Paper Gossip: City Sign 'New Messi', No New Rooney Contract, Morata's Future
Another day, another collection of rumours about your favourite—or possibly least favourite—football club.
Tuesday is no different, with news of new signings for both Manchester City and Arsenal taking up space in some of the sports sections. Unusually, however, it is City who have made the deal that can be described as "one for the future".
Elsewhere, there's plenty of speculation surrounding matters at Old Trafford, and plenty of criticism for dealings at Liverpool.
So click on for all Tuesday's gossip.
Manchester City Win Race for 14-Year-Old "New Messi"
Manchester City have won the race to sign 14-year-old Malaga prodigy Brahim Abdelkader Diaz, according to the Daily Mail.
The newspaper reports that the Premier League side have agreed a deal initially worth £300,000 for the youngster, who has been touted as the "new Lionel Messi", with the fee rising to £2.4 million depending on what Diaz goes on to achieve at the Etihad Stadium and in the sport.
Simon Jones writes:
Manchester City have won the battle for Brahim Abdelkader Diaz.
The 14-year-old from Malaga has been dubbed ‘the new Messi’ and Sportsmail revealed in October that City were fighting Barcelona for his signature.
City have paid £300,000 up front for Diaz, with the final deal worth £2.4 million depending on what he achieves at the club.
Luis Suarez’s agent Pere Guardiola, brother of Pep, has been involved in negotiations about a player who is touted to be worth between £30m-£40m once he develops.
Brendan Rodgers & Liverpool Under Fire over Transfer Policy
The Daily Telegraph has questioned Liverpool's transfer policy following the weekend defeat to Hull City, suggesting that the club's approach is not yielding sufficient results.
Chris Bascombe notes that the Merseyside club finished nearly £10 million to agents over the last 12 months—the fourth highest in the Premier League—yet only Simon Mignolet of their acquisitions in that time can be considered guaranteed first team regulars.
Bascombe goes on to suggest that Liverpool's transfer committee, of which manager Brendan Rodgers is only one contributor, is not helping the club maximise its transfer dealings.
Despite the claims when he joined that he would engineer the club’s buying and selling activity, it has become evident that Rodgers is a member of the ‘transfer committee’ rather than its chairman.
Rodgers is working alongside rather than commanding the head of recruitment Dave Fallows, chief scout Barry Hunter, analyst Michael Edwards and managing director Ian Ayre. It has created an environment where supporters and reporters alike play a form of ‘transfer bingo’ following each new arrival. “Did the manager sign him or the committee?”
As Rodgers is part of the committee, Liverpool can always answer ‘both’ but it does create an impression the manager was required to compromise his immediate needs last summer for the long-term strategy.
Liverpool have bought Mignolet, Iago Aspas, Mamadou Sakho, Tiago Ilori and Luis Alberto in recent times, and also brought in Victor Moses on loan after failing to land either Henrikh Mkhitaryan or Willian.
United Won't Offer Rooney New Deal, Chase Gundogan, Herrera & Baines
Manchester United have decided upon their January transfer activity, according to the Daily Telegraph, which involves pursuits for Leighton Baines, Ilkay Gundogan and Ander Herrera—but there will be no new contract for Wayne Rooney.
Mark Odgen reports:
Manchester United will continue to resist any offers for Wayne Rooney in the January transfer window, but have no plans to open contract talks with the forward before the end of 2013.
Rooney, who helped United earn a 2-2 draw against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday with two goals at White Hart Lane, will enter the final 18 months of his Old Trafford contract in the new year.
But with manager David Moyes expected to add to his squad next month, with Leighton Baines, Ander Herrera and Borussia Dortmund’s Ilkay Gundogan all likely targets, efforts to renegotiate and extend Rooney’s contract could be put on hold until the end of the transfer window.
Elsewhere, meanwhile, the BBC has confirmed Adnan Januzaj as a surprise nominee for the Young Sports Personality of the Year award.
Arsenal "Sign Alvaro Morata on Loan", End Tottenham Hopes
Arsenal have already won the race to sign Real Madrid youngster Alvaro Morata on loan, according to Tuesday's Daily Express.
The paper claims that the Gunners have already wrapped up a deal to provide cover for Olivier Giroud, beating out fellow suitors Tottenham in the process.
Neither Real Madrid nor Arsenal have officially confirmed a deal, however.
Simon Yeend writes:
Gunners manager Arsene Wenger has been keeping a close eye on the 21-year-old and has pounced now in order to provide back-up for his frontman Olivier Giroud.
Spaniard Morata has made only one start in La Liga this season and is desperate for first-team football to boost his chances of making the World Cup squad travelling to Brazil in June next year.
Bits and Pieces: New Utd Signing, Flare Concerns, Gravesen's Success
Manchester United have agreed a deal to sign John Murtough, the Premier League's Head of Elite Performance, to head up a new role at Old Trafford, according to the Daily Telegraph. Murtough previously worked with David Moyes at Everton.
The BBC claims that children as young as eight are being used to smuggle smoke bombs and flares into Premier League grounds.
Celtic are monitoring Huddersfield striker James Vaughan ahead of a potential swoop, according to the Daily Mirror.
Ex-Crystal Palace manager Ian Holloway is the clear favourite for the Wigan job following Owen Coyle's sacking, reports The Times (subscription required).
Rene Meulensteen wants significant funds to invest in the Fulham squad in January, according to the Daily Star.
Ex-Everton and Real Madrid midfielder Thomas Gravesen has made an £83 million fortune in business since retiring from football, according to the Daily Mail, and now lives in Las Vegas with his model girlfriend.