Manchester United are preparing a shock January swoop on Chelsea, while Inter Milan are also plotting a raid on Stamford Bridge with a club record swoop for Diego Costa, according to Tuesday’s newspapers.
MAN UNITED LINKED WITH SHOCK MIKEL SWOOP
Manchester United are ready to turn to out-of-favour Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel, according to reports on Tuesday.
The Sun claims United boss Jose Mourinho is keen to be reunited with the Nigerian midfielder, who is yet to play under Antonio Conte at Stamford Bridge.
The midfielder, who almost joined United before switching to Chelsea 10 years ago, is out of contract at the end of the season and will be allowed to leave the Blues for a cut-price fee in January.
Mikel had just turned 19 when the Old Trafford outfit announced on their website that they had signed the teenager on a four-year contract from Norwegian club Lyn Oslo.
The £4million transfer was done directly with the player and his club – bypassing his agents and he was even pictured in a United shirt.
But Chelsea angrily claimed they had an agreement with the agents to buy him.
Things turned nasty when it was reported Obi started to get threatening phone calls and ended up having to take refuge in a safe hotel with a security guard.
He then went missing from Lyn amid stories he had been kidnapped.
The Nigerian midfielder had actually travelled to London where he went on Sky Sports TV to claim that he had been pressured into signing for United, something they denied, and he wanted to join the Blues.
The matter was resolved when Chelsea paid United £12m and Lyn £4m.
But all seems forgiven now as United attempt to sign the player 10 years on.
Mourinho reportedly believes Mikel can play alongside Paul Pogba and give the £89.3m man the freedom to roam.
INTER PLOT AUDACIOUS DIEGO COSTA SWOOP
Inter Milan are ready to stun the footballing world with an audacious €50m (£42.7m) bid for Diego Costa in January.
Spanish publication Don Balon claims Inter’s new owners have set their sights on signing one of the world’s top strikers and believe Spain star Costa is the man they want.
Costa has started the season in superb form under Antonio Conte, having been involved in 14 goals (10 goals, four assists) this season – more than any other player in the top flight.
The report suggests Inter believe they can persuade Costa to sign for them by also convincing Diego Simeone to return to the club as coach; the duo, of course, working together while at Atletico Madrid.
Inter have recently sacked Frank De Boer and replaced him by Stefano Pioli. The club are currently 12th in the Serie A standings – but it’s reported the new man in charge will only be a stop-gap measure.
However, while persuading Simeone to Inter Milan might be achievable, given the Argentinian had two years there as a player in the late 90s, attracting Costa is another matter. Chelsea will no doubt be reluctant to sell a player who has become vitally important to Conte’s system at Stamford Bridge.
Any move for Costa would break their transfer record, set in the 1999/2000 season when they signed Christian Vieri from Lazio for £38.25m.
AND THE REST
Lionel Messi’s continued reluctance to sign a new deal at Barcelona has alerted French giants PSG – whose director of football has contacted the Argentina star’s father Jorge (The Sun)
West Ham are locked in talks with Simone Zaza’s advisers – hoping to remove the hefty appearance clause in his contract (The Sun)
Manchester United fan Usain Bolt, in London for the premiere of his new film, has taken a pop at Jose Mourinho by saying: “Stick to one team! He’s always changing everything” (The Sun)
Crystal Palace are weighing up a January swoop for Senegal international midfielder Papa Alioune Ndiaye (The Sun)
Roma are chasing Manchester United’s outcast winger Memphis Depay for a possible January transfer window move (The Sun)
Struggling Hull City are ready to boost their survival chances with a move for Portuguese winger Renato Santos (The Sun)
Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness has told Bastian Schweinsteiger to make Manchester United “pay until his last day” (The Sun)
Everton could move for Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk, despite his £40m price tag on the 25-year-old defender (Daily Mirror)
Manchester United have warned fans travelling to next week’s decisive Europa League tie in Ukraine they are at risk of attack (Daily Mirror
England are set to land Chelsea coach Steve Holland as Gareth Southgate’s No 2 (The Times)
John Terry has admitted he could find himself playing somewhere other than Chelsea next year (Daily Star)
Manchester United star Juan Mata is reportedly set to be rewarded with a new deal (Daily Star)
Arsenal star Theo Walcott reckons Olivier Giroud is becoming increasingly frustrated (Daily Star)
West Ham have been hit by another major injury blow with striker Diafra Sakho possibly out for three weeks with a hamstring problem (Daily Express)
Harry Redknapp has revealed how he nearly signed Luis Suarez and Eden Hazard at Tottenham and believes that they would have transformed his side into title contenders (Daily Mail)
Liverpool are ready to step up their pursuit of Borussia Dortmund prodigy Christian Pulisic in the wake of injury to Philippe Coutinho, expected to be out for up to six weeks with ankle ligament damage (Daily Mail)
Senior Manchester United officials are becoming frustrated with Jose Mourinho’s antics as the boss is hit with a third FA charge in a month (Daily Mail)
Alan Pardew has two games to save his job at Crystal Palace. After six consecutive Premier League defeats he is under pressure, but American major shareholders David Blitzer and Josh Harris are undecided (The Independent)
Ex-West Bromwich Albion boss Tony Mowbray is favourite to take the Rotherham United job following the departure of Kenny Jackett (Birmingham Mail)
Newcastle midfielder Mo Diame, 29, says he has no regrets about leaving Hull City to play in the Championship with the St James’ Park side (Newcastle Chronicle)
Vincent Kompany’s brother says the 30-year-old Manchester City captain is not suffering a recurrence of his muscular injury (Manchester Evening News)