Paper News and Gossip: Suarez Is a Counter, Blues for Costa, Real Want Cole
It's the final Sunday before the transfer window opens, and the papers have not missed out on the chance to ramp up the speculation.
There's plenty of fallout from Saturday's Premier League action, along with a couple of sensational specials.
All this and more feature in Sunday's edition of the Paper News and Gossip Roundup.
Steven Gerrard in 'Brawl' Court Battle
Mirror readers will wake up Sunday morning to a sensational story involving Liverpool and England captain Steven Gerrard.
The headline from Ben Glaze’s piece screams “Steven Gerrard in 'street brawl' court battle weeks before the 2014 World Cup Finals with England.”
The article follows up on a Mirror story from the end of November, which suggested Gerrard had been left “badly shaken” by an incident in a street near his home.
Glaze’s piece claims Gerrard, his wife and a close friend have been named in legal papers lodged at London’s High Court.
The report states “a man named Paul Alan Lloyd is thought to be seeking damages from them in connection with the incident in August.”
Glaze also quotes a source in his piece who said: “This is the last thing Steven would have wanted in one of the biggest years of his career. His No. 1 focus is leading England to glory at the World Cup in Brazil.”
Courtois-Costa Swap Talk to Tempt Chelsea?
The links between Chelsea and Diego Costa refuse to go away.
The latest comes from Tom Hopkinson of the People who claims the Blues may have to give up keeper Thibaut Courtois if they want to land the striker.
Courtois is on loan at Atletico from Chelsea, and Hopkinson states that they want to keep the Belgium international.
Hopkinson referenced a piece from his own paper from seven days ago which stated Chelsea have no intention of loaning Courtois to Atletico for a fourth successive campaign.
With that in mind, the People writer suggests Atletico will put forward Costa as part of a deal that would see Courtois remain in Madrid.
Jurgen Klinsmann Is 'Plan B' for Tottenham
Tim Sherwood has been handed the Tottenham Hotspur reins on an 18-month deal, but it would appear his position is far from secure.
Steve Bates of the People claims chairman Daniel Levy’s preferred scenario is for Sherwood to lead Spurs to a sustained spell of success, but there is a “Plan B” in place.
That plan, per Bates, involves another Spurs great in the guise of Jurgen Klinsmann.
Klinsmann is in charge of the USA side that will challenge for the World Cup in the summer. He also signed a contract that carries him into the next campaign.
However, he has strong ties with Spurs and Bates suggests Levy may make a push for the German if Sherwood does not deliver.
The Star's Harry Pratt is also of the opinion that Levy is looking at potential successors to Sherwood. But he believes it is Atletico Madrid's Diego Simeone who is on Spurs' radar.
Maths Lover Luis Suarez Kept on the Rails by His Wife
The headline from Mullock’s piece prompted a double take. What was the headline? “Liverpool's Luis Suarez loves maths and could have been an accountant.”
Yes, an accountant.
Mullock has got hold of the scout who discovered Liverpool star Suarez as a child, and he has revealed the Uruguayan had an appetite for maths.
In Mullock’s piece, Wilson Pirez said:
I always remember that Luis loved maths. He never complained about homework when it was maths because he enjoyed it.
It would have been a crime if he had grown up to be anything other than a professional football player but, if he hadn’t taken that path, I think he could have been a very successful accountant.
Suarez has had incredible highs and terrible lows in his career, but Pirez claims the forward has been kept on the rails by his wife Sofia.
What really changed Luis was when he met Sofia and she must take a lot of credit for his career and where he is now.
If you want to see the real Luis then you have to see him around Sofia and his children. I promise you will not see a kinder or more gentle man in your life.
City Won't Spend in January Transfer Window
Manchester City moved top of the Premier League on Saturday, and the Mirror’s Simon Mullock suggests manager Manuel Pellegrini will resist the temptation to raid the market in January.
Mullock claims Pellegrini has been given the green light to spend by the club’s owners, but that the City boss is content with the crop he has at his disposal.
The Mirror writer claims Pellegrini has baulked at Porto’s asking price for defender Eliaquim Mangala and will not raid the market.
Mullock’s pieces quotes an insider, who said: “Unless something unexpected materialises during January, it is unlikely that there will be any incoming transfers. The manager has made it clear he is happy with his squad.”
Juventus Waiting in Wings for Nani
Nani could be handed a route out of Manchester United in January, according to Steve Bates of the People, if he can prove his fitness.
Bates claims in an exclusive that the Portuguese winger is an £18 million target for Serie A side Juventus.
A spanner in the works is that Nani has a hamstring injury, which has delayed Juve from firming up their interest.
Bates suggest United’s ideal scenario would be to secure a swap deal to bring Paul Pogba back to Old Trafford. The People writer does admit that scenario is unlikely to play out.
Rodgers Eyeing Double Liverpool Transfer Raid
The Star’s Steve Millar claims Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers is ready to pep up his side’s title challenge with a double January transfer raid.
Millar claims Basel midfielder Mohamed Salah and Barcelona left-back Martin Montoya are in the frame for moves to Anfield.
Rodgers has not been quoted on either player, but Millar has picked up on comments from the Reds boss with regard to being active in the January window.
We always have to look. We have got to go into every window and see where we can improve.
If there are players we can attract, the key is whether we can improve the team.
We have targets in mind but it goes back to availability and if they are affordable.
Real Madrid Set Sights on Ashley Cole
Ashley Cole has fallen down the pecking order at Chelsea, and the Express’ John Richardson suggests Real Madrid could be ready to offer him a route out of Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea are planning for life beyond Cole, and Richardson comments on the reports of the Blues’ interest in Southampton’s Luke Shaw.
And Richardson also suggests Cole’s time at Stamford Bridge could be coming to a close.
The Express writer claims Real boss Carlo Ancelotti may make a bid in January, or wait to pounce on a free transfer in the summer.
Morata in Frame for Arsenal Loan
Arsenal’s search for a striker could see them make a raid on Real Madrid for Alvaro Morata, per a piece from the Mail’s Rob Draper.
The Gunners have been pegged back by the Premier League pack, having had a sizeable lead at one stage, and their lack of firepower has been exposed—with Olivier Giroud’s goals drying up of late.
Draper suggests Wenger has not yet decided to seek out support for Giroud in January, but Morata is one player on his radar and a loan deal is an option.
The Mail writer feels there is every chance the deal could happen, as he insists Real boss Ancelotti would be happy to let Morata leave on loan.
Bits and Pieces: Chelsea Eye Alonso, Napoli Want Krul, and More
Napoli are readying a bid for Newcastle keeper Tim Krul, per a report from the People’s Alan Oliver.
People writer Oliver has his ear to the ground with regard to Newcastle and he suggests Jonas Gutierrez is being left out as he is close to securing a bumper new deal which would be triggered if he makes a set number of appearances.
Wigan are plotting a loan raid on Arsenal for midfield talent Serge Gnabry, according to the Mirror’s Sam Adams.
The Star's Carl Eldridge has found quotes from former Gunner Perry Groves who has urged Arsenal to make a move for Fulham forward Dimitar Berbatov in January.
Chelsea are monitoring Xabi Alonso's situation at Real Madrid and may make a move for him on a free transfer if he fails to agree a new deal, according to the Star's Jeremy Butler.
The People's Dave Kidd claims Tottenham are eyeing up a move for West Brom's Shane Long, but must sell before they buy.