Premier League - Paper Round: United to move for Walcott

After a miserable League Cup exit for Arsenal, it is hard to know how they will react to the news that another one of their players is being heavily linked with a Premier League rival.

The Daily Mirror, the Daily Star and the Daily Mail are all reporting that Manchester United will make a move for Theo Walcott either in January or when his contract expires next summer.

The Daily Mail says that Walcott's first choice if he did leave Arsenal would be a move to Old Trafford.

The paper reports: "Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea are all interested, but United's keenness, along with Walcott's desire to join the Premier League leaders, looks to have put United in the driving seat."

The Mail also reckons a potential swap deal could be in the mix, saying: "Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is exploring a January swoop for United misfit Nani, raising the chance of a swap deal with Walcott."

The Daily Mirror's take is pretty similar to the Mail's: they say that United and Liverpool are thinking of making bids for Walcott in January but that City and Chelsea would only get involved in a potential free transfer at the end of the season.

They also mention the Nani rumour but point out that the Portuguese star's £130,000-a-week wages could be a problem. The Daily Star also says that United would be looking for a fee of around £20m for Nani.

Arsenal have only offered Walcott £75,000-a-week when he is looking for £100,000, and if he is sold, £8 million is the potential transfer fee that is being quoted.

Arsene Wenger is not the only manager under pressure at the moment. Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini is also feeling the heat after City's Champions League exit was followed by a derby defeat to Manchester United.

Now the Daily Star is reporting that the Italian has just three games to save his job.

"The City hierarchy are already panicking about the size of the (six-point) gap. They fear their Premier League crown could be impossible to retain if it grows significantly bigger before the end of the month.

"City travel to Newcastle on Saturday then host Reading a week later before a Boxing Day trip to Sunderland.

"Those three fixtures look set to decide whether City’s Abu Dhabi owners bring the axe down on Mancini now or keep faith for a little longer."

According to the Daily Mirror, Liverpool will spend a combined £18m on Chelsea's Daniel Sturridge and Blackpool's Thomas Ince with talks at an 'advanced stage' on both deals.

As a result they are likely to let Joe Cole move on despite his desire to stay at Anfield. QPR and West Ham are believed to be interested.

Chelsea will step up their pursuit of Paulinho, the hard-tackling Brazil midfielder, after Oriol Romeu had surgery on damaged knee ligaments yesterday and was ruled out for the rest of the season, according to the Times.

The paper notes, however, that "the European champions face competition for his signature from a host of clubs, including Manchester City".

Newcastle are ready to replace wantaway Demba Ba with Ukraine striker Artem Milevskiy. The Dynamo Kiev striker was once valued at £14m but his contract is expiring so Newcastle could nab him for around £6 million. (The Sun)

Manchester City are monitoring developments with Paris St Germain defender Mamadou Sakho. The 22-year-old, who has been pushed out by the arrival of Thiago Silva and his partnership with Alex, is keen to gain more game time. (Daily Mail)

Finally, struggling Reading are lining up a shock transfer window swoop to bring flop Tottenham striker Roman Pavlyuchenko back to the Premier League. The Royals’ Russian owner, Anton Zingarevich, and director of football Nicky Hammond flew to Moscow on a scouting mission last weekend and were believed to be watching Pavlyuchenko. (Daily Mirror)