The Early Gossip

Man United watch Saul Niguez and ask about every other Spanish midfielder while refusing to give up on Juan Mata...

Last Updated: 13/01/14 at 09:29 Post Comment

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The idea of Phil Neville 'jetting' anywhere is amusing us but, according to the Daily Mirror at least, he 'jetted' out to Spain after Saturday night's win over Swansea to watch Spanish U-21 international Saul Niguez, an Atletico Madrid midfielder currently on loan at Rayo Vallecano, who is also apparently a target for Arsenal and Chelsea. Well, the Mirror call him a 'midfield ace' but it looks very much like he played in central defence for Vallecano in a 1-0 win over Getafe on Sunday.

This is an astonishing sentence from the Daily Teleraph: 'While watching Saúl, Neville spoke to other scouts about midfielders in Spain, asking about Ander Herrera, Atlético Madrid's Koke, and Real Madrid pair Asier Illarramendi and Isco.'

David Moyes was obviously in Italy instead at Juventus against Cagliari. He could have been watching Cagliari defender Davide Astori, Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal or former Man United man Paul Pogba, depending on who you believe.

To the Daily Star now and they claim that United 'are refusing to give up on signing Juan Mata this month'. As this column knows, there's really not a lot of point 'refusing to give up' on somebody you can't have, but it seems that United are not very good at reading signals either.

They claim: 'Chelsea have flatly rejected the idea of selling Mata to a Premier League rival. But sources in Spain insist United have already spoken to Mata's agent and could tempt Chelsea's resolve with a £27m offer.'

They then say that 'any move for Mata looks doomed unless a deal could be agreed to send Wayne Rooney in the opposite direction'. So there you go. As you were.

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho says no striker will be joining in January and Juan Mata will not be leaving the club. The Blues have been linked with a number of players already this month, including their former midfielder Nemanja Matic, who left Stamford Bridge as part of the deal that brought David Luiz to west London.

However, Mourinho insists any incomings will not include a striker as he has faith in Fernando Torres to continue his good recent form, that has seen him score for two successive games.

"Fernando is calm. He knows we are not going into the market now," said Mourinho. "In the summer, normally a club like Chelsea is always trying to improve and get new players but he knows that we like him and support him and he knows there is no problem."

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