Paper Round: Barca make Bale No.1 target

Barcelona have made Tottenham star Gareth Bale their number one summer transfer target according to a report in the Daily Telegraph.


The Welshman has starred as a left-midfielder in recent season for Spurs, but Barcelona see him more as an attacking left-back who can replace Eric Abidal who underwent a liver transplant last week.

The paper claims that the European Champions have already sent their chief scout to watch Bale and that he has become their main priority this summer as they are now set to wait until after the 2014 World Cup to move for their principal attacking target – Santos star Neymar.

The Telegraph does note however that there are "a number of potential impediments to the transfer becoming a reality."

Matt Scott, who recently joined the paper after nine years at the Guardian, writes: "Bale’s prospects of signing for the European champions are tied up with the contract negotiations for (Pep) Guardiola, and the manager’s relationship with the board has become strained this season."

While he later adds: "there remains three years on Bale’s contract at Tottenham, making the 2011 Professional Footballers' Association Player of the Year a potentially expensive proposition."

Going out of Barcelona might be their defender on the other flank, Dani Alves, who the Telegraph says might be willing to move for a big payday elsewhere because he is facing a divorce that is set to cost him millions in alimony.

To Chelsea, and caretaker boss Roberto Di Matteo has emerged as a live contender for the job on a permanent basis but the club's veterans are still set to be shipped out according to a couple of papers.

The Daily Mirror's backpage runs with the headline You're In (pointing at Di Matteo) You're Out (pointing at Didier Drogba, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole) with the paper saying that whoever ends up managing Chelsea next season will be "under orders" to get rid of the old guard.

The Daily Express runs a similar story as they also mention Drogba and Lampard as players who are likely to go in the summer, while they also say that 29-year-old Raul Meireles will be allowed to go if the club can find a buyer.

Drogba is expected to go to China according both papers, while the Express mentions Paris Saint-Germain and LA Galaxy as potential destinations for Lampard.

The Mirror meanwhile says that Juventus are keen on both Salomon Kalou and Meireles.

Di Matteo's future seems less certain, despite saying on their back page that Di Matteo is "180 minutes from landing the Chelsea job" the Mirror then go on to say in their inside pages that he is still an outsider for the job.

The paper says that Barcelona boss Guardiola is still the "overwhelming choice" for the position while they also say that France boss Laurent Blanc and Real Madrid's Jose Mourinho are on the shortlist.

Quickly to some other transfer rumours, and Aston Villa will look for £12m for Gabriel Agbonlahor who is a reported target of Sunderland. (Daily Mirror)

QPR boss Mark Hughes hopes to tempt Fulham captain Danny Murphy to Loftus Road by offering him a coaching role. (Daily Mail)

Arsenal are planning a £7million move for Montpellier defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa. (Daily Mirror)

Leicester and Everton are both trying to sign French striker Jeremy Perbet who is currently the top scorer in the Belgian League with Mons. (Daily Star)

And finally, Wigan boss Roberto Martinez faces a fight to keep both Victor Moses and Mohamed Diame at the club. (The Sun)

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