Paper News and Gossip: Cole Injury Worry, Cazorla's Ozil Joy, Aguero No Go

Alex LivieFeatured ColumnistNovember 22, 2013

Paper News and Gossip: Cole Injury Worry, Cazorla's Ozil Joy, Aguero No Go

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    Mesut Ozil
    Mesut OzilPaul Gilham/Getty Images

    The international action has gone, and the focus is on the Premier League, but there is one player feeling the effects of his England outing.

    The Mesut Ozil factor has been huge at Arsenal, and Santi Cazorla has revealed he was like a kid in a sweetshop when the German signed.

    There’s plenty of transfer speculation, with Sergio Aguero and Mario Balotelli, among others, talking about their futures.

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

Ashley Cole Fitness Worry for Chelsea

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    Chelsea defender Ashley Cole will have to pass the doctor in order to face West Ham on Saturday.

    The full-back, who has seen his place in the Blues team come under threat from Cesar Azpilicueta, came off injured during England’s friendly defeat to Germany on Tuesday.

    Per the Mail’s David Kent, Cole aggravated a rib injury and will be put through his paces in a fitness test on Friday.

    The Guardian's David Hytner says Cole's rib problem is of sufficient concern for Blues boss Jose Mourinho to consider resting him for next week's Champions League clash with Basel as well.

Santi Cazorla's Joy at Mesut Ozil's Arsenal Move

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    Mesut Ozil’s arrival at Arsenal has transformed the fortunes of the club, with his impact seemingly as much psychological as anything else.

    Santi Cazorla has given an insight into the mood in the camp at the club when the Germany international made the move from Real Madrid in the dying embers of the transfer window.

    Players are sometimes accused of being a shade detached, but Cazorla has revealed he was following the transfer speculation as close as anyone.

    The Mail’s Pete Jenson has the quotes:

    I spoke to friends of mine at Madrid who told me that Mesut was talking to Arsenal and that he wanted to leave. You think, 'How are Madrid going to let Mesut get away?' He’s one of the best players in the world and the truth is you don’t really believe it.

    Then one day the manager said to us, 'We’ve signed Mesut, he’s going for his medical.'

    I was like a little kid. I knew that a great player was coming and that because of the way he plays, he was going to be a perfect fit for us.

    The Gunners sit two points clear at the top of the table, and Cazorla has insisted the players know of the need to keep their focus.

    Per Jenson's piece, Cazorla said: "We know the second we drop our intensity we’re going to lose points."

Anderson to Bide His Time at Manchester United

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    Anderson is prepared to bide his time at Manchester United but has warned the club that he needs regular playing time.

    The Brazilian has been a fringe player since David Moyes arrived at the club and has made only four appearances since the start of the campaign.

    There has been talk of a loan move to Fulham, per the Mirror’s Paul Gorst, but Anderson is content to play the waiting game at Old Trafford.

    The Press Association’s Simon Peach carries the quotes, citing the Manchester Evening News as the source:

    Every single player wants to play every game.

    I am the same as all the rest.

    I need to play. I am 25 and cannot stay one more year and not play. But you cannot demand that.

    I am not unhappy. You have to be patient and when you do get your chance, you have to do well.

    Peach suggests Anderson may get his chance against Cardiff, with Michael Carrick and Phil Jones set to miss out.

Sergio Aguero Denies Talk of Manchester City Exit

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    Sergio Aguero has dismissed talk of a move to Real Madrid, with the striker insisting he is happy at Manchester City.

    Aguero has been a huge hit at City and helped the club secure the Premier League title in 2012.

    Last season did not go according to script, as City were blown away by Manchester United.

    The current campaign has been a mixed one for the blue half of Manchester, while all is not well in Aguero’s personal life. He split with his wife and is in the middle of a legal battle.

    Recent speculation, such as the report from Caughtoffside, has linked Aguero with a move to Madrid, but the striker has no desire to move on.

    The Mirror’s David McDonnell has the quotes:

    The truth is that I'm happy. The club treats me very well. It's very calm - it's different to being in Spain or Argentina.

    I've always said that in every match, watching or training, you learn things. It's like in any job, you know what to do or not to do.

    The same happens on the pitch. You think where you have to attack, where you feel comfortable inside the area. It's like you read where you can make the centre-backs feel uncomfortable.

    You're always improving. English football, for example, being so fast, it allows you to develop your concentration and refine your technique. So every day you're learning and I feel that I still have plenty to learn.

No Quick Manchester City Return for Joe Hart

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    It appears Joe Hart’s starring display for England against Germany on Tuesday was not enough to win him his place back in the Manchester City team.

    A number of blunders for City cost Hart his place, with manager Manuel Pellegrini opting to replace him with Costel Pantilimon.

    Pantilimon has done nothing wrong since taking on the role, and Pellegrini has said, per the Mirror’s David McDonnell, that Hart will remain on the bench against Tottenham on Sunday.

    I think at this moment that maybe Joe needs a rest but we still have a lot of trust in Joe and he’s still a very important player in our squad.

    I am absolutely sure that this will be an important thing for him to come back to his performances of the last two years.

Wolfsburg Eye Kevin De Bruyne Deal with Chelsea

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    Wolfsburg have set their sights on Kevin De Bruyne but have told Chelsea they don't want a loan deal.

    The Belgium international has been a peripheral figure under Mourinho at Stamford Bridge, and his club and country colleague Eden Hazard has urged him to move on in order to guarantee his place at next summer’s World Cup.

    There has been talk of a move to Germany, and Wolfsburg have confirmed their interest.

    But if Chelsea want to offload De Bruyne in January, it will have to be something longer term if they thrash out an agreement with Wolfsburg.

    The Star’s David Wright carries quotes from an interview Wolfsburg’s general manager Klaus Allofs gave to Wolfsburger Allgemeinen Zeitung: "If Chelsea want to sell him, we are ready to buy him or loan him with an option to buy.

    "We are not interested in a pure loan agreement."

Mario Balotelli Happy at AC Milan Amid Chelsea Talk

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    Mario Balotelli has moved to distance himself from reports linking him with a loan move to Chelsea, with the Italy international insisting he is happy at AC Milan.

    Despite being only 23, the forward has had four clubs in his professional career. Talk has swirled that he could be heading for a fifth club in January.

    Chelsea are the team who have been linked, and Mourinho is in need of a striker, but Balotelli says he is happy in his native Italy.

    The Star’s Nick Lustig has the quotes:

    I have always said that I do not watch out for the distant future.

    I am thinking about doing well against Genoa [at the weekend] and not about the market in either January or May.

    I am happy at Milan and I am happy to be here.

Gus Poyet in Sunderland Quit Warning

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    There’s a storm brewing at the Stadium of Light, as Sunderland boss Gus Poyet has threatened to quit the club if he does not get his own way in the January transfer window.

    Poyet only recently replaced Paolo Di Canio, and he has had a positive start to life at the club, winning the North East derby and also beating Manchester City.

    The focus is starting to shift to the transfer window, and following a meeting with director of football Roberto De Fanti, Poyet has warned the club that it is his way or the highway.

    The Mail’s David Kent has the quotes, while he also says Di Canio blamed De Fanti and chief scout Valentino Angeloni for the summer situation which saw the club bring in 14 players.

    In Kent’s piece, Poyet said:

    We talked about a position the other day and considered four players. I picked two. It was simple. One of the other two was a definite no. If that one is coming, I won't be here.

    The player has to be the right one for me. If not, I'm not going to accept it.

    I've told him my opinions about everybody and I've told him what I think we should be looking for.

    Now, the best way for everything is to wait until the transfer window and to see what we do and how we do it and then you analyse. If it's good, fine. If not, then you need to sort it out.

Bits and Pieces: West Ham Eye Forlan, McGeady's Everton Link and More

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    West Ham are considering a January move for Uruguay international Diego Forlan in a bid to ease their worries in front of goal, writes the Mirror.

    The Mirror also writes that Gaston Ramirez’s agent is planning showdown talks with Southampton to gauge the future of his client.

    Everton feel they can secure a cut-price deal with Spartak Moscow for the capture of Aiden McGeady in January, writes the Mirror’s Joe Mewis.

    Arsenal and Manchester United have been given hope in their pursuit of Remy Cabella after the forward was told he can leave Montpellier, writes the Express’ Ben Jefferson.

    Express scribe Jefferson also writes that Chelsea have entered the race for Paris Saint-Germain Montpellier midfielder Adrien Rabiot.

    West Brom are set to open contract talks with manager Steve Clarke in January, writes the Guardian’s Stuart James.