Unwanted Mata heading for Chelsea exit: Out-of-favour Chelsea midfielder Juan Mata could be on his way back to Valencia, although a number of Premier League sides could also be interested in the Spaniard. The Metro report: “Valencia are lining up an ambitious move to re-sign Juan Mata from Chelsea during the January transfer window. Mata, who moved to Chelsea from Valencia in 2011, has been relegated down the pecking order by new Blues boss Jose Mourinho and is considering his future. Arsenal, Tottenham, Manchester United and Real Madrid are among the sides who are keeping tabs on Mata’s situation ahead of the new year.”
Paper Round's view: For some strange reason Jose Mourinho does not believe that Mata is good enough for a starting place in Chelsea's team – although he did challenge the Spaniard to prove him wrong. Mata was crowned the Blues' Player of the Year for the second successive season at the end of the last campaign but has seen his playing time reduced significantly this term. If Mourinho continues to undermine Mata then a move elsewhere would probably be the player's best option.
Moyes vows to turn around United's fortunes: David Moyes has insisted he will 'get it right' at Manchester United after a rocky start to the season – epitomised by their 4-1 drubbing at the hands of fierce rivals Manchester City last weekend. The Daily Mail report that, following in the League Cup, the Scot hit back at critics who have said that taking over at Manchester United is one step too far. Moyes said: “It (criticism) is not frustrating because I will sort it. I will fix it. I will turn it around. I have got no doubt about that. 'What have I learned? We have to improve. I am still getting to know the players.”
Paper Round's view: Moyes's side currently sit in eighth place - five points adrift of the league's joint leaders Arsenal and Tottenham. Defeats to Liverpool and City saw the former Everton manager come under criticism, but a Champions League win over Bayer Leverkusen and yesterday's revenge win over Liverpool should do Moyes and his side a big favour. Filling Sir Alex Ferguson's shoes was always going to be a tough task, but one that the Scot is certainly ready for. Sir Alex personally recommended Moyes for the job and if that alone isn't enough to convince the doubters then nothing will be...
Valencia's Rami transfer listed, English clubs on alert: The Express report that Adil Rami has been placed on the transfer list, with a number of Premier League teams keen to secure the Frenchman's signature. Rami has been put up for sale following an outburst that saw him criticise team coach Miroslav Djukic. The defender said: "In the dressing room there is only confusion since we lost [Roberto] Soldado, [Alberto] Costa and [David] Albelda. Djukic doesn't say things to your face.” The defender will now face a fine and will reportedly leave in January amid speculation linking him with a move to Arsenal, Manchester City and Barcelona.
Paper Round's view: This doesn't look like something Rami will be able to talk his way out of. Saying that, how many chances did Roberto Mancini give Mario Balotelli at City? The likelihood of Rami moving on is a strong one, though. The Frenchman would certainly add a bit of quality to both English sides' defensive line but if Barca really do show an interest then it's hard to see the player going anywhere else.
Sunderland put Poyet appointment on hold: Former Brighton manager Gus Poyet, who is the odds-on favourite to succeed Paolo Di Canio at Sunderland, will have to wait to have his appointment confirmed as Black Cats owner Ellis Short doesn't want to rush into a decision. The Mirror report: “Gus Poyet will have to personally convince Ellis Short he is the right man for the Sunderland job before his appointment is confirmed. The Black Cats' billionaire owner has been advised to give Poyet the job by director of football Roberto De Fanti, but wants thorough checks on his character and footballing philosophy before signing off on the deal. Poyet is a red-hot favourite to get the job by the end of the week, but Short has insisted on keeping him waiting while he thinks all options through.”
Paper Round's view: It was reported yesterday that Poyet's appointment was imminent. However, it now seems that the Sunderland hierarchy will bide their time to make sure they get the right man after two failed previous appointments. A smart move.
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