Liga - Paper Round: Chelsea to offload Torres in Falcao swap

The Mail on Sunday says Chelsea’s struggling striker Fernando Torres could be back on his way to his boyhood club Atletico Madrid.

Premier League - Torres key to Mourinho plans

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Fernando Torres, Chelsea (PA Sport)

The Spaniard, signed for £50m, would become surplus to requirements should their move for Atletico’s Colombian striker Radamel Falcao come off.

And with the Liga side unwilling to say conclusively that Falcao will stay at the club beyond the summer, and receptive to Torres’ return, the paper has linked it into one rather neat player-plus-cash deal.

Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone apparently told Spanish radio station Onda Cero: “Fernando knows the history of Atletico Madrid, he knows what it means to play for this club. I don't need to speak about his ability as we were team-mates. I know how important he can be.'”

As for Falcao’s presence in Madrid next season, Simeone added: “It's complicated. I wouldn't like to say yes or no. He's a player who always performs and we have to respect his choice.”

Mind you, that’s only if you read the Mail. The Sunday Mirror says that Falcao is not interested in a move to Stamford Bridge – which, they reckon paves the way for Manchester City to pay the £50m necessary to sign him.

With the papers unable to make their minds up, however, Paper Round suggests the smart money is on them both being wrong and the striker pitching up at a new club on the continent, be it one of the big two in Spain or Paris Saint-Germain…

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The Mirror reports that Chelsea are also keen on £7m-rated Southampton defender Nathaniel Clyne, who has impressed in his first season at Premier League level.

Arsenal, meanwhile, are still on the hunt for a new goalkeeper, the Mail reports, and in addition to the much-quoted names of Pepe Reina and Victor Valdes, the Germany number two Remi Adler, currently at Hamburg, is mentioned.

Of course, the Mirror has a different view again – with Chelsea and the Gunners to go head-to-head for Asmir Begovic, with a fee of £15m mooted.

A final piece of Chelsea gossip – this time from The Sun: Jose Mourinho has, they claim, ‘dropped a huge hint’ about a return to Stamford Bridge. See if, in the Portuguese’s quotes, you can spot where he mentions Chelsea:

“Everyone knows I have an adventurous spirit.

“It’s not easy for my family. We’ll see what happens. After England, Portugal, Italy and Spain, it’s not easy to find a new destination.

“It could be a destination where I have coached before. There are things that may be about to happen no one could imagine.”

The Daily Star Sunday’s best transfer titbit concerns Manchester United, who have apparently made Eliaquim Mangala of Porto their top target as a long-term replacement for Rio Ferdinand.

Mangala, 22, has turned out for the France Under-21s, the paper points out, and despite the £20m price tag is being watched by several clubs across the continent.

United’s advantage may come by offering Porto Anderson in the deal, with the Brazilian keen for first team football ahead of the 2014 World Cup.

And finally, the Sunday People reports that Joleon Lescott could return to Everton in the summer for £20m less than Manchester City originally paid for him. The defender will be allowed to leave the club, and at a cut-price £4m fee.

Everton would be keen, but they would face competition from the likes of Newcastle United and Aston Villa.

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