Paper News and Gossip: Rooney and Wenger Deal Talks, Reds Eye Draxler and More

Alex LivieFeatured ColumnistDecember 13, 2013

Paper News and Gossip: Rooney and Wenger Deal Talks, Reds Eye Draxler and More

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    Wayne Rooney makes his way onto the back pages again, while contract talks at Arsenal are also in focus.

    Chelsea are a side in the news, with a host of players linked with the Blues.

    It’s a similar story for Manchester United and Liverpool.

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

United in No Rush over Rooney Deal

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    For the second day in a row, Wayne Rooney is back-page news in the Mirror.

    On Thursday, it was stated by Martin Lipton that Chelsea were considering tabling a renewed bid for the England international, having failed to land him in the summer.

    A day later, David McDonnell has penned a piece declaring that United will not be rushed into discussing a new contract.

    Rooney has a shade over 18 months to run on his deal, which the Mirror stated on Thursday leaves United potentially vulnerable.

    But McDonnell suggests United's trump card is that Rooney is happy at the club.

    In his piece, McDonnell wrote:

    Manchester United are in no rush to open talks with Wayne Rooney about a new contract—despite Chelsea’s renewed interest in him.

    United officials are relaxed about the striker’s contractual situation and will not be rushed into talks with his representatives.

    Crucially, the champions believe Rooney is now happy at the club and has no desire to leave, despite questioning his Old Trafford future last summer.

Wenger Deal Talks to Resume with Arsenal

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    Arsenal's progression to the knockout stages of the Champions League will result in the club working on a new contract with Arsene Wenger, the Mirror's John Cross has reported.

    Cross has revealed that talks over a new deal were shelved while the club's future in Europe was in the balance.

    The Gunners advanced to the last 16 despite losing to Napoli on Wednesday, and Cross says talks will now resume.

    In his piece, Cross wrote:

    Arsenal will step up their attempts to get Arsene Wenger to sign a new three-year contract after their progression in the Champions League.

    Negotiations have been going on since the summer and Mirror Sport revealed in October that a £24 million offer is on the table.

    The Arsenal hierarchy, led by majority shareholder Stan Kroenke, want the Frenchman to stay and are confident he will sign in the next few weeks.


Oriol Romeu's Future Warning to Chelsea

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    Oriol Romeu has suggested he may be tempted to remain at Valencia if his prospects of first-team football at Chelsea are slim.

    Romeu joined Valencia on a season-long loan in the summer and is enjoying life in the Primera Liga.

    The midfielder has told a Spanish television station that his preference is to return to Chelsea, but has admitted he would stay if things do not work out at Stamford Bridge.

    The Star's David Wright picked up the quotes from Levante TV.

    If [the talk of a possible return] is true it is really good, I hope so. It is good that they are interested in me.

    I know that they are following me and they are happy with my recent performances. They have congratulated me but I have not spoken directly to Mourinho.

    I came to Valencia because I liked it a lot, and if I cannot get the chance to play in the Premier League I may decide to stay, as I decided to come to Valencia last summer for the same reason.


Liverpool in Frame for Draxler

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    Liverpool are the latest team to be linked with Julian Draxler, as the speculation surrounding the Germany international intensifies.

    Draxler spoke earlier this week of his frustration with life at Schalke, and he was subsequently linked with Chelsea and Arsenal.

    But they may face competition from Liverpool, according to the Mail's Neil Ashton, who suggests Reds boss Brendan Rodgers views him as the successor to Steven Gerrard.

    In his piece, Ashton wrote:

    Brendan Rodgers personally flew to Germany last night (Wednesday) to watch Julian Draxler star for Schalke in their Champions League victory against Basel.

    The 20-year-old German international is drawing interest from clubs across Europe and the midfielder, who plays in the No. 10 role, is a long-term target at Anfield.

    Although Steven Gerrard is having an excellent season in the heart of the Liverpool midfield, Rodgers says he sees Gerrard, now 33, dropping into defence as he gets older, with Draxler a potential successor to the England captain.


David Moyes Casts Eye over Eliaquim Mangala

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    Porto defender Eliaquim Mangala is firmly in David Moyes' sights, after the Manchester United boss made a personal check on the Frenchman this week—according to the Mirror's Alan Nixon.

    According to Nixon, United have had him watched for a number of months.

    Moyes is seeking long-term replacements for Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, and watched the defender in Porto's loss to Atletico Madrid.

    Nixon suggests Mangala has the ideal blend of power and talent to flourish in the Premier League but that it would take a big bid to prise him away from Porto.


Sam Allardyce Coy on Obafemi Martins Talk

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    West Ham boss Sam Allardyce has distanced the club from reports linking them with a January move for Obafemi Martins.

    The Star's Darren Witcoop wrote on Thursday that Allardyce was considering a loan move for the Seattle Sounders forward.

    A day later, Allardyce has reacted to the story by suggesting his club are likely to be linked with a host of strikers.

    The Star's David Wright picked up on the quotes:

    I haven't heard anything about Oba.

    He's playing in America at the moment.

    Everyone knows if we're in the market for a player, we'll be linked with everybody. We'll deal with that - speculation is speculation.

Chelsea Enter Fredy Guarin Race

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    Chelsea could rival Manchester United and Tottenham for the signature of Inter Milan's Fredy Guarin, according to the Star's Colin Harvey.

    Harvey claims Chelsea were alerted to reports suggesting a delegation from Inter had arrived in the UK for talks with Spurs and United.

    Blues boss Mourinho, according to Harvey, has been stung into action and will move for Guarin and his Inter team-mate Andrea Ranocchia. Demba Ba could be offered as a makeweight in the deal.

    Guarin has not played in Europe this season, which means he could play in the Champions League.


Chelsea Talk Hots Up for Shaw and Falcao

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    Chelsea really are hot topics of debate in Friday's papers.

    As well as the Guarin, Rooney and Romeu talk, there's the report by the Telegraph's Matt Law which states the Blues are readying a bid for Southampton's Luke Shaw.

    Not done there, the Express' Ben Jefferson claims Chelsea have made contact with Monaco with regard to a bid for Radamel Falcao.

    And finally, the Star's Jack Wilson claims the Blues are in a three-way fight with Liverpool and Manchester United for Xabi Alonso. The midfielder is in the final year of his contract at Real Madrid.



Bits and Pieces: Battle for Zaha, Hart Back for City, FA's Brazuka Plea and More

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    Everton and Newcastle United are set to do battle for the signature of Wilfried Zaha, with Manchester United ready to send the forward out on loan according to the Mail's Neil Ashton.

    Fulham boss Rene Meulensteen has admitted he will not halt Dimitar Berbatov if he wants to leave in January. The Mail's Laurie Whitwell carried the quote from Meulensteen.

    "I will not stand in anyone's way if they want to leave," the Cottagers chief said.

    Newcastle boss Alan Pardew has stated, per the Mirror's Simon Bird, that anyone attempting to sign Papiss Cisse in January will need to dig deep.

    The English FA are in talks with Nike in a a bid to be able to use the Brazuca World Cup ball before next summer's finals.

    The Mirror's Martin Lipton has revealed that the terms of the deal with Nike prevents them from using any other balls in matches and public training sessions.

    Sebastien Bassong has pledged his future to Norwich City by signing a new contract, confirmed a report by David Wright of the Star.

    Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini is leaning towards recalling Joe Hart for Saturday's clash with Arsenal, according to the Mirror's David McDonnell. Hart has been sidelined for the past six league games.