Chelsea want Nicolas N’koulou to make it 100 defenders, Arsenal eye up Daniele Rugani, Liverpool want Demarai Gray in January…
CHELSEA WANT N’KOULOU
With Chelsea’s defence looking shakier than Stevens, Jose Mourinho is thought to be keen to bring in yet another central defender in January. Apparently Michael Hector and Papy Djilobodji don’t quite fit the bill. Who knew?
L’Equipe believe that Marseille centre-back Nicolas N’Koulou is the answer to Mourinho’s prayers, with Chelsea hoping to land the defender on the cheap with his contract running out at the end of the season.
The paper claim that a deal could be done in January for around £7.2m, which would leave Chelsea with John Terry, Gary Cahill, Kurt Zouma, Hector, Djilobodji, Andreas Christensen, Tomas Kalas, Kenneth Omeruo, Alex Dawey and Nathan Ake. Forgive us for thinking that some of those loanees might not reach the first team.
ARSENAL EYE UP RUGANI
Calciomercato.com were the ones who first spoke of Liverpool’s potential interest in Carlo Ancelotti, so we’re going to give them another chance with a rumour. Don’t let us down, guys.
Their claim, brought to England by the Independent, is that Arsenal will go back for Juventus defender Daniele Rugani. Arsene Wenger had a £13m bid rejected in June, but that has not put him off.
Rugani spent last season on loan at Empoli, where he played in every league game, but he has yet to make an appearance for Juve this season. Wenger clearly rates him highly and thinks he can persuade him to move to England.
LIVERPOOL TO TARGET GRAY
The future of Demarai Gray at Birmingham City looks to be coming to an end. The Championship club rejected a series of offers for the player over the summer with Premier League clubs circling, but his minimum fee release caluse drops to just £3.5m at the end of the season. Birmingham will therefore cash in in January.
That’s the word of the Daily Mirror, who report serious interest from both Liverpool and Bournemouth in the 19-year-old. You can add at least another six or seven clubs to that list should a bidding war be started when the window re-opens.
Gray, who doesn’t turn 20 until after the end of the season, has started six of Birmingham’s seven Championship matches so far this season.
AND THE REST
Chelsea are lining up a shock £14.5million bid in January for Barcelona full-back Dani Alves… Arsenal are plotting new contracts for Mesut Ozil and Nacho Monreal as they review the squad’s deals… Yaya Toure is convinced this Manchester City side can become the most exciting in the club’s history… Mesut Ozil’s agent says a Fenerbahce move is a “serious option” in the summer… Barcelona are continuing to monitor Leicester star Riyad Mahrez as well as Newcastle winger Florian Thauvin… Manchester City are closing in on a surprise deal for Australian midfielder Luke Brattan… Liverpool striker Christian Benteke is not expected to overcome his hamstring injury in time to go up against his former employers Aston Villa on Saturday.