Paper News and Gossip: Theo FA Probe, Balotelli Chelsea Link and Suarez's Clause
We're inside the January transfer window and the Sunday papers are awash with speculation.
There’s also fallout from Arsenal’s win over Tottenham Hotspur, and a potential FA probe for Theo Walcott.
All this and more feature in Sunday’s iteration of the Paper News and Gossip Roundup.
Wenger Defends Walcott Amid FA Probe Talk
Arsene Wenger has leapt to the defence of Theo Walcott, following suggestions the Arsenal forward could face a Football Association investigation.
Walcott was injured during Arsenal’s win over Tottenham in the FA Cup third round on Saturday, and while leaving the field on a stretcher he gestured the score to the crowd.
The sign was in front of the Tottenham fans, which may prompt the FA to take a look.
Wenger feels there was nothing wrong in what Walcott did, and claims Spurs fans were throwing missiles at his player prior to the gesture.
The Mirror’s Steve Stammers has the quotes:
I don’t think it was offensive to do what Theo did.
The doctor said there were coins raining down on his head before he went on the stretcher.
I have seen the pictures of what Theo did and if the FA judge it as offensive, there is nothing I can do.
Walcott's fitness is a worry, and Charlie Wyett of The Sun (Subscription) claims the forward will have a scan on his knee on Sunday.
Balotelli in Chelsea Link
Is Mario Balotelli heading back to the Premier League? Paul Hetherington and Paul Brown of the Daily Star seem to think he could be on his way to Chelsea.
In their piece, Hetherington and Brown suggest Balotelli is unhappy with AC Milan’s poor form this season and fancies a move to Chelsea.
In the same piece, the Daily Star scribes suggest Juan Mata could be heading out of Chelsea to Atletico Madrid in the near future.
Per Hetherington and Brown, Mata’s agent is due in London next week to talk to Chelsea.
Suarez Has £70m Liverpool Release Clause
Luis Suarez only recently signed a new deal at Liverpool, but he continues to be the subject of transfer speculation.
There’s little chance of him leaving in January, but the Mirror’s Simon Mullock suggests there is room for manoeuvre by claiming the forward has a £70 million release clause in his contract.
In his piece, Mullock claims Suarez’s advisors insisted on a “watertight clause that will enable him to leave if Liverpool fail to qualify for the Champions League.”
That clause, per Mullock, stands at £70m.
United to Be Quiet in January Transfer Window
Put your hands over your ears, Manchester United fans, the People’s Steve Bates has suggested David Moyes won’t be making any signings in the January transfer window.
United are well off the pace in the Premier League, while also outside of the Champions League places, and there was a feeling that the Red Devils would be big players in the January transfer window.
That, though, may not happen if a piece from Bates is to be believed.
Bates has a quote from Moyes and he has interpreted it as a suggestion that there will be no arrivals in January.
Asked if he would be making any signings, Moyes said: “I don’t think so. I think most of the business will be more towards the summer rather than January.”
Bates' piece would appear to pour cold water on a report from the Mirror's Simon Mullock who suggests United could go in for Real Madrid full-back Fabio Coentrao.
Gala Set Sights on Terry
Chelsea captain John Terry is a target for Turkish side Galatasaray, according to the Mirror’s Bill Mills.
Terry is in the final year of his contract, and Mills suggests Gala are ready to swoop if Chelsea fail to tie him down.
If Mills is correct, it will be a lucrative offer as he claims the Turkish side are readying a £10 million package, which will come in at a tax free wage of £100,000 a week.
Terry could speak to Gala now, as his contract is close to expiring, but Mills suggests the Blues skipper will wait to see what Chelsea offer before making a decision on his future.
Alonso Offered to City, United and Chelsea
Daily Star writer Paul Hetherington suggests Xabi Alonso’s agents are working hard by offering him around the Premier League.
Alonso’s contract at Real Madrid is winding down and Hetherington claims Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea have been sounded out.
There is interest from City, according to Hetherington, who fancy adding him to their ranks on a free transfer in the summer.
Chelsea Eye Up £30m Rooney Bid
Chelsea missed out on signing Rooney in the summer, but the striker has not yet agreed a new contract with Manchester United and Cass claims the Blues are readying a bid.
According to Cass, Rooney’s management team will meet United this month to talk about the striker’s future.
If there is no common ground found, Cass claims Chelsea will step in with a £30 million bid.
Bits and Pieces: Duo Eye Gutierrez, Tottenham Striker Targets and More
The People's Alan Oliver claims Newcastle's bid for Remy Cabella has had to be put on ice as Montpellier chairman Laurent Nicollin is on holiday.
Oliver also claims Norwich City and Queens Park Rangers have set their sights on Newcastle winger Jonas Gutierrez.
Tottenham are planning for life without Jermain Defoe and have their eyes on Juventus duo Mirko Vucinic and Fabio Quagliarella, per a report from the People's Steve Bates.
Defoe is a target of Toronto, but the Mail claims West Ham could enter the race.
Cardiff boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could make Heerenveen's Magnus Eikrem his first signing, according to Elliott Bretland of the Mail.