Paper News and Gossip: Spurs Block Arsenal, Southampton 'Meltdown'

Ian Rodgers@irodgers66World Football Staff WriterJanuary 16, 2014

Paper News and Gossip: Spurs Block Arsenal, Southampton 'Meltdown'

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    Arsenal and Tottenham have enjoyed a long-standing rivalry for many years, but one report on Thursday suggests some transfer shenanigans this month.

    The situation revolves around the future of Tottenham midfielder Lewis Holtby and its impact on the Gunners' chase for Schalke midfielder Julian Draxler.

    Southampton dominate the headlines across the back pages after executive chairman Nicola Cortese quit the club, but could Chelsea and West Ham benefit from the situation?

    Who else is making the headlines on Thursday? Read on to find out more. 

Spurs 'Block' Holtby Move to Stifle Arsenal Hopes of Landing Draxler

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    Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy is blocking the proposed move of midfielder Lewis Holtby to Schalke in order to deny Arsenal from buying Julian Draxler from the Bundesliga club, reports Darren Lewis of the Daily Mirror.

    Spurs inadvertently helped the Gunners buy Mesut Ozil in the summer after Gareth Bale was sold to Real Madrid.

    According to Lewis, the White Hart Lane club do not want a similar situation to arise by selling Holtby to Schalke, which could allow Arsenal to sign Draxler.

    Meanwhile, Nacer Chadli is looking for a loan move away from White Hart Lane to boost his hopes of playing for Belgium in the World Cup, reports Colin Harvey of the Daily Star.

    Porto and Belgium midfielder Steven Defour is waiting on an offer from Tottenham before deciding his future, claims Nick Lustig of the Daily Star.

Southampton 'Meltdown' Could See Chelsea and Liverpool Benefit

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    The departure of Southampton executive chairman Nicola Cortese is the major talking point across the newspapers on Thursday.

    A difference of opinion with club owner Katharina Liebherr saw Cortese resign his position, leaving a question mark over the future of manager Mauricio Pochettino, according to Dominic Fifield of the Guardian.

    Pochettino is expected to address the media at his weekly press conference later on Thursday when the situation at the club will be uppermost in the questions from reporters.

    Worryingly for Saints supporters, Chelsea and Liverpool could benefit from the situation with the transfer window currently open.

    Matthew Dunn and Tony Banks of the Daily Express note that the door could now be open for Chelsea to make their move for left-back Luke Shaw.

    Jack Wilson of the Daily Star reports that Liverpool are preparing an offer for Southampton star Jay Rodriguez.

    Meanwhile, West Ham United are also readying a new bid for Saints striker Rickie Lambert, claims Darren Lewis of the Daily Mirror

Wayne Rooney Injury Blow for Manchester United Ahead of Chelsea Game

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    Manchester United have been dealt a hefty blow ahead of their vital Premier League trip to Chelsea on Sunday with Wayne Rooney rated only "50-50" to play, reports David Anderson of the Daily Mirror.

    The England international is struggling to recover from a groin injury and is likely to miss the match at Stamford Bridge.

    Meanwhile, United have made a surprise transfer move for Sunderland goalkeeper Vito Mannone, claims Ed Malyon of the Daily Mirror.

    Borussia Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Gundogan has put United and Arsenal on alert after admitting he is considering his future at the club, reports Nick Lustig of the Daily Star.

    United are also weighing up a move for Napoli midfielder Marek Hamsik, according to Ben Burrows in the Daily Mirror

Manuel Pellegrini Unfazed by Manchester City Selection Dilemmas

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    Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini is unconcerned at the potential selection dilemmas he is facing after Sergio Aguero returned to action on Wednesday night, reports Alan Nixon of the Daily Mirror.

    The Argentina international scored in the 5-0 FA Cup win over Blackburn just 49 seconds after appearing as a substitute in the second half at the Etihad Stadium.

    Edin Dzeko and Alvaro Negredo both scored in the game, but Pellegrini is unfazed at the prospect of having to omit players from his starting line-up:

    For me that is no problem. It's a problem when you have no players to choose.

    Alvaro and Edin are in a good moment, but it was very important that Sergio comes back in this game. We have so many games that we don't have any problem.

    We are playing in a style that is important to continue. We don't score and give possession to the other team and try to counter-attack.

    That is not my philosophy or that this club wants to play. We are a balanced team and an attacking team.

    Meanwhile, City and Liverpool have been offered Ajax winger Ricardo Kishna on a cut-price deal, reports Ed Malyon of the Daily Mirror

Bits and Pieces: Diego Costa, David Luiz, Ravel Morrison, Fabio Borini

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    Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is lining up a summer move for Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa, reports Paul Brown of the Daily Star.

    The Blues will also sell defender David Luiz to Barcelona if the La Liga giants meet their £29 million asking price, claims James Dickenson of the Daily Express.

    Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand is considering the prospect of becoming a Premier League manager within five years, according to Richard Tanner of the Daily Express.

    West Ham United forward Ravel Morrison is threatening to go "on strike" in a bid to force through a move to Fulham, claims Rob Beasley of The Sun (subscription required).

    Liverpool striker Fabio Borini will not make his loan deal with Sunderland permanent and wants to make his mark at Anfield, claims Jason Mellor of the Daily Star.

    Napoli manager Rafael Benitez wants to bring Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien to the Serie A club, reports Mike McGrath of The Sun (subscription required).

    Stoke City have denied claims they have signed United States international striker Juan Agudelo, writes Ian Baker of the Daily Star