Premier League - Paper Round: Chelsea stars 'divided' over Clattenburg

Chelsea's players are apparently split over whether Mark Clattenburg actually aimed a racist comment at John Obi Mikel, according to The Sun.

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Juan Mata, Mark Clattenburg and John Obi Mikel, Chelsea v Manchester United, October 2012

The paper claims that, "some Blues stars are sceptical about the shock allegations, and pressure is moutning on the club to physically prove the remarks were made."

The Sun adds that it is "significant" that Chelsea are yet to lodge a complaint with police. Though considering the club's recent history, they are probably only too well aware of the different burdens of proof required by the FA and the Crown Courts.

Mikel, Ramires and David Luiz have apparently put pressure on the club to back them: "They said the club had stood by John Terry in his race row with Anton Ferdinand and now it had to do the same with them," a Stamford Bridge "insider" told the paper.

Lots of transfer gossip in the back pages today, and we start off with Andy Carroll being a January target for Tottenham. The England striker is on loan at West Ham, who have an option to buy him for £17m next summer, but the Reds apparently want to force a permanent switch as soon as possible to finance their own squad rebuilding plans.

Xabi Alonso could be on his way back to the Premier League, according to the Daily Mirror.

The former Liverpool star is under contract at Real Madrid until 2014, but with talks about a new deal not yet under way the player's advisers are looking into a return to England.

Roma will listen to offers for Daniele de Rossi in January, the Sun claims, giving Manchester City hope of signing a midfielder they tried to buy for £30 million in the summer.

Arsenal's Andrei Arshavin could be offered an unlikely lifeline by Reading, the Sun reports, with the £15m-rated Russian a favourite of the Royals' Russian owner Anton Zingarevich.

Liverpool are closing in on an agreement to sign Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, the Mirror claims, with Schalke willing to sell the 29-year-old striker in January as he enters the final few months of his contract. The Reds are ready to offer £9 million despite the fact that they could have him for nothing in the summer, but Brendan Rodgers is desperate to get high-quality cover for Luis Suarez.

Chelsea are keeping an eye on Wolfsburg's Swiss left-back Ricardo Rodriguez, a 20-year-old seen as a long-term replacement for Ashley Cole, the Daily Mirror reports.

And finally, the Sun and Mirror report that Andre Santos has apparently been forced to apologise to team-mates for his shirt swap with Robin van Persie at half-time against Manchester United at the weekend.

Why say sorry? Not because they all wanted to get in there and make the swap first, apparently, or even that he did the swap at all. Half-time shirt swaps are apparently commonplace in the Premier League these days, and the only thing he did wrong is swap shirts in front of TV cameras rather than wait until the players were safely in the tunnel.

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