Paper News and Gossip: Walcott Monaco Link, Sturridge Joy and Van Persie Worry

Alex LivieFeatured ColumnistNovember 1, 2013

Paper News and Gossip: Walcott Monaco Link, Sturridge Joy and Van Persie Worry

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    Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

    We head toward the end of the week, but that does not mean the transfer speculation is winding down.

    There are players coming, players going, players staying put and children on trial.

    There’s a Liverpool striker lavishing praise on his manager, while a Manchester United forward is in a less upbeat mood.

    All this and more feature in Friday’s edition of the Paper News and Gossip Roundup.

Arsenal's Theo Walcott in Monaco Transfer Link

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    Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

    Theo Walcott is currently sidelined with a stomach injury, but the Arsenal man is headline news.

    The Mail’s David Kent says the England international has emerged as a January transfer target for big-spending Ligue 1 side Monaco.

    In his piece, Kent writes: "French giants Monaco are considering a €40 million January swoop for Arsenal winger Theo Walcott."

    Kent does not go into a great deal of detail as to why Monaco would be pursuing Walcott, but he does add that Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is unlikely to allow the forward to leave.

    The writer also says that Walcott has no pressing desire to move on from Arsenal.

Beckham Training with Manchester United

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    There’s a Beckham back at work at Manchester United. Sadly for fans of the former England captain, David is not coming out of retirement. It is his son Brooklyn who is training with the Red Devils’ youth team.

    The Mail’s Simon Jones has the story, and he reports that Brooklyn has also had trials with Chelsea, while he has also been training with Queens Park Rangers.

    The Beckham name does not guarantee success, but it opens doors, and Jones quotes a source who spoke to the Manchester Evening News.

    The source said:

    He was there with his dad and took part in a practice session with one of the academy sides.

    It was a chance for him to impress and if he’s done well then no doubt the club will look at taking him on.

Daniel Sturridge Gushes over Liverpool Boss Brendan Rodgers

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    Daniel Sturridge says he is flourishing at Liverpool, as he finally has a manager who believes in him.

    Sturridge joined Liverpool from Chelsea in January and has been in irrepressible form since—bagging 21 goals in all competitions for the Reds since making the move, per Soccerbase.

    Sturridge is now firmly in England manager Roy Hodgson’s plans, and he feels it is all down to Reds boss Brendan Rodgers who has allowed him to play in his preferred position.

    The Mirror’s David Maddock has picked up on the interview Sturridge gave to Sport magazine.

    Sturridge said:

    Brendan Rodgers knows what I need. I needed to be believed in, to play as a centre-forward at a club, and I didn’t get that at Chelsea. 

    He gave me the opportunity to do that here. It’s great to be part of his philosophy. He gets the most out of his players, and makes us want to win for him.

    He’s just very good at man-management as well as the tactics and team stuff.

Cardiff in Frame for Wilfried Zaha Loan

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    Wilfried Zaha could be set for a spell in the Principality, as Cardiff have contacted Manchester United about a loan move for the forward, writes the Mail’s Riath Al-Samarrai.

    Since making the move to United, Zaha has made little impression and is still to make his debut for the club in the Premier League.

    Red Devils boss David Moyes confirmed this week, per the BBC, that he is mulling over sending the youngster over on loan, and Cardiff are in the frame.

    Al-Samarrai suggests the loan move could well appeal to Zaha, as it will enable him to keep himself in the thinking of England manager Hodgson ahead of next year’s World Cup.

Celtic's Fraser Forster in Manchester City Link

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    It’s not been a good week for Joe Hart, and it could be about to get worse, as the Metro’s Jamie Sanderson claims Manchester City are targeting Celtic keeper Fraser Forster.

    Hart's position as City’s No. 1 is no longer secure following a run of mistakes, capped by the error that enabled Chelsea to snatch three points on Sunday.

    City boss Manuel Pellegrini is unsure whether to stick with Hart or go with Costel Pantilimon for the Premier League game with Norwich.

    But that could be the mere tip of the iceberg for Hart, who could find himself facing competition from an England rival at club level.

    In his piece, Sanderson writes:

    Manchester City are eyeing Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster as doubts continue to grow over Joe Hart’s future.

    City boss Manuel Pellegrini was already toying with the idea of buying another shot-stopper in the new year, but that has been boosted with Hart’s recent run of costly errors.

    And top of the wish list is Celtic ace Forster, who will be tracked by City scouts in the coming weeks as the club line up an offer for the 25-year-old.

United End Interest in Robert Lewandowski

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    Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski will not be heading to Manchester United, according to the Star’s Jeremy Cross.

    Lewandowski’s future at Dortmund is up in the air, with his contract with Dortmund winding down.

    The expected move to Bayern Munich has not yet happened, which prompted talk of a switch to the Premier League.

    United have long been linked with Lewandowski, but Cross claims Red Devils boss Moyes feels the striker is not the player he needs to pep up his squad.

    In his piece, Cross says Moyes feels Wayne Rooney is the best option to fill that role, which will see him look to strengthen other areas of his squad.

Robin Van Persie's Injury Concerns Mounting

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    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    All is still not well with Robin van Persie. The Times’ (subscription) James Ducker reports that the Manchester United striker is worried about his toe and groin injuries.

    Van Persie has been nursing the problems for some time, with the Dutchman needing painkilling injections to help him get through games.

    United are in the thick of the season, with most weeks seeing two games on the agenda, and the workload is an issue for Van Persie, writes Ducker.

    In his piece, he says:

    Robin van Persie is increasingly concerned about putting himself at risk of longer-term damage to his toes and groin should he fail to get enough rest over the coming weeks.

    The Manchester United striker has been troubled by toe injuries for some time now and has been receiving injections to ease the pain. To compound matters, Van Persie has also encountered soreness in his groins and calves, a combination of which has hampered his performances to some extent this season.

    Van Persie has been willing to play through the pain barrier, but the Holland striker is worried that he could be exposing himself to more serious problems down the line if more recovery time is not factored in.

Mikel Arteta Praise for 'Tremendous Player' Luis Suarez

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    Mikel Arteta has given a host of interviews to the written media over the past few days, ahead of Arsenal’s big clash with Liverpool.

    The midfielder touches on a range of subjects, including Arsenal’s form, the club’s transfer activity and the Gunners’ title rivals.

    He also comments on Luis Suarez, a player who Arsenal pursued in the summer.

    Suarez has returned from suspension for his bite on Branislav Ivanovic in sizzling form, and speaking to the Mirror’s Darren Lewis, Arteta has spoken of his respect for the Uruguayan for battling back.

    Arteta said

    He is a tremendous player. And he has shown a lot of character to get back after getting really criticised and on the front pages a lot. He has gone on to produce some great performances and his goal-scoring record is amazing.

    It was very difficult for him because he had a lot of people against him and he was under massive pressure.

    I like players like this. When they are on the floor and everyone is on them they stand up and prove themselves and I admire that.

Bits and Pieces: Aspas Future Doubt, Lamela to Fight, Mata No Go

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    Iago Aspas' future is in doubt
    Iago Aspas' future is in doubtStu Forster/Getty Images

    Saint Etienne left-back Faouzi Ghoulam has emerged as a target for Manchester United, per the Express’ Ben Jefferson, who says the club are preparing for life after Patrice Evra.

    Iago Aspas could be heading for the Anfield exit door, with the Star’s Nick Lustig suggesting the Spaniard is considering a loan move away from Liverpool.

    Juan Mata has a future at Chelsea, writes the Express’ Tony Banks, who claims the Blues will not sell the midfielder to Paris Saint-Germain in January.

    The Mirror’s Darren Lewis has picked up on some quotes from Erik Lamela, who says he is confident of proving a success at Tottenham. 

    John Ruddy will not be leaving Norwich City anytime soon after signing a new contract, confirmed the Press Association, the Guardian.