An Arsenal defender is heading for the exit while Chelsea have lodged the first official bid for one of Serie A’s most exciting talents – according to Wednesday’s papers.
BIG SAM EYES FIRST PALACE SIGNING
Sam Allardyce has identified Arsenal’s Kieran Gibbs as one of his main transfer targets in January, according to The Sun.
The Gunners left-back, who has 18 months left on his current contract and has yet to open talks over a new deal, has been overtaken by Nacho Monreal as Arsenal’s first-choice option and ‘Big Sam’ is reportedly ready to pounce when the transfer window re-opens.
The report claims that Gibbs was on Allardyce’s radar even when he was Sunderland manager and has long been an admirer of the 27-year-old talents.
Allardyce is said to have been given £20million to spend in January to help keep the Eagles away from the relegation zone come the end of the season.
BLUES STEP UP THE CHASE
Table-topping Chelsea have launched a £21.3million bid for promising Atalanta midfielder Franck Kessie, according to an array of British tabloids.
The Ivory Coast international, who has been dubbed ‘the next Yaya Toure’, and his six goals in 16 Serie A appearances this season have helped Atalanta reach the lofty heights of sixth place in the standings.
The initial report, which emanated from France Football, stated that Antonio Conte is hoping to try and beat his former club Juventus with an early bid that will surely test Atalanta’s resolve in January.
Kessie is now set to miss a large portion of domestic football with the African Cup of Nations now firmly on the horizon, but Chelsea appear to be very eager to secure his services for the long term.
AND THE REST
Manchester United are ready to launch a £35m bid for Benfica defender Nelson Semedo (Daily Mirror)
Manchester United and Arsenal are among the Premier League clubs keeping a close eye on Bayer Leverkusen’s Julian Brandt (Daily Mail)
Swansea make 46-year-old Wales manager Chris Coleman their top target to replace Bob Bradley (Daily Star)
Meanwhile, Sunderland boss David Moyes will resist Allardyce’s efforts to lure 34-year-old striker Jermain Defoe to Palace (ESPN)
Manchester City’s Joe Hart, 29, and Atletico Madrid’s Jan Oblak, 23, are on Chelsea’s list of potential replacements if current goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois leaves for Real Madrid in the summer (AS)
Manchester United defensive target Victor Lindelof, 22, is set to sign a new contract with Benfica that will increase his buy-out clause to more than £50m (Daily Mail)
Toulouse reject a £8.5m bid from West Ham for their 25-year-old striker Martin Braithwaite (RMC Sport in French)
Newcastle are interested in signing 24-year-old Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson (The Sun)
Meanwhile, the Magpies might be scuppered in their hopes to sign Ruben Loftus-Cheek, 20, with Chelsea keen to loan the midfielder to a fellow Premier League club (Newcastle Chronicle)
Cardiff striker Marouane Chamakh, 32, has opened talks with Qatar-based club Al-Arabi (Mirror)
German club RB Leipzig, second in the Bundesliga, are interested in 18-year-old Leeds United midfielder Ronaldo Vieira (Yorkshire Evening Post)
The Chinese Super League are hoping to lure Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg (Mirror)