Paper Round: Arsenal to poach Tottenham's top target

Arsenal are set to sign Brazilian striker Leandro Damiao from under the noses of arch-rivals Tottenham, according to Tuesday's papers.

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Brazil Leandro Damiao

The Daily Star reports that the 23-year-old, who has been chased by Spurs for the last three transfer windows, are ready to cough up for the Internacional star in the January transfer window as further reinforcement to fill the Robin van Persie-shaped void in his squad.

Yesterday's papers reported that Ashley Cole is in the process of Chelsea engineering his exit, and there's more revolving door news for Blues fans today as the Daily Mirror and Daily Mail claim that Daniel Sturridge will also be leaving. The 23-year-old striker has grown increasingly frustrated at Stamford Bridge after being Araldited to the bench by manager Roberto di Matteo.

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers almost signed him in the summer and will be keen once again, as will his former coach at Chelsea, Andre Villas-Boas - but the Mirror claims that £12m-rated Sturridge himself prefers the idea of moving to Arsenal.

The Sun reports that Florent Malouda is a certainty to leave in January, the 32-year-old apparently in line for a move to Brazilian side Santos or Ligue 1's Lyon after being told to train with the U21 squad.

Apparently on his way out of Arsenal is Andre Santos, the Brazilian having openly stated that, "I have a lot of respect for Fenerbache, and I love Istanbul," words that the Mirror construes as a come-and-get-me plea to his former club from a player who has lost his place in Arsene Wenger's side.

Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal are all circling for Wilfried Zaha, the 19-year-old winger who has inspired Crystal Palace's run from the basement of the Championship to fourth place over the past six or seven weeks, according to The Guardian. The paper reports quotes from club co-chairman Steve Browett assuring supporters that the player "is not for sale", thus almost certainly ensuring that he'll be off in early January.

The Daily Mail also runs a story about Zaha, but it's not about his potential transfer: the Ivory Coast are trying to lure the player into their international squad, despite the fact that he's part of the England U21 set-up. Zaha was born in the African country.

The Star reports that Real Madrid are keen on signing Leicester goalkeeper Kaspar Schmeichel as both back-up to, and long-term replacement for, their talismanic goalkeeper Iker Casillas. Schmeichel, son of Manchester United legend Peter, was voted the Foxes player of the season last year.

The Mirror reports that cash-strapped Blackpool have offered to sell manager Ian Holloway to Blackburn Rovers for £500,000. We're not entirely sure if that's even possible, let alone what the League Managers' Association would say about managers being traded like *splutter* mere players.

In more lower league news, Wayne Rooney's brother John is to sign for Barnsley after leaving the MLS. The Daily Mail claims that the 21-year-old midfielder will be offered a deal until the end of the season after a solid trial spell.

And finally, Polish football legend Zbigniew Boniek has dismissed the threat posed by England striker Andy Carroll for Tuesday night's World Cup qualifier.

Boniek claimed that his eight-year-old grandson is better than Carroll, adding slightly bafflingly that he is also "very good at golf and tennis." That's as maybe, but we'd bet young master Boniek is nothing like as tall, has shorter hair, and would come off far worse than the Liverpool striker if he were to get involved in a drunken nightclub fracas.

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