Paper Gossip: Barcelona Make Januzaj Move, Gareth Bale's Rise, Draxler Stays
Another day, another gossip roundup.
Tuesday sees more "revelations" from Harry Redknapp's forthcoming autobiography, while arguably the biggest club on the planet has apparently joined the race for Manchester United's Adnan Januzaj. United, however, might have a retaliatory swoop of their own in mind.
Elsewhere, there are updates and tidbits on the future of some young stars, including Julian Draxler and Kevin De Bruyne—while Arsenal have a defender in mind in January.
Those stories, plus much more, are all covered in Tuesday's roundup—so click on.
Barcelona Confident of Sealing Adnan Januzaj Deal
While Monday brought paper speculation that Adnan Januzaj was set to be offered (and accept) a lucrative new contract to remain at Manchester United, Tuesday brings fears he may actually depart Old Trafford next summer.
The 18-year-old has just eight months to run on his current contract with United, and the Daily Mail reports that Barcelona are confident of securing his services.
The newspaper says the Spanish champions have been tracking Januzaj since before he joined United from Anderlecht in 2011 and believe they will be able to lure him to the Nou Camp.
Chris Wheeler writes:
Barcelona are ready to snatch Adnan Januzaj from Manchester United if he rejects a new contract.
The 18-year-old’s stock has risen sharply after his stunning two-goal display on his Premier League debut at Sunderland on Saturday.
But Barca have tracked the teenager’s progress since before he joined United from Anderlecht in 2011. They are ever more confident that Januzaj will move to the Nou Camp when his deal runs out in eight months.
Last week Januzaj's agent, Dirk de Vriese, admitted there was strong interest from abroad, saying, "I’m not going to say which teams are interested in him, but I can tell you that there is interest from several European clubs."
Meanwhile, the Daily Telegraph confirms that Januzaj has turned down the chance to be part of Belgium's latest international squad—a great chance for him to book a World Cup place with the country.
Januzaj's heritage means he can play for a number of countries—Belgium, Albania, Serbia and, if they gain full FIFA recognition, Kosovo—and the youngster wants more time to consider where his loyalties lie.
If Januzaj does leave for Barcelona, the Daily Star reckons United might have a response up their sleeve. According to Nick Lustig, the club will move for playmaker Sergi Roberto—who has previously interested Tottenham but has played just 15 minutes for the club this season.
Harry Redknapp Reveals Secrets to Gareth Bale's Rise
In the second round of extracts from his new autobiography, serialised in the Daily Mail, Harry Redknapp reveals how he helped turn Gareth Bale into the world's most expensive player.
After lifting the lid on his failed pursuit of the England job on Monday, Redknapp explains that he never seriously entertained thoughts of selling Bale—and always knew the Welshman would prosper when moved into a more attacking role.
As published in the Daily Mail, Redknapp writes:
It’s true we had some work to do with him but he was one of the players I was most looking forward to working with when I went to Tottenham as manager. I really fancied my chances at getting the best out of him — he struck me as an exceptional talent: strong, quick, with a superb shot.
With Gareth, it was all about building up his confidence. We shifted him to wide left and moved Luka Modric inside so they would link up. And we were beginning to hurt teams.
That Tottenham side had a nice balance and Gareth began showing the form we saw on the training ground.
Seeing his former charge at Real Madrid, Redknapp believes the forward needs to be treated with the right care and attention by the Real hierarchy:
Madrid must guard against Gareth falling into the role of support act. He had a little trouble adjusting to the bigger environment of Tottenham after leaving Southampton and this is 10 times as great as that move.
If I have a worry it is that I remember the days when Gareth’s confidence was draining fast at Spurs and there were genuine fears he might not make it.
He wasn’t the strongest of characters back then and he cannot be allowed to fall into that same negative state of mind.
Arsenal Join Everton in Chase Feyenoord for Defender Bruno Martins Indi
Arsenal have joined Everton in the race for £8 million-rated Feyenoord defender Bruno Martins Indi, according to the Daily Mail.
The 21-year-old was on the Toffees' radar over the summer, but Arsenal have now shown their hand ahead of the January transfer window as they look at ways to bolster their back line.
Former Arsenal defender Giovanni van Bronckhorst, now a coach at Feyenoord, believes the player has the talent to make it at a major club.
Van Bronkhorst said:
He is very good and strong. It is not for nothing he's a first-choice here and with the Dutch national team. He will make the move to a foreign club in the long term.
When the time comes and he wants to leave, he will leave the club.
We are very happy with him, but we know we cannot compete with the top European clubs.
Before Indi arrives there may well be a departure at Arsenal, though, with the Daily Mirror reporting that unwanted forward Park Chu-young is on the verge of a loan move to Wigan. Alan Nixon writes:
Arsenal’s forgotten man Park Chu-Young is ready to join Wigan on loan for the rest of the year.
The South Korea international forward is set to answer an SOS from Latics boss Owen Coyle, who has seen his attacking options hit by injuries to Grant Holt and Marc-Antoine Fortune.
Gus Poyet Told to Keep Sunderland Up at All Costs
The newspapers are unanimous that Gus Poyet will be appointed as Sunderland manager on Tuesday, with the Daily Telegraph adding that the Uruguayan has been told that Premier League survival is an absolute must.
Owner Ellis Short has pegged Poyet as the right man to move on from the destabilising Paolo Di Canio era, and will give him funds to spend on keeping the Stadium of Light club in the top flight.
John Percy writes:
Sunderland owner Ellis Short has admitted top-flight safety is an “absolute necessity” and has promised Poyet assistance to make signings in the new year, though the budget will be more limited than the estimated £30 million spent by Di Canio this summer.
Short has made it clear to the 45-year-old that survival is the only remit for the season, with Sunderland bottom and without a league win since April 20.
No club have ever avoided relegation with only one point from their opening seven games, Sunderland’s present position.
Poyet will be handed a three-year contract, according to The Guardian, which suggests that, even if Sunderland are relegated, he will be the man tasked with bringing them back up.
Schalke Certain Julian Draxler Will Snub Premier League Interest
Linked with Arsenal over the summer, Schalke are confident Julian Draxler will dismiss interest from the Gunners and Premier League rivals Manchester City and Chelsea to remain in Germany beyond the 2014 World Cup.
Draxler has started the season in imperious form—scoring in each of Schalke's opening two Champions League encounters—and the club are confident they can keep hold of their prized asset.
As reported in the Daily Mirror, Schalke's general manager Horst Heldt told Kicker he expects Draxler to stay for at least the remainder of the season:
Julian Draxler will be at our club this season, that is for sure. There will be no fuss regarding him during the January window, as he is committed to our club.
Draxler himself told the same publication:
I am focused on playing well for Schalke 04. All the rest is something the general manager will be worried with!
Kevin De Bruyne No Longer Target for Borussia Dortmund
It looks like Kevin De Bruyne's little outburst at Jose Mourinho has not hurt his long-term Chelsea future, with admirers Borussia Dortmund giving up on signing the midfielder.
De Bruyne's future had been in doubt after recently expressing his anger at being left out of a couple of Chelsea squads, but Dortmund manager Juergen Klopp does not believe he will be able to sign the Belgium international any time soon.
"We have signed great players over the summer. We have a squad we are very happy with," Klopp told Deutsche Presseagentur, via the Mirror.
"He [Kevin De Bruyne] is actually no one we are after. He is at Chelsea and given the size and quality of the Chelsea first-team squad it's quite usual he may sometimes miss out on one or two matches."
Bits and Bobs: New Deal for Ravel Morrison
Ravel Morrison's impressive recent form has inspired West Ham to offer him an improved contract, although they also want to renegotiate the current £19 million release clause he has according to The Times (subscription needed).
Manchester United and Liverpool are keeping tabs on Derby County youngster Will Hughes, with Steve McLaren admitting he will struggle to keep the starlet according to the Daily Express.
Rafael has dismissed speculation linking him with a move to Corinthians from Manchester United to Lancanet (via Football365).