Premier League - Paper Round: Now Chelsea want Cesc
Tue, 08 Feb 09:29:00 2011
Chelsea showed they can make unlikely transfers come true when they signed Fernando Torres from Liverpool; now The Sun reckons they are going to try and make a move for Arsenal's captain Cesc Fabregas.
The paper claims that the Blues are plotting to 'hijack' Barcelona's plans to sign the midfielder in the summer and could benefit from doubts as to whether Barca can afford the £60 million valuation that has been slapped on Fabregas's head by Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger.
However, even the Sun seems to doubt the credibility of their own sans-source backpage story, admitting: "The biggest obstacle could be his (Fabregas's) reluctance to cross London. A move to Stamford Bridge would be viewed as treason."
Meanwhile, there is a bit more credibility in the same paper's story linking Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina with a shock move to Manchester United in the summer: in this case they have quotes from the man himself, given to Spanish radio station Onda Cero.
Last month our Armchair Pundit Alex Chick argued that Reina would be the perfect fit for United - but was lambasted by Liverpool fans who argued that their shot-stopper would never leave for their fierce rivals.
However, do these sound like the words of a man who has no interest in a move?
"Yes, well (Edwin) van der Sar will hang up his gloves in the summer so of course they are looking. I can't do anything. I can't say anything logically as I have a contract with Liverpool.
"Of course one likes to fight for titles and be in a team that does that. We always fought to be in the Champions League and try to win the title.
"But unfortunately it hasn't been the case in the last couple of years."
Watch this space for developments on that story.
Going back to Chelsea: according to the Daily Mail, the Blues are hoping to entice former caretaker boss Guus Hiddink back to the club.
However, Chelsea don't see the Dutchman as a replacement for Carlo Ancelotti; they instead want the current Turkey boss to take over from sporting director Frank Arnesen, whose contract expires in the summer.
Yesterday's Paper Round listed the various names linked with the West Brom job. Today that of Roy Hodgson seems the strongest among them, with a number of papers saying he is the Baggies' first choice.
However, caretaker Michael Appleton and St Johnstone boss Derek McInnes are also in the running for the job, according to the Independent.
The papers are also full of praise for Kenny Dalglish and how he has transformed Liverpool's fortunes, with the Daily Mirror even going so far as to say he is now on the "brink" of being offered the job on a full-time basis.
And finally: Newcastle's Joey Barton is set to sign a contract extension with the club despite being frustrated by the sale of Andy Carroll (various), while the club could ease their striker problems by signing former Middlesbrough and Arsenal man Jeremie Aliadiere on a short-term deal (Daily Mail).