Premier League - Paper Round: Henry in at Arsenal as Real target Wenger

Thierry Henry is being groomed to replace Arsene Wenger as Arsenal manager as Real Madrid prepare to swoop for Wenger this summer, according to an extraordinary report in Friday's papers.

Premier League - Paper Round: Henry in at Arsenal as Real target Wenger

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The Daily Mirror claims that Real Madrid president Florentino Perez wants the Gunners boss to replace Jose Mourinho, who is widely expected to leave the Spanish champions in the summer after a miserable start to the current campaign.

And while Henry would probably not take over straight away, Arsenal shareholder Alisher Usmanov is determined to bring the French striker back to the club permanently as part of the coaching staff.

Despite Arsenal's failure to win a trophy since 1853 (or something like that) Wenger is still one of just three names on the shortlist for Real. The others are PSG's Carlo Ancelotti and Germany coach Joachim Loew.

Wenger has insisted he will not quit and has rebuffed advances from Spain in the past, but the paper claims Perez believes that "timing and circumstances may give them another chance".

Should Wenger end up holding the reins at the Bernabeu he could do so with the benefit of Gareth Bale at his disposal. Citing reports from Spain, the Metro claims that Real Madrid have earmarked 70 million euros to bring him to Spain next summer. The co-operation deal between Real and Tottenham that was signed back in the summer is said to be helping.

Chelsea are set to sign Arsenal and England winger Theo Walcott in January, according to The Sun.

The paper reports that the Blues are hot favourites to secure a £15 million deal for the 23-year-old, with Rafa Benitez apparently convinced that his lightning pace would make him a perfect foil for Fernando Torres.

It's a seemingly vast amount for a player whose contract expires in the summer, but with Liverpool and both Manchester clubs interested the Gunners - who are losing him due to a reluctance to offer him more than £80,000-a-week - will benefit from what effectively will become an auction.

The Daily Star's back page story is also about a Chelsea target, but it's not Walcott. Instead it's Atletico Madrid's Colombian striker Radamel Falcao, who will apparently be offered £10m-a-year in wages as Chelsea "are ready to break the bank" to get him to move to Stamford Bridge.

The £200,000-a-week deal - which would be in addition to a transfer fee of around £50m - would make Falcao the best-paid player at the club, £25,000-a-week ahead of Fernando Torres.

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Also possibly on his way to the Premier League from La Liga is Athletic Bilbao's Fernando Llorente, with The Times reporting that both Arsenal and Manchester City want to try to sign him in January.

Manchester United and Arsenal are leading the chase to sign PSV Eindhoven's £17m-rated midfielder Kevin Strootman, according to The Sun. The man labelled "the new Mark van Bommel" is said to be "certain" to leave in January, according to the paper's mole at PSV.

Genoa's Swedish defender Andreas Granqvist is set to be the subject of potential £5m bids from Liverpool and Tottenham, the Sun reports.

And finally, The Sun reveals that the best paid player in English football is... Michael Owen. The former Liverpool striker is effectively being paid more three times more than £220,000-a-week Yaya Toure, when pay is compared to minutes on the pitch. Owen has apparently clocked up £7,000 for every minute he has been on the pitch. That equates to £116 per second, or £Infinity per goal.

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