‘Spurs will move for United’s Hernandez’ - Tottenham Hotspur will reportedly bid for Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez if they can sell Emmanuel Adebayor in the January transfer window. Spurs have been keen to buy the 25-year-old Mexican for some time and will step up their interest after it became public that he has grown increasingly frustrated at his lack of opportunities at Old Trafford especially in season that culminates in a World Cup.
Paper Round’s view: Spurs had hoped he would leave last summer by all accounts but a significant stumbling block remains his wages which are thought to be worth up to £175,000-a-week. Arsenal have also shown an interest in Hernandez but United are unlikely to want to sell until next summer at the earliest and particularly to a Premier League rival. He would be exactly what Spurs require to compete with Roberto Soldado and David Moyes would clearly not miss the Mexican given his treatment so far this season.
‘Arsenal plot £22m Benzema bid’ - Arsenal are reportedly closing in on a £22 million January deal for Real Madrid star Karim Benzema. The Gunners have turned their attention to the French international as they fear that the Spanish giants are likely to pip them to the £50m signing of Luis Suarez. The deal for Benzema will almost certainly hinge on whether Liverpool cave in and allow Suarez to quit Anfield.
Paper Round’s view: Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger had targeted another striker in the New Year window and Benzema is likely to be his best option. The 25-year-old also apparently comes with a ringing endorsement from Gunners’ former Madrid team-mate Mesut Ozil and the Frenchman would certainly be a superb signing for the London club as they aim to bolster their ranks for the second half of the campaign. However, Benzema may well wish to remain in Madrid, playing for the Spanish giants.
‘Liverpool and Arsenal to scrap for Rodriguez’ - Liverpool have lined up England new boy Jay Rodriguez as a replacement for Luis Suarez. But Arsenal are also tracking the stunning progress of Southampton forward Rodriguez, who last week received his first England call-up. The Anfield giants made enquiries over Rodriguez in the summer, when they feared Suarez may quit. And manager Brendan Rodgers has kept tabs on the 24-year-old, who he believes can fulfil the Suarez role if the Uruguayan eventually leaves.
Paper Round’s view: Having only joined Southampton for £7 million from Burnley last summer, Rodriguez is contracted to St Mary’s until 2016 and executive chairman Nicola Cortese would put up a big fight to keep him. Cortese may well offer Rodriguez a new deal to try to warn off the likes of Liverpool and Arsenal, but probably to no avail with a summer move seeming likely, particularly when Suarez inevitably leaves.
‘Stoke target Lescott signing’ - Stoke boss Mark Hughes will make a cut-price move for Manchester City’s Joleon Lescott in January. The defender is out of contract next summer and the 31-year-old still hopes to force his way back into England manager Roy Hodgson’s squad in time for the World Cup. Hughes paid £22 million for Lescott while he was the Blues' manager, and the Welshman is still a big fan of his former player.
Paper Round’s view: City may be willing to let Lescott leave for as little as £2m in the New Year, but the former Everton man will have to accept a cut to his £90,000-a-week wages to join the Potters. The defender has not seen his prospects improve since Manuel Pellegrini took over from Roberto Mancini and he would undoubtedly represent a fine signing for Stoke, but the cost of a move, coupled with the wages, could prove the stumbling block.