United in again for Fabregas: Most papers have an update on the future of Cesc Fabregas, with the Daily Mirror claiming United will make a third and final offer of £34 million for the Barcelona midfielder. The Guardian puts the figure "in the region of £35m". Bids of £26m and £30m have already been rejected by the Spanish club. Interestingly, the paper says United could turn to Newcastle’s £18m Yohan Cabaye or Real Madrid’s Luka Modric if they fail to secure Fabregas. Meanwhile, The Sun (which has, brilliantly, been renamed The Son for the day) carries quotes from Gerard Pique, who thinks United are wasting their time over his Barca team-mate.
Paper Round's view: Everyone seems to have a view on this at the moment but we are still waiting to hear from Fabregas himself. So far, we've had to rely on 'sources close' to the former Arsenal man and pure speculation. Moyes might be playing the 'long game', but if things drag on too much longer, United may be better advised to turn to Cabaye, who represents a cheaper and possibly easier to acquire target.
- - -
Gunners line up £40m bid for Suarez: The Daily Mirror reports that Arsenal will lodge a make-or-break £40m bid for Liverpool's wantaway striker Luis Suarez. But, as The Son highlights, Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers, who is to hold talks with the Uruguayan in Melbourne this week, has insisted the Merseysiders will not be forced into selling, citing the 'no one player is bigger than this club' mantra.
Paper Round's view: Liverpool will be soon forced into making a judgement call: cash in on Suarez and make £40m, or hold on to a player who clearly doesn't want to be there and watch his value depreciate. It's a no-brainer, isn't it?
- - -
Chelsea to make second bid for Rooney: Chelsea are ready to make an improved bid of "up to £30m" for Rooney, according to a report in the Daily Mail. The paper claims that an offer of £23m in cash plus £2.5m in additional payments has already been rejected but that the Blues are now happy to up the ante and also match Rooney's huge £240,000 a week wages. Meanwhile, the Daily Star's back page features an 'exclusive: Rooney has been sighted playing golf near Chelsea's training ground. A "host of Chelsea stars" play at the same club, the paper says before leaving readers to make their own conclusions as to what that means.
Paper Round's view: Clearly, Rooney playing golf at an exclusive club has no bearing on his possible transfer to Chelsea, despite the proximity of the course to Cobham, but that is not to say Rooney's not going to Chelsea. Jose Mourinho wants him and Rooney is keen to leave, but the onus remains on the player to make things happen by handing in an official transfer request.
- - -
Spurs up Soldado bid, eye Lisandro: More from the Daily Mirror, with the paper claiming Tottenham have made a fresh bid of £22m plus add-ons for Valencia striker Roberto Soldado, while the club are also targeting Lyon forward Lisandro Lopez. The Daily Mail, meanwhile, says Spurs are close to completing an £18m deal for Soldado, some way below what Valencia want.
Paper Round's view: Valencia president Amadeo Salvo is adamant his club will not sell for less than 30 million euros, although he has said the two clubs are now not too far apart in their valuations. It could come down to the weight of the add-ons but the fact that the two clubs are in face-to-face talks - Spurs technical director Franco Baldini is currently in Spain - speaks volumes. This deal should get done.
- - -
Paper Round's view: Hutton enjoyed himself in Mallorca in the second half of the season and despite the club's relegation from La Liga, the Scot impressed the Spanish club. Lambert is keen to get rid of some of his high earners - Hutton is on £40,000 a week - so this one makes sense.
- - -
- - -
Hamburg eye up Jelavic: Everton striker Nikica Jelavic has emerged as a target for Bundesliga side Hamburg, according to the Guardian. The paper quotes Hamburg's sporting director Oliver Kreuzer as saying he has "heard Everton's new coach would allow him to leave", although no official offer has been made yet.
Paper Round's view: With the Toffees having signed Arouna Koné from and Gerard Deulofeu, Jelavic certainly has competition for his place in the side. However, Roberto Martinez may decide he needs more strength in depth up front than Everton had last season under David Moyes.
- - -
- Sports & Recreation
- Cesc Fabregas
- Daily Mirror