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Chelsea to replace Mata with Ross Barkley, u-turn as Rooney wants to stay, Arsenal to move for Draxler now and...

Last Updated: 23/01/14 at 09:41 Post Comment

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Ah, the thickening plot.

Juan Mata is on his way to Manchester United, so who will come in to replace him at Chelsea?

The Daily Telegraph reckons this is all some sort of dastardly scheme to get Ross Barkley, as Jose Mourinho is concerned about the number of homegrown players in his squad.

They won't get Barkley right now, because as much as anything he's injured, but they hope to make a move in the summer, it says here.

The paper reports: 'Chelsea have a close relationship with Everton, having sent striker Romelu Lukaku on loan to Goodison Park. Chairman Bruce Buck and technical director Michael Emenalo met Everton chairman Bill Kenwright in London recently, although the exact reason for the high-powered get-together is not known.

'What is clear is that Chelsea have earmarked Barkley as a key target and Mata's departure will free up cash and space in Mourinho's squad to try to get him.'

Other options apparently include Liverpool target Mohamed Salah (although the Express reckons Liverpool will sign him, pronto), and Inter midfielder Fredy Guarin, who nearly but didn't move to Juventus this week.

Elsewhere, The Sun reports that Real Sociedad winger Antoine Griezmann is the man they want instead. However...

Many sort of assumed that bringing Mata in would be another step in United binning Wayne Rooney off in the summer, with Chelsea the obvious destination and Rooney himself quite happy with all of that.

However, The Daily Mirror presents an alternative theory, that Rooney actually wants to stay, and that United want to keep him.

Indeed, the paper reports that United will start new contract talks with Rooney once the deal for Mata is done.

The Mirror claims: 'United boss David Moyes has also told his money-men to start discussions with Rooney - to keep the England striker out of the Stamford Bridge club's grasp in the summer.

'Champions United plan to sit down and thrash out a new deal with their best player as soon as possible - but not before they have snared Mata.'

According to The Daily Mirror, Arsene Wenger really isn't keen on getting involved in a 'bidding war' for Julian Draxler in the summer.

Thus, therefore, ergo, he will try to snare the Schalke man now.

The Mirror claims: 'Representatives of the Gunners are due to travel to Germany to try to push through a January transfer of Schalke's £35million-rated midfielder.

'The clubs are expected to hold talks, but the Bundesliga side are reluctant to sell even though it is understood Draxler is keen on the switch.'

The paper rates the move as 'unlikely', but who knows?

Incidentally, Wenger was apparently at Barcelona's win over Levante last night, and The Daily Mail reckons he was watching Christian Tello.

Quick line from The Daily Express, who claim that Lacina Traore's move to Everton could be in doubt.

The big striker was set to move on loan from Monaco, but Radamel Falcao did something nasty to his knee, possibly a torn cruciate ligament, last night.

Therefore, Traore could be called back, which would make it two teams left high and dry by Traore in a week. Impressive.

Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel is a £3.5million target for AC Milan...Newcastle will have to "pay what Real Madrid paid for Gareth Bale" to get Montpellier midfielder Remy Cabella this month, claims the French club's president...Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone is willing to pay Chelsea £20million for goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who is in his third season on loan at the Spanish side...West Ham are considering loan moves for Catania forward Maxi Lopez and Roma striker Marco Borriello...Norwich midfielder Wes Hoolahan - a target for Aston Villa - has begged the club to let him leave...Danny Graham is in footballing limbo after being branded an outcast by Hull, who have him on a season's loan but no longer want him, and parent club Sunderland, who don't want him back...Swansea boss Michael Laudrup is making a shock bid for Bolton striker David Ngog...Philippe Senderos is ready to quit Fulham after being targeted by Lazio...Aston Villa goalkeeper Shay Given hopes to extend his loan at Middlesbrough to the end of the season...Newcastle striker Papiss Cisse is wanted on loan by Besiktas...West Ham are to hold talks with former Liverpool and Chelsea midfielder Raul Meireles...Jackson Martinez is set to turn his back on a potential move to Arsenal or Chelsea by signing a new deal at FC Porto.

Well, if you don't read again until May, then yes, it's the last time you will be reading that for a while
- justin84

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