Paper Round: Chelsea's £30m Real target
Chelsea are lining up a £30 million January bid for Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain, according to Thursday's papers.
The Daily Star reports that the Blues are desperate to bring in top quality reinforcements up front, and the 24-year-old Higuain - who is struggling to displace Karim Benzema at Real - is seen as just the man they need. The situation is getting tight since Nicolas Anelka confirmed that he will be heading to China in the New Year, while Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou will be missing for a month on African Nations Cup duty.
The club have also rubbished reports that they will sell Fernando Torres in January, though some reports still claim that he could head out on loan - despite the fact that such a move seems unthinkable for a club about to be deprived of three strikers.
The back page of The Sun leads with a claim that "dramatic new video evidence" about the John Terry-Anton Ferdinand clash has been sent to the Crown Prosecution Service. The paper does not say whether the previously unseen footage corroborates Terry's protestations of innocence over the allegations of racial abuse, though it does say that the CPS will make its decision on whether to prosecute by the weekend.
Carlos Tevez was linked with a move to Tottenham in yesterday's papers, but both Harry Redknapp and Tevez himself have poured cold water over those rumours.
The Metro quotes Redknapp saying that a move for the Argentine was not a possibility, while The Guardian quotes the player saying that "I'm not coming back to England," and adding that Juventus are readying a £21 million bid.
The Turin giants are apparently determined to sign the forward, with the Mirror reporting that talks have already begun. The Guardian adds that Juve will apparently trump any offer made by AC Milan or Paris St Germain, right up to the £25m that City are demanding.
Manchester United youngster Paul Pogba is to hold talks with Internazionale, according to the Daily Mirror, who report that the French 18-year-old wants to quit Old Trafford when his current deal runs out next year.
German side Wolfsburg are set to make a £5m move to sign Arsenal veteran Tomas Rosicky, the Mirror reports. The 31-year-old has been with the Gunners for five years but has yet to register 100 starts, and Felix Magath has confirmed that the Bundesliga side want to sign the former Dortmund star.
Rosicky might be going to Germany from the Emirates, but the Daily Express reports that Cologne striker Lukas Podolski could be heading in the other direction. The 26-year-old forward has hinted that he would like to join Arsene Wenger's side, the paper claims, with a fee of £16m suggested.
The Times reports that new Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill has looked into the possibility of recalling Asamoah Gyan from Al Ain, but discovered that it won't happen unless the UAE club agree to terminate the year-long loan early. That seems unlikely since the Ghanaian striker has notched seven goals in seven matches, and so O'Neill will now look to bring in a forward from elsewhere in January.
West Brom boss Roy Hodgson is to step up his efforts to sign Nedum Onuoha from Manchester City, according to the Mirror. Hodgson will make a £4m bid in January to plug the gap left by Jonas Olsson, who has openly threatened to leave at the end of his contract in the summer.
Tottenham are looking into a bid for Nigeria midfielder Raheem Lawal, The Sun reports. The 21-year-old is currently at Spanish third tier side Atletico Baleares.
The Sun also reports news that Napoli are to bid for QPR duo Adel Taarabt and Alejandro Faurlin, while also claiming that Everton are considering a £500,000 bid for Beira Mar's French centre-back Yohan Tavares
And finally, the Daily Mail reports that Liverpool benchwarmer Andy Carroll is set to pick up a £150,000 bonus despite making just 13 starts for the Reds since moving to Anfield almost a year ago. Nice work if you can get it.