‘United and Arsenal battle for Bayern star’ - Mario Mandzukic is being monitored by Manchester United and Arsenal after Bayern Munich confirmed that Robert Lewandowski will join the club at the end of the season, according to a report in the Daily Express. Mandzukic's situation is being monitored by David Moyes and Arsene Wenger, although any move will have to wait until the summer. The 27-year-old has also been linked with Juventus, but Moyes's previous interest in the striker while manager at Everton could be the decisive factor for United.
Paper Round’s view: There is no doubting Mandzukic’s quality: he has scored 12 goals in 21 games already for Bayern this season. But with Lewandowski set to arrive, the Croat would be likely to only receive limited appearances from the bench next season. Pep Guardiola is equally happy playing without a striker, so a move is likely. Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has previously said that he is not for sale, but that could be about to change come the summer. Arguably Arsenal would need him more than United, however.
‘Liverpool and Spurs vie for ex-Chelsea man’ - Salomon Kalou is eyeing a January return to the Premier League, according to the Daily Mirror, and two Premier League clubs are to battle it out. Former Chelsea forward Kalou, 28, is at Lille but has already had interest from Liverpool and Tottenham while Arsenal have been sounded out. Roma and Besiktas have also been linked with a move for the forward.
Paper Round’s view: Lille are understood to be likely to allow him to go for around £2.5 million, which is not exactly pricey, but why exactly would Spurs or Liverpool want him? Kalou hardly set the Premier League on fire at Chelsea and was a perennial source of frustration from Blues fans whenever he was given playing time. The Ivory Coast international is believed to want a return to England, but this sounds very much like a January panic buy.
‘Newcastle eye move for Dutch starlet’ - Newcastle are pondering a loan move for Borussia Monchengladbach's Luuk de Jong, according to The Sun. The 23-year-old, who has previously been targeted by the Magpies, is now a realistic prospect for Alan Pardew’s side. Newcastle tried to sign the Dutch striker in 2012 when he was at FC Twente, but now is the time for a return move, so say the paper.
Paper Round’s view: Loic Remy has been a revelation for Pardew’s side so far this season, who have been content to play with just one out-and-out striker. The club have grown frustrated with Papiss Cisse, who has not always been happy at Newcastle, so a move for a fresh, driven young striker could be the ideal option for Pardew. A loan with a view to a permanent deal takes any risk out of the situation.
‘Solskjaer to round up former United young stars’ - Cardiff manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has decided to make former Manchester United academy players Magnus Wolff Eikrem, 23, and Mats Moller Daehli, 18, his first signings, according to the Daily Mail. Midfielder Eikrem is due to arrive from Heerenveen for £2m with Daehli coming from his former club Molde. To ice the cake, he is also in pole position to land United winger Wilfried Zaha on loan.
Paper Round’s view: Zaha’s signing could potentially be the one that defines Cardiff’s second half of the campaign. Solskjaer is now the favourite to pip Crystal Palace and Newcastle in the race to land the United winger on loan until the end of the season, and his pace could be the key for the new Cardiff boss in injecting life into the final third of the field. He has been promised cash to freshen up the squad, but he may choose to do things on the cheap with tried and tested talent.