Blues draw up £40m striking shortlist: According to The Sun on Wednesday morning, Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has been told he has £40m to spend on a new striker in the summer and, with the club conceding Wayne Rooney is likely to be refused a move from Old Trafford, have identified Atletico Madrid's Diego Costa, Edinson Cavani of PSG and Bayern Munich star Mario Mandzukic. According to the paper, the aforenamed stars are "the only three names on [Mourinho's] wishlist."
Paper Round's view: If there's one thing everyone knows Chelsea need, it's a top-level striker. These three names are all impressive targets but surely it's going to be Diego Costa, who has performed so impressively in La Liga, has a £32m release clause and shares the same agent, Jorge Mendes, with Mourinho himself.
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Schalke boost Arsenal's Draxler hopes: Schalke chairman Clemens Tonnies has said that Julian Draxler will not move to Bayern Munich this summer, giving Arsenal hope they can land the Germany international instead. The Daily Express reports that Tonnies has "100 per cent" ruled out a deal with the Bavarian giants, meaning the Gunners may "return" for the 20-year-old at the end of the season, having missed out on him in January. Reports had previously suggested that Draxler may have opted against a move to Arsenal last month as he favoured a move to Bayern, but that has now been ruled out.
Paper Round's view: Despite all the bluster, Arsene Wenger has categorically stated there was never a deal offered to Draxler and that last month's story was "created by the newspapers". But that's not going to stop them from rehashing what was clearly a good seller, especially since a move to Bayern has now been ruled out. And, of course, that can only mean one thing, can't it? That's right, a move to Arsenal is 'back on', even though it was never on in the first place and Wenger doesn't want the player anyway.
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Terry going nowhere and somewhere: John Terry is going nowhere this summer, or he's on his way out of Stamford Bridge, depending on which paper you read this morning. One of the wildly conflicting reports appears in the Daily Mail and claims that the Chelsea captain is ready to accept a one-year contract if it means prolonging his playing career at Stamford Bridge. The other, in the Daily Telegraph, suggests that Terry's future at Chelsea is still unclear. Terry, 33, has been hankering after a two-year deal, but it is Chelsea's policy to only offer one-year contract extensions to players over 30. The Mail's version of events has Terry willing to accept this. But the Telegraph contradicts that by claiming "it is not an automatic certainty that Terry will accept a one-year extension at this stage of his career, particularly if Chelsea also demand he takes a cut to his £165,000-a-week wages".
Paper Round's view: That Terry will be offered an extension of one year is without question - his form this season has been supreme and in Mourinho he has a manager who swears by him. Indeed, Mourinho's relationship with the player could be key in what he decides to do and it does not take a huge feat of the imagination to envisage the Portuguese assuring his favourite player a place in his starting XI next term. Expect Terry to stay put.
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Cole on his way out of Chelsea: Ashley Cole's time at Chelsea is nearing an end, suggests today's Daily Mail. The report claims that after the Blues defeat to Manchester City, "it looked and felt as though he was ready to go. Cole’s work at Chelsea is done." With Cesar Azpilicueta, the right-footed left back, clearly ahead of him in Jose Mourinho's pecking order, the paper says that at some point Cole's relationship with Chelsea "must come to a natural conclusion". A summer move to Cole's former club Arsenal is mooted.
Paper Round's view: Even if this latest report is based solely on a journalist's gut feeling, there appears to be a great deal more certainty over Cole's future than that of his team-mate - and that is normal given that Terry is actually playing at the moment, while Cole languishes on the bench. Whether Cole would return to Arsenal, having engineered a move away from north London 2006 remains to be seen, not least because of the potential reaction of the fans. But, as the article states: don’t rule anything out in this game.
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PSG target Lloris: The Daily Express reports that Paris Saint-Germain are planning to make a summer move for Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris. Salvatore Sirigu is doing a "fine job" at the moment for the French champions, but PSG have become convinced they need a top quality keeper to take their project to the next level. That's where Lloris comes in, with the French keeper recently having opened the door to a move elsewhere by indicating how important Champions League football is to him. PSG believe they could persuade Spurs, who are sixth in the Premier League at the moment, to part with Lloris for as little as £16.5 million.
Paper Round's view: Champions League football, a massive pay hike and a return home - it's a no-brainer for a man in Lloris' position. That, of course, is assuming Spurs don't make the top four by the end of the season and it would take a very optimistic person to believe they will do. There could be something to this story, even if nothing has happened yet.
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City boosted by Fernando news: Manchester City have been boosted in their bid to recruit Fernando in the summer after the midfielder refused to sign a new deal at Porto. The Daily Mirror reports that the man they call The Octopus because of his leggy style of play has already told the Portuguese club he is leaving when his current deal expires at the end of the season. The paper adds that Fernando's representatives are hopeful of a pre-contract agreement with City, despite other interest from Manchester United and Liverpool.
Paper Round's view: It could well be that City put in the hard yards last month and that Fernando, along with his team-mate Eliaquim Mangala, will sign for next season. It certainly appears that Fernando's time with Porto is up and why wouldn't he want to sign for City, a club that is going places. Another deal that is likely to be sewn up at the end of the season.
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- Sports & Recreation
- Jose Mourinho
- Bayern Munich
- Julian Draxler
- Ashley Cole
- John Terry
- Paper Round