Premier League - Paper Round: Rooney's future at United still in doubt

Wayne Rooney's future as a Manchester United player is still not secure; Arsenal are interested in Mario Mandzukic; but not Dimitar Berbatov - here are the main stories making headlines in today's newspapers.

Doubts remain over Rooney's future: There is no guarantee Wayne Rooney will sign a new contract with Manchester United if the club fail to reach next season's Champions League, according to David Moyes. The Daily Mail, The Sun and The Guardian all feature the story prominently on their sport pages today after Moyes admitted in his Friday press conference that the club "would have to wait and see what happened in that situation". United's latest defeat, to Spurs last weekend, saw them slip to seventh in the table, raising real fears that the England striker could leave if United fail to secure a top-four finish.

Paper Round's view: Rooney's form this season suggests that he is happy with life at United, but that could all change if his team continue to underwhelm. Indeed, if United fail to reach next season's Champions League Rooney, unlike last summer, would have a genuine excuse to leave Old Trafford. That could see him refuse a new deal, if one were offered, and seek pastures new. Good news for Chelsea.

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Mandzukic on Arsenal radar: Arsenal are being linked with Bayern Munich striker Mario Mandzukic, according to the Daily Mail. The report claims that the Croatian is highly rated by scouting staff and with Robert Lewandowski set to arrive on a controversial free transfer at the Allianz Arena ahead of next season, Mandzukic’s future is under question. That said, the paper says any move for Mandzukic is unlikely to come this month.

Paper Round's view: Arsenal's injury crisis means they need extra bodies to arrive at the Emirates this month, although Arsene Wenger admitted that his current options are "quite restricted". And if they fail to bring in cover for Olivier Giroud and Nicklas Bendtner in January, Mandzukic could be a decent buy at the end of the season, depending on what price he is available at.

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Diego to Costa £145m: Wenger has claimed that another Arsenal target Diego Costa would likely cost a staggering £145 million, reports the Daily Mirror. As reported yesterday, the Atletico Madrid man is believed by many to have a buy-out clause of between £32m and £35m - but Wenger fears it is far higher than that.

Paper Round's view: That amount is a truly staggering fee, one that no club in the world could afford, let alone the frugally-minded Gunners. It's not clear where Wenger got that figure from though, and it's entirely possible the Arsenal boss is just playing down the rumours to put the club in a better position in which to eventually do a deal.

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Berbatov wants Arsenal move: Fulham striker Dimitar Berbatov has issued a none-too-subtle come-and-get-me-plea to Arsenal by posting a video on Facebook, reports the Daily Telegraph. The video is entitled 'Berbatov could fire Arsenal to the title' and suggests he can be the one to solve the Gunners' striker crisis. Wenger had already dismissed the speculation linking him with the Bulgarian, however, saying: “He is not a name we have considered at the moment.”

Paper Round's view: The advent of social media has given rise to novel ways of footballers getting their point across and this is be a prime example. Given Wenger's words though, Berbatov might not get his own way this time - although as a stop-gap solution for Arsenal, the 32-year-old would surely be worth a punt.

Read the full story (Telegraph).

Read the full story (Independent).

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