United squad, other than the fact he’s been rubbish for months, has been revealed.
ESPN report that Mkhitaryan and Mourinho clashed during a video analysis session last month, when the United boss singled out the playmaker for criticism of his contribution during an appearance as a substitute against Brighton last month.
Apparently, Mourinho let Mkhitaryan have it in front of his team-mates, and the Armenian had a pop back at the boss. This continued in the corridor after the session, since when Mkhitaryan has been nowhere near Mourinho’s team.
His omission has led to reports that United will consider offers for the playmaker in January, with Mourinho admitting on Friday that every player has his price.
REAL STAR FANCIES UNITED
Mkhitaryan may be on his way, but one player who supposedly fancies playing for Mourinho is Marco Asensio.
The Real Madrid star, according to Dario Gol, fancies a crack at the Premier League, with a regular place in Zinedine Zidane’s side apparently not forthcoming.
Zidane apparently doubts whether Asensio has the consistency to be a regular at the Bernabeu, so Real will consider offers, though Florentino Perez won’t let him go cheap. The 21-year-old has started nine of Real’s 15 La Liga games so far this term.
AND THE REST
Arsenal could lose eight players next summer as Arsene Wenger braces himself for his biggest-ever squad shake-up…Zinedine Zidane has talked up a potential Real Madrid move for Mohamed Salah after admitting that the Liverpool star is a player he “rates a lot”…Barcelona have reportedly been told to pay £127m for Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho – but negotiations are still ongoing…West Ham are prepared to cash in on Domingos Quina, with Liverpool leading the chase to land the starlet…Arsenal will hold contract talks with Jack Wilshere before the end of the month…Crystal Palace are targeting £10m-rated Monaco forward Guido Carrillo…Liverpool and Tottenham have been warned Fiorentina winger Federico Chiesa will cost them at least £53m…Liverpool midfielder Marko Grujic is wanted by Brighton and Aston Villa on loan in January.