Chelsea could emerge as favourites to sign Gareth Bale, Southampton are targeting Thomas Partey, while Leicester want Vincent Aboubakar, according to Wednesday’s papers.
ZIDANE’S HAZARD ADMIRATION COULD NUDGE BALE TO CHELSEA
Gareth Bale is a target for Chelsea as well as Manchester United, and Zinedine Zidane’s interest in Eden Hazard could swing things the way of the Blues.
Tuesday’s Paper Talk told you how United were poised to step up their bid to land the Real Madrid superstar and have been heartened by his disappointment at the sacking of Rafa Benitez.
Chelsea, however, are set to rival their interest according to the Daily Mirror, with new Madrid boss Zidane keen on Eden Hazard.
Bale has scored seven times in his last six games. Zidane has described the Welshman, 26, as “fundamental” to the team.
He insists Bale will continue to be used as part of an attacking trio with Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema.
It remains to be seen, however, whether Zidane uses Bale out wide or in his preferred position through the middle, as Benitez did.
Zidane has also made no secret of his huge admiration for Hazard.
SAINTS EYE PARTEY AS POSSIBLE WANYWAMA REPLACEMENT
Ronald Koeman has Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey in his sights as a possible replacement for Victor Wanyama.
That’s according to the Daily Mirror, who claim the 22-year-old has also attracted interest from Watford who have already had a £6.5million for his services rejected by the Spanish club.
Southampton are desperate to prevent Wanyama becoming the latest player to quit the club for bigger things, with Spurs and Arsenal big admirers.
Wanyama has 18 months left on his current contract and has yet to agree terms on a new one.
t is understood the 24-year-old Kenyan is unwilling to accept the five-year deal on offer.
Southampton have been exploring alternatives and Koeman has an interest in Porto midfielder Gianelli Imbula.
But Partey, who scored the winner in his club’s game against Levante at the weekend, has emerged as another option.
LEICESTER LINE UP ABOUBAKAR
Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri wants to sign Porto striker Vincent Aboubakar, according to the Daily Mirror.
The Italian a big admirer of the 23-year-old frontman and wants him to take the pressure off Jamie Vardy going into the second half of the season.
Vardy has had a sensational, record-breaking season with 15 goals – including 11 on the spin – to help the Foxes to second in the table.
But the 28-year-old is set to miss Leicester’s FA Cup tie with Tottenham at next Sunday as he is having a minor groin operation.
Ranieri is keen to bring in some help for him up front and believes Cameroonian Aboubakar could be ideal.
Hull boss Steve Bruce came close to signing him in August 2014 before his move to Porto. He has scored nine times in 20 appearances this season for the side second in the Portuguese top division.
Among those goals were three in the Champions League, two against Dynamo Kiev and one against Maccabi Tel-Aviv.
Aboubakar also scored 17 goals for French club Lorient in Ligue 1 before his move to Portugal in August 2014.
AND THE REST
- Manchester United are ready to bid £75m for Gareth Bale this month following Rafa Benitez’s Real Madrid sacking (Daily Mail)
- Chelsea are ready to lock horns with Tottenham Hotspur to sign Zenit midfielder Axel Witsel. The Premier League champions held talks with the 26-year-old last summer (Daily Mail)
- Chelsea will offer Patrick Bamford a first-team chance despite his unsuccessful Crystal Palace loan spell (Daily Mail)
- Francesco Totti’s wife has hinted that the Roma forward is considering hanging up his boots after his latest injury setback. The 39-year-old has not played for three months due to a thigh injury (Daily Mail)
- Crystal Palace and Manchester United will fight it out for the services of Fulham starlet Moussa Dembele (Daily Mirror), who is also wanted by Roma (The Sun)
- Chelsea flop Radamel Falcao is being chased by MLS side Columbus Crew (Daily Mirror)
- West Ham’s and France’s “artist” Dimitri Payet has been backed for a Euro 2016 spot by France legend Frank Leboeuf (Daily Mirror)
- Emmanuel Adebayor is set to return to the Premier League as he considers offers from Watford and Crystal Palace (Daily Express)
- Current Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola, who announced on Tuesday he was leaving for new challenges in the Premier League, almost became the Wigan manager in 2005 (Daily Express)
- Manchester United have agreed to let Spanish goalkeeper Victor Valdes leave for nothing. The former Barcelona No 1 joined United last year on a free transfer but has fallen out with manager Louis van Gaal (Daily Star)
- Loic Remy has been told he will probably stay at Chelsea. Newcastle, Aston Villa and Crystal Palace have all been linked with moves to sign the French striker during January’s transfer window (The Sun)
- Crystal Palace have made a move for £10million Fiorentina striker Khouma Babacar (Daily Mirror)
- Aston Villa have started preparing for the Championship by ordering scouts to line up players with experience outside the top flight ready for next season (Daily Mirror)
- Wojciech Szczesny has been told he still has an Arsenal future and can return to the club when his loan with Roma expires (Daily Mirror)