United close in on Borussia Dortmund star Ilkay Gundogan: Manchester United "are sure they have won the £25million battle" for Germany’s Ilkay Gundogan, according to the Daily Star on Sunday. The paper says that David Moyes believes the Borussia Dortmund playmaker is the most likely of his midfield targets to move to Old Trafford this summer. Dortmund are ready to cash in on the 23-year-old in the summer as he will only have one-year left on his contract.
Paper Round's view: The Star is one of a couple of papers to report on this proposed deal and the story does seem to have some legs away from the usual transfer tittle-tattle. The issue though could be Gundogan's fitness. This season has been a write-off for him due to back injuries so his medical is sure to be stringent. There are also reports that Real Madrid could be keen and it is hard to see United competing with them if it is a straight choice between the two clubs. Allowing Shinji Kagawa to return to Dortmund could help swing things back in United's favour, though.
Drogba could be in line for Chelsea return: Didier Drogba is considering rejoining Chelsea when his contract with Galatasaray expires in June according to Duncan Castles in the Sunday Times. The paper says Drogba has been offered the chance to start his coaching career under Jose Mourinho and to join the first-team squad as a back-up striker and that Roman Abramovich, the Chelsea owner, has sanctioned the approach. While the MLS remains interested in taking him to America this summer, Drogba is assessing the option of a move to Chelsea.
Paper Round's view: The story is written by Duncan Castles who is known to have close links to Jose Mourinho so there must be at least some grain of truth in it. The key phrase could be 'back-up' striker. If Drogba did move it is hard to imagine him settling for this tag and few would back against him cementing a place in the side even at the age of 35. After big money spells in China and Turkey, Drogba might prefer to remain the undisputed top dog at an MLS franchise but a return to Chelsea certainly provides an intriguing alternative.
Michu linked with move to Russia: Swansea’s Spanish hitman Michu is wanted by Anzhi Makhachkala - before the Russian transfer window shuts on Monday night, according to the Sunday People. Michu is being offered a huge pay-day at crisis club Anzhi, who have crashed to the bottom of the Russian league after major cash cutbacks. The paper says that Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins will listen to a serious bid from Anzhi, with a deal of £6million-plus likely. The Russian club could ask to take him on loan, with a big survival bonus if he helps keep them up, but that is unlikely to appeal to Jenkins.
Paper Round's view: The reason Anzhi find themselves in such difficulty is because they decided to sell all their star names and cut-back on paying massive wages so it is hard to see them flipping the switch again and offering Michu the type of deal that would tempt him to move to the Dagestan club. Anzhi haven't won a single match in 19 Russian Premier League games this season and there is little to appeal for Michu other than cash. Certainly, he is not even coming close to reaching his first season form with Swansea but a move to another English club or a return to Spain in the summer would seem to make more sense than a rushed through move to an unstable Russian club.
Everton eye move for Joe Allen: Roberto Martinez wants to tempt Joe Allen across Stanley Park from Liverpool to Everton, according to the Sunday Mirror. Martinez, who gave Allen his Swansea debut as a teenager, remains a firm admirer of the Wales international and has discussed him as a summer transfer target for the Toffees. Allen is unlikely to come cheap and Everton would need to pay upwards of £10m to get their man.
Paper Round's view: This is a move that could make sense but a lot could depend on whether Everton decided to sign Gareth Barry on a permanent deal. Barry has had an excellent season but is not one for the long term, and Allen could slot in as a nice, if expensive, alternative. It is hard to see Everton signing both men but it looks like one to keep an eye on.
Valencia could offer Torres Chelsea escape: Fernando Torres is wanted by the prospective new billionaire owner of Valencia according to the Sunday Mirror. Chelsea’s £50million flop has been the subject of enquiries made on behalf of Singapore businessman Peter Lim, who is attempting to take over the La Liga club.
Paper Round's view: Torres has been given chance after chance at Chelsea and not nearly delivered enough. It should be all change for Chelsea when it comes to their forwards next season and moving on from the Torres era looks a wise move. If they can get even a fraction of the £50m they spent on the Spaniard, Chelsea should take it and finally accept that Torres was an expensive mistake.