‘Arsenal to step up chase for striker’ - Arsenal will re-double their efforts to sign Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata on a season-long loan this week, according to a report in the Daily Mail. Wenger sees Morata as the perfect stop-gap between now and the end of the season, but Real have informed the Gunners that the talented striker is not available on a permanent or temporary basis. But Arsenal remain in contact with Madrid chiefs and are hoping for a significant breakthrough. Arsenal would rather complete a short-term deal for a new forward this month, unless one of their top targets become available.
Paper Round’s view: Theo Walcott's devastating knee injury, coupled with Nicklas Bendtner's long-term ankle problem, has left manager Arsene Wenger with no apparent choice but to sign a new centre forward this month. Despite the club's lack of central strikers, Wenger was expecting a quiet January transfer window, feeling Bendtner, Walcott and Lukas Podolski could all cover for Giroud. That is now not going to be possible with Walcott’s injury the latest in a string of set-backs. He must now move for a top striker and Morata appears the best option available in a World Cup year, despite Carlo Ancelotti’s reluctance to lose him.
‘PSG and Monaco to fight over Spurs defender’ - Tottenham Hotspur have been put on alert, according to the Independent after rumours surfaced this morning that Paris Saint Germain have joined their Ligue 1 rivals Monaco in pursuit of Kyle Walker. Le Parisien have reported that PSG consider Spurs' England international to be the ideal replacement for the injured Christophe Jallet and will make their move later this month. Monaco's interest has been known for some time but, with no concrete bid made, they could lose out to their title rivals.
Paper Round’s view: It is very much unclear whether the 23-year-old right-back, who joined Spurs from Sheffield United in 2009, would entertain a move to the continent as it would represent a considerable risk going into the summer's World Cup in Brazil. With Glen Johnson for competition, Walker would be best placed staying put until the end of the campaign and perhaps taking on a challenge abroad for next season. Plus, Daniel Levy would no doubt scupper the deal by demanding far too much money.
‘Lamela desperate to quit Tottenham’ - Erik Lamela’s Tottenham career looks all but over after his father revealed the player is desperate to quit White Hart Lane, according to reports in various papers. Lamela only joined Spurs in the summer as part of a club-record £30 million deal, but he has struggled to adapt to life in England. And despite Tim Sherwood previously shrugging off speculation that the 21-year-old could leave on-loan this month, Jose Lamela says his son is desperate to leave.
Paper Round’s view: Tough luck, frankly. Lamela and his father cannot expect to be able to simply demand a move just because things have not worked out as planned so far at White Hart Lane. He already appears to have been a desperately poor signing given his apparent lack of desire and application – this is hardly going to help his cause. There is no question of Tottenham protecting their record-breaking asset and Levy is hardly going to allow the winger to walk out on the club for a cut price deal over the summer, let alone in January.
‘Crystal Palace to sign attacking duo in January’ - Tony Pulis has targeted Nikica Jelavic and Tom Ince as he steps up his bid to strengthen Crystal Palace’s survival mission. Pulis is ready to pay £3.5 million for Everton forward Jelavic and has made an enquiry for Ince, the Blackpool winger, while Blackburn Rovers defender Scott Dann also remains on the radar. Jelavic has been identified as a priority and, while Pulis is prepared to offer the Croatia international a fresh start, he may have to take a pay cut to move to Selhurst Park.
Paper Round’s view: A loan deal would likely be the only realistic way that Jelavic would leave Everton to join Palace, perhaps until the end of the current campaign. Taking a pay cut at this stage of his career would not be at all likely, even with the desire to play regular first-team football ahead of the World Cup. Ince is a more realistic permanent transfer, but even then Palace are likely to be priced out like so many clubs before them. Why would he want to join a club that may well join Blackpool in the Championship next season anyway?