Paper Gossip: Luis Suarez Set for Huge Liverpool Deal, United Close in on Reus

Alex Dimond@alexdimondUK Lead WriterDecember 18, 2013

Paper Gossip: Luis Suarez Set for Huge Liverpool Deal, United Close in on Reus

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    Welcome to Wednesday's paper round-up, as we bring you the biggest stories from the day's media.

    Almost every newspaper carries breathless reports of new negotiations between Liverpool and Luis Suarez over a bumper new contract, while there are also updated transfer stories surrounding Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea.

    Elsewhere there is news from Spurs, as Tim Sherwood makes his first moves as he bids to prove he is the right man to be the long-term successor to Andre Villas-Boas.

    Click on for all of Wednesday's reports.

Liverpool Open Talks over New Deal for Luis Suarez

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    Liverpool have opened negotiations with Luis Suarez's agent over a new contract for the Uruguayan, according to a number of Wednesday's newspapers.

    Reds managing director Ian Ayre flew to Barcelona to begin talks with Suarez's agent Pere Guardiola on Tuesday, with The Times (subscription required) reporting that Ayre has been given the green light to offer the forward a new contract worth in the region of £200,000 a week.

    The Times reports:

    Liverpool are preparing to make Luis Suarez the highest-paid player in the club’s history by offering the striker a new contract that would double his wages to about £200,000 a week.

    Ian Ayre, the Liverpool managing director, arrived in Spain yesterday to begin negotiations with Pere Guardiola, Suarez’s agent. Ayre has been given the go-ahead by the club’s owner, Fenway Sports Group (FSG), to do everything in his power to try to persuade the Uruguay forward to stay. Suarez’s present deal has two-and-a-half years to run, but Liverpool are keen to reward him for his development into one of the most outstanding players in the world.

    Suarez, who arrived at Anfield in January 2011, earns about £100,000 per week in a performance-related contract signed in August 2012. It is likely that Liverpool will need to double his salary if they want Suarez to consider extending his stay, particularly with Real Madrid’s continuing interest.

    However, the main stumbling block over any new deal is likely to be an updated release clause, following the confusion surrounding Arsenal's £40 million plus £1 bid in the summer.

    The Daily Express adds:

    The main obstacle in sealing a contract extension will be the clause that triggered the unrest in the first place, with Suarez and long-term adviser Guardiola believing a bid of more than £40m would allow him to leave, hence Arsenal’s strategic offer of £40,000,001.

    Their interpretation of the clause was proved to be inaccurate by Liverpool’s lawyers and the Professional Footballers’ Association and allowed owner John W Henry to make the stand to not sell the player.

    Guardiola and Suarez will want a clause to be watertight in future in order to leave the door ajar for Real’s potential interest, while Liverpool would press for a figure that more accurately reflects the player’s market value.

Manchester United Encouraged in Marco Reus Pursuit

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    The Daily Mail claims that Manchester United are growing increasingly confident that they can sign Marco Reus from Borussia Dortmund next summer.

    The forward is reportedly growing unsettled at the German club, with the Mail reporting that Dortmund's struggle to challenge Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga is leading the in-demand player to consider his future elsewhere.

    United have long been admirers of the Germany international, and are monitoring the situation closely.

    The Mail reports:

    Reus has a near-£30 million release clause in his contract, which Dortmund intend trying to buy out in exchange for a new improved deal that would tie him to the club on vastly-improved terms for the foreseeable future.

    But he is known to harbour concerns about recent developments at the Westfalenstadion and is determined to ensure his career does not suffer, as a consequence.

    There seems little prospect of a move being sanctioned in the January window, but United will be heartened by a growing feeling the attacking midfielder may consider heading to Old Trafford in the summer, unless Dortmund are back on Bayern’s coattails again.

Tim Sherwood Wants Spurs Job Full-Time as Murat Yakin Claims Contact

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    Caretaker head coach Tim Sherwood hopes to prove to the Tottenham hierarchy that he deserves the job on a full-time basis, reports The Times (subscription required)—although the club currently prefer to keep their options open.

    Sherwood does not currently have his UEFA Pro Licence, a requirement of all Premier League managers, which complicates matters—but wants to be given until the end of the season to prove to chairman Daniel Levy that he is the right man to succeed Andre Villas-Boas.

    The Times reports:

    Tim Sherwood has sought assurances from Tottenham Hotspur that he will be given time to prove himself capable of becoming their new full-time manager even though he has yet to earn his UEFA Pro Licence.

    Sherwood’s confirmation as caretaker head coach beyond this evening’s Capital One Cup quarter-final against West Ham United was delayed yesterday after talks with Daniel Levy because the former midfield player is believed to want a trial at least until the end of the season, while the chairman prefers to keep all options open.

    The situation is complicated by Sherwood not having completed the Pro Licence, required of managers in the top flight. He is thought to have started a course but not completed it.

    Under Premier League rules, Sherwood, who has a UEFA ‘A’ badge, would have 12 weeks to demonstrate that he has enrolled. Chris Ramsey, promoted along with Les Ferdinand to help coach the first team, does have the Pro Licence, and roles are expected to be clarified today. Sherwood is unlikely to be given any guarantees about the length of his time as caretaker head coach.

    However, Basel boss Murat Yakin is one of the first managers to claim he has been approached about the White Hart Lane vacancy.

    According to Metro:

    The 39-year-old Swiss has been mentioned alongside Guus Hiddink and Fabio Capello as a potential successor following AVB’s axing on Monday. And there has been strong rumours coming out of Italy that he was also target of Lazio.

    But Yakin has further fuelled speculation he could take over at White Hart Lane by telling Swiss website 20 minutes: 'I had no contact with Lazio, but with Tottenham, yes.'

Javier Pastore Sale Could Spark Transfer Moves

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    Javier Pastore could join Arsenal or Liverpool in January, which would pave the way for Paris Saint-Germain to buy Juan Mata from Chelsea, according to the Daily Star.

    The newspaper reports that Arsenal and Liverpool are both keen on the Argentine playmaker, and may be able to lure him to the Premier League in the winter transfer window as PSG look for ways to make space to bring in long-term target Mata.

    The Star reports:

    Reports in France indicate the Ligue 1 toppers are still very keen to land Mata but want to sell a current player before starting negotiations with the Blues, in a deal that could be worth as much as £40 million.

    Pastore made the switch to PSG in 2011 from Palermo for a reported fee of nearly £40 million, but has failed to reach the heights of his hefty price-tag.

    The Argentina international was one of the first major signings since PSG's Qatari takeover, but has failed to nail down a starting spot in Laurent Blanc's first-team with the subsequent acquisitions of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Edinson Cavani.

    The Premier League rivals have both been linked with a potential bid in January for the midfielder's services, as Arsene Wenger and Brendan Rodgers look to strengthen as the league title race heats up.

Manchester United Turn to Alex Sandro

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    Manchester United are interested in Porto's Alex Sandro as a possible January solution to their left-back search, reports Metro.

    The full-back, who is a full Brazil international, was scouted by David Moyes during the club's recent match against Atletico Madrid—and is believed to have impressed the United manager.

    The club could move for Sandro in January, as Everton continue to hold firm over the future of long-term No. 1 target Leighton Baines.

    Metro reports:

    Porto left back Alex Sandro is being eyed-up by Manchester United with their attempts to prise away Leighton Baines from Everton appearing to stall.

    The Toffees defender is David Moyes’ preferred choice as the long-term successor to Patrice Evra, whose deal expires at the end of the season.

    However, having failed to land their man twice during the summer and with Champions League-chasing Everton determined to cling on to the England international at least until the end of the season, United have identified Sandro as a possible alternative.

    The Daily Mirror on Wednesday also links United with AC Milan defender Cristian Zapata, although the player himself seems doubtful he will move in the near future.

    "I do not know anything [about a potential move to United]," the Colombian told Italian TV, according to the Mirror.

    "I am just thinking about Milan. I have a contract until 2016 and I want to stay here."

Bits and Pieces

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    Emmanuel Adebayor will come in from the cold at Tottenham following Andre Villas-Boas' departure, reports the Daily Mail.

    Sergio Aguero could now miss eight weeks with a calf injury, according to Manuel Pellegrini in the Daily Mirror.

    Kevin Phillips could be released by Crystal Palace in January, reports the Daily Express, with the same newspaper also reporting that the club are competing with Norwich to add defender Samuel Inkoom to their squad.

    The Daily Mirror reports that David Moyes warned Danny Welbeck that he needs to apply himself more in training if he is to get regular games at Manchester United.

    The Daily Mirror also notes that Fulham have insisted Bryan Ruiz will not be allowed to leave the club in January.