Paper News and Gossip: Manchester United 'SOS' for Mata, New Chelsea Rooney Bid?
It never rains but it pours for David Moyes at Manchester United after the Capital One Cup penalty shoot-out defeat to Sunderland on Wednesday night.
That loss has prompted Thursday's papers to call Juan Mata's proposed move from Chelsea to Old Trafford an "SOS".
There was further bad news on the financial front for United in the annual Football Money League.
Chelsea are poised to revive their interest in Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney, but could the arrival of Mata scupper those hopes?
Who else is making the headlines on Thursday? Read on to find out more.
Juan Mata on Verge of Man Utd Move to Boost Hopes Wayne Rooney Will Stay
Manchester United's penalty shoot-out defeat to Sunderland has been tempered with the news of Mata's imminent arrival from Chelsea, reports Ian Herbert of The Independent.
Oliver Holt of the Daily Mirror derided United's display against Sunderland on Wednesday night, but also notes the much-needed boost the Spain international can give to the club.
Martin Lipton and Alan Nixon of the Daily Mirror report that the signing of Mata could also prompt United striker Rooney to begin talks on a new deal with the club.
But there was bad news on the financial front for United as they dropped out of the top three in the annual Football Money League, as Laurie Whitwell of the Daily Mail reported.
Chelsea to Revive Rooney Transfer Move as Barkley, Griezmann, Salah Are Targeted
While some reports might claim Rooney is considering staying at Old Trafford, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is refusing to give up on the Manchester United striker, claims Matt Hughes of The Times (subscription required).
According to the article, Mourinho will make another attempt to sign the England international in the summer, boosted, ironically, by the £37 million received from United for Chelsea midfielder Mata.
Matt Law of the Daily Telegraph claims the sale of Mata represents part of a long-term strategy to bring Everton midfielder Ross Barkley to the club.
Mourinho is also chasing Real Sociedad striker Antoine Griezmann, according to Rob Beasley and Neil Custis of The Sun (subscription required).
Chris Richards of the Daily Mirror reports that Chelsea are looking to scupper Liverpool's hopes of landing Mohamed Salah from Basel.
Arsenal Continue Julian Draxler Chase as Mirko Vucinic Still Wanted
An Arsenal delegation will fly to Germany on Thursday in a bid to sign Schalke midfielder Julian Draxler, reports Shaun Custis of The Sun (subscription required).
According to the article, the Gunners will offer £20 million plus Lukas Podolski for the Germany international, but will face competition from Borussia Dortmund for Draxler.
Meanwhile, Arsenal and Chelsea target Jackson Martinez is set to sign a new deal with FC Porto, reports Nick Lustig of the Daily Star.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was present at Barcelona's Copa del Rey win at Levante to watch Cristian Tello, according to David Kent of the Daily Mail.
Manchester City Buy Melbourne Heart as Yaya Toure Causes PSG Alarm
Manchester City have branched into Australia by buying Melbourne Heart, reports Neil Rowlands of the Daily Mirror.
Heart are still in the middle of their league season and out of respect for that, City will not be making any further announcements until the middle of the year, claims Rowlands.
City already have an MLS franchise set for New York and are now expanding Down Under.
Meanwhile, City midfielder Yaya Toure has caused some concern at the Etihad Stadium after admitting he would be open to the idea of playing for Paris Saint-Germain, claims Chris Wheeler of the Daily Mail.
There is good news for City from the Football Money League, with the club likely to pass UEFA's financial fair play regulations, reports Laurie Whitwell of the Daily Mail.
Bits and Pieces: Nicolas Anelka, Romelu Lukaku, Referees' Row, AC Milan
West Brom striker Nicolas Anelka has called on the Football Association to drop the charges against him over his controversial "quenelle" goal celebration, reports Graham Hill of The Sun (subscription required).
The forward has cited the views of Jewish leader Roger Cukierman to prove his gesture was not anti-Semitic, according to the article.
Anti-racism campaign group Kick It Out are considering dropping Everton striker Romelu Lukaku as an ambassador after he appeared to back Anelka in an interview, reports Ben Rumsby of the Daily Telegraph.
Referee Mike Jones is being kept apart from assistant Ron Ganfield after the pair rowed over the disallowed Cheick Tiote strike in Newcastle's home defeat by Manchester City earlier this month, says Vikki Orvice of The Sun (subscription required).
AC Milan are weighing up a move for Leicester City goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, who is the son of Manchester United legend, Peter, reports Bill Cooper of the Daily Mirror.
West Ham United are considering a move for former Chelsea and Liverpool midfielder Meireles, says Simon Jones of the Daily Mail.