Summer Transfer Gossip: Luis Suarez, Samuel Eto'o, Daniel Agger, Gareth Bale
It’s international friendly week, so there’s some national gossip, but the transfer speculation still dominates the back pages.
Chelsea still want Wayne Rooney, but he might not be Jose Mourinho’s only option, as there’s talk of the Blues' boss having a backup plan.
Liverpool are all over the papers, but it’s not positive for Reds fans; it’s about a clutch of their players heading for the exit door.
There are plenty of other teams and players in the news, and we’ve got all of the angles covered in Monday’s edition of the Summer Transfer Gossip Roundup.
Jose Mourinho Has Samuel Eto'o as Backup Plan
Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney remains Chelsea's top transfer target, but according to David Woods and Steve Brenner of the Daily Star, Jose Mourinho has a backup plan in the guise of Samuel Eto'o.
There is a battle of wills going on, as United have stood firm in the face of interest from Chelsea in their star forward.
Rooney hiked up the pressure, via his Facebook page, over the weekend when appearing to take a dig at Red Devils boss David Moyes by praising England manager Roy Hodgson for selecting him for this week's game with Scotland.
It would appear relations are strained between club and player, despite Moyes' statement to the contrary, but Chelsea are no nearer to concluding a deal, and Mourinho may look elsewhere.
Woods and Brenner write:
He has turned to experienced Cameroon striker Eto'o.
The 32-year-old has been with Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala for the last couple of seasons, earning a stunning £17m-a-year salary after tax.
But the bubble at Anzhi looks to have burst and Mourinho is considering giving Eto'o—who played for him at Inter Milan—another crack at the big time.
Chelsea could face competition from Napoli for Eto'o as the Daily Mail's Simon Jones quotes the player's agent as saying the striker would be happy in Serie A.
"It’d be a dream for him to wear the jersey of a glorious club like Napoli," Claudio Vigorelli said. "However, so far they have not contacted us."
Luis Suarez Has No Plans to Say Sorry
Another week, another Luis Suarez story hits the back pages.
Suarez, a confirmed target for Arsenal, has not broken ground since Rodgers hit back, but the Daily Mail's Sami Mokbel and Dominic King claim the Uruguayan has no intention of saying sorry.
In the piece, Mokbel and King state:
Sportsmail understands Suarez will refuse to say sorry, believing he has been betrayed by Rodgers over what he views as broken promises.
He believes he struck a gentlemen’s agreement with Liverpool, allowing him to leave the club if they received an offer from a side playing in the Champions League.
Sources close to the Uruguayan believe his relationship with manager Brendan Rodgers is beyond repair after the bitter transfer wrangle that has overshadowed the Merseysiders’ preseason.
Barcelona Bid for Daniel Agger Knocked Back by Liverpool
As well as battling to keep hold of Luis Suarez, Liverpool are also fighting to retain the services of Daniel Agger.
And according to the Daily Mail's Dominic King, the player's agent has confirmed Barcelona have had a bid knocked back.
King's piece quotes agent Per Steffensen as saying:
We are aware that Barcelona have made an offer for Daniel that Liverpool have rejected. Daniel has a contract with Liverpool for the next three years, and it would be up to the clubs to agree a fee for his transfer in order for that to change.
Barcelona are hunting for a new central defender and have also been targeting David Luiz of Chelsea, according to John Cross of the Daily Mail.
Manchester United May Enter Gareth Bale Chase
All the talk concerning Gareth Bale has been about him leaving Tottenham for Real Madrid.
No deal has been done yet, and The Independent’s Ian Herbert and Glenn Moore claim Manchester United could be about to enter the race.
Herbert and Moore say United’s pursuit of a “marquee” signing to usher in the David Moyes era could see the Red Devils make a major push for Bale.
Real have spoken confidently about doing a deal to bring Bale to the Santiago Bernabeu, but there are only three weeks remaining in the transfer window. Herbert and Moore suggest Spurs are unsure as to whether the Spanish giants have the funds to complete the deal.
United may also find it tough to finance a deal, which could be in the region of £110 million, but the Red Devils may offer Javier Hernandez as part of the transfer, says the report.
Alan Shearer's Got That Sinking Feeling
It’s international week, so it wouldn’t be the same without a past player putting the boot into England.
Step forward Alan Shearer, who has used his column in The Sun (subscription required) to express his fears about England failing to qualify for the World Cup.
England are second in their group, two points behind leaders Montenegro with a game in hand. Roy Hodgson’s men also have three of their final four games on home soil.
Despite this, Shearer is concerned. In his piece, he writes:
I’ve got to admit I’m worried it (a fine summer of sport) could end on a low this autumn with England failing to qualify for the World Cup.
I hope they realise the enormity of the next four competitive games as our fate hangs in the balance.
Am I confident we will be in Brazil next summer? No. Am I hopeful, of course I am.
Everyone keeps saying we’ll be okay because three of those matches are at home. But I’ve seen nothing in our displays at Wembley during this campaign to make me so sure we’ll be heading for Rio in 10 months’ time.
Bits and Pieces: Stewart Downing, Tom Huddlestone, Matej Vydra
Udinese forward Matej Vydra has emerged as a target for West Brom, after seeing their bid to sign former Chelsea man Salomon Kalou fall through, according to Brendan McLoughlin of the Daily Star. The report suggests Udinese are happy to send Vydra out on a season-long loan.
West Ham are set to hand a trial for Australia striker Mitchell Duke, who currently plays for A-League side Central Coast Mariners, according to the Daily Star.
It’s been a busy time at West Ham, and manager Sam Allardyce is showing no signs of slowing down. BBC are reporting cthe Hammers boss is on the brink of signing winger Stewart Downing from Liverpool in a £5 million deal.
Stoke City will not be signing Sunday Mba from Enugu Rangers after the Nigerian midfielder was denied a work permit, according to the Daily Star.
Hull City boss Steve Bruce wants not one but two midfielders from Tottenham in the shape of Jake Livermore and Tom Huddlestone. The Daily Mail's Simon Jones claims Bruce wants Livermore on loan and Huddlestone on a permanent deal.
Aston Villa posted scouts at Sochaux’s clash with Evian on the weekend, and Algerian winger Ryad Boudebouz was the man in the spotlight, says Jones.