Premier League - Paper Round: Liverpool chase Argentina striker

Liverpool are in the market for a centre-forward from Argentina in January, say the Daily Mirror – so it is Gonzalo Higuain? Carlos Tevez? Maybe even Leo Messi? Well, not quite.

The man Brendan Rodgers is apparently looking to bring to the club is Wigan’s Franco di Santo. The 23-year-old made his international debut last month, playing the second half of a 0-0 draw in Saudi Arabia alongside Messi and Sergio Aguero.

Di Santo was on the books at Chelsea when Rodgers was in charge of the youth set-up there, as was Fabio Borini, who Liverpool brought in during the summer. Di Santo’s contract is due to expire in the summer as well, meaning that a deal could be done cheaply.

But with Liverpool needing goals, di Santo’s record doesn’t quite bear scrutiny with some of his more illustrious compatriots.

Tevez has 80 goals in the top flight since moving to the UK in 2006, while his Manchester City team-mate Aguero has 29 Premier League goals in just 50 appearances since moving from Spain. Messi, as if you needed reminding, has just finished the calendar year with 91 goals from 69 games for club and country.

And di Santo? 11 from 75 Premier League games for the Latics.

Continuing the search for strikers, it appears that Swansea have ruled out signing Barcelona forward David Villa, according to the Daily Mail. Although that’s not a million miles removed from Nuneaton distancing themselves from Cristiano Ronaldo. Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea remain in the frame, the paper insists.

The Daily Mirror also link Liverpool with Birmingham and England goalkeeper Jack Butland. Birmingham’s financial difficulties could make Butland available, as Rodgers continues to look for reinforcements to all parts of his squad.

Back to the Mail, and the paper insists there could be an audacious January deal for lowly Reading, who are targeting Arsenal misfit Andrei Arshavin in a bid to fight off relegation.

The Royals, now backed by Russian billionaire Anton Zingarevich, could take the forward off the books at the Emirates for a small fee – perhaps as little as £2m – to avoid paying his £85,000-a-week wages.

The Sun also link Readign with Zambia’s Stopila Sonzu, though the move is complicated by the defender earning a call-up for January’s African Cup of Nations.

And the race to become the next manager of Nottingham Forest is taking shape, with Roy Keane the favourite for the job, according to The Sun. Keane, a former Forest player, was in attendance at the City Ground to watch the 4-2 win over Leeds on Boxing Day – Sean O’Driscoll’s last match in charge. The Guardian also link Roberto di Matteo with the job.