Paper News and Gossip: Man Utd Close in on Mata as Rooney Linked to Real Madrid

Ian Rodgers@irodgers66World Football Staff WriterJanuary 22, 2014

Paper News and Gossip: Man Utd Close in on Mata as Rooney Linked to Real Madrid

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    Kirsty Wigglesworth/Associated Press

    Manchester United dominate the transfer news on Wednesday's sports pages of the newspapers.

    The Old Trafford club are reportedly closing in on a deal for Chelsea midfielder Juan Mata, but United striker Wayne Rooney is being linked with a move to Real Madrid, according to reports.

    Elsewhere on the back pages, Arsenal will use a surprise offer to tempt Schalke into selling Julian Draxler, according to one article.

    But who else is making the headlines on Wednesday? Read on to find out more.

Man Utd Close in on Juan Mata but Wayne Rooney Linked with Move to Real Madrid

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    Manchester United are moving closer to a deal to bring Chelsea midfielder Juan Mata to Old Trafford, according to Darren Lewis and David McDonnell of the Daily Mirror.

    And the Mirror article claims the Spain international will be just one part of David Moyes' rebuilding programme, which will also include moves for Bayern Munich defender Dante, Newcastle midfielder Yohan Cabaye and Borussia Monchengladbach winger Patrick Herrmann.

    Martin Samuel of the Daily Mail believes Chelsea are making a big mistake in allowing Mata to join their Premier League rivals.

    However, United striker Rooney is being linked with a £25 million move to Real Madrid, as Mark Ogden of the Daily Telegraph reports.

    Ogden claims the Bernabeu club will enter the chase for the England international in the summer after conceding defeat in the hope of landing Sergio Aguero from Manchester City.

    Meanwhile, United have failed in their bid to overturn the red card shown to defender Nemanja Vidic in the defeat at Chelsea on Sunday, reports the Daily Express.

    United have been told to match the £21 million Chelsea paid for Nemanja Matic if they want to land midfielder Nicolas Gaitan from Benfica, claims Ben Jefferson of the Daily Express.

Arsenal to Offer Striker Lukas Podolski in Transfer Move for Julian Draxler

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    Arsenal have offered striker Lukas Podolski to Schalke as part of a £35 million package to buy Draxler from the Bundesliga club, claims Shaun Custis of The Sun (subscription required).

    According to the article, the Gunners put forward a bid of £20 million plus the forward, but the German club rejected the offer and are looking for a straight £37 million deal.

    However, Nick Lustig of the Daily Star claims Schalke are dismissive of interest in Draxler from Arsenal and other clubs.

    Meanwhile, James Olley of The Evening Standard reports that Bayern Munich are considering a surprise move for Tomas Rosicky.

    Arsenal are still keen on signing Benfica striker Rodrigo, says Ben Jefferson of the Daily Express and the Gunners have rejected a Napoli move for defender Thomas Vermaelen, according to Gary Jones of the Daily Star.

Lionel Messi Poised for £37M Per Year Contract at Barcelona

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    Barcelona star Lionel Messi is set to be rewarded with a £37 million per year contract with the Camp Nou club, reports Antony Kastrinakis of The Sun (subscription required).

    According to the report, the Argentina international will receive an additional £2 million a year net on his current salary and the new contract will run until 2018.

    The new Barcelona contract will see the 26-year-old become the world's highest-paid player, outstripping teammate Neymar and Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo.

Liverpool Consider Move for Nigel De Jong After Lucas Leiva Injury

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    Liverpool are weighing up a move for AC Milan midfielder Nigel de Jong as cover for the injured Lucas Leiva, claims Simon Jones of the Daily Mail.

    Brazil international Lucas has been ruled out for up to two months after the defensive midfielder suffered a knee ligament injury.

    Holland international De Jong has Premier League experience after winning the title with Manchester City in 2012, and he could be tempted by a return to England, according to Jones.

    In the same article, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has been given the go-ahead to move for Basle winger Mohamed Salah, but he faces competition from Tottenham, Everton and Manchester City.

    Meanwhile, Liverpool have entered the race for Red Bull Salzburg and Norway midfielder Valon Berisha, claims Nick Lustig of the Daily Star.

Bits and Pieces: Nicolas Anelka, Romelu Lukaku, Michael Laudrup, Etienne Capoue

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    West Brom striker Nicolas Anelka is considering retirement from football in the wake of the Football Association charge over his controversial goal celebration against West Ham, reports Dave Armitage of the Daily Star.

    The French forward is facing a potential lengthy suspension for the "quenelle" gesture, and the report claims the former Arsenal and Liverpool man is becoming increasingly disillusioned over the controversy.

    Everton striker Romelu Lukaku could face disciplinary action after showing support for Anelka, claims John Wragg of the Daily Express.

    Swansea City manager Michael Laudrup will leave the club in the summer regardless of whether they are relegated or not, reports John Cross of the Daily Mirror.

    Tottenham are stalling on Etienne Capoue's proposed move to Napoli by demanding £12 million for the midfielder, reports Darren Lewis of the Daily Mirror.

    Newcastle are closing in on Borussia Monchengladbach striker Luuk de Jong, reports Jason Mellor of the Daily Mirror.