‘Liverpool and United scrap for Fulham striker’ - Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has reportedly joined the chase for Fulham’s emerging French striker Moussa Dembele. Rodgers sent a three-man team to watch the 17-year-old score twice for the Londoners’ U21 side last week. Dembele - snapped up from Paris Saint-Germain in the summer of 2012 - has been in sensational form for Fulham’s youth and reserve sides, and that has alerted top clubs such as Manchester United.
Paper Round’s view: Jol is understood to have turned down several loan offers for Dembele from Championship clubs as he wants to keep him close and possibly involve him in the Cottagers' struggling first team, but if Rodgers and David Moyes want to swoop for the forward then he will have very little choice as Dembele’s stock continues to rise. Jol should get him in his misfiring first-team squad as soon as possible and get some results from the starlet while he can.
‘Hart to leave City as replacement is found’ – Joe Hart is facing an exit from Manchester City as Manuel Pellegrini steps up his search for an experienced goalkeeper with his top target established. Hart was dropped for repeated blunders but an even more worrying scenario is developing for Hart in the long term, with City now eyeing Barcelona’s Victor Valdes.
Paper Round’s view: This story is not too unlikely with the Spanish keeper set to quit Barcelona next year. He is wanted by Monaco by all accounts but at the age of 31 he would represent the experienced and reliable keeper that Pellegrini is after. Romania’s Costel Pantillimon is to continue with Hart benched and if the England keeper doesn’t get a chance to stage a comeback his time at the club could be over at the end of the season.
‘Arsenal set to make shock bid for Ba’ – Arsenal are reportedly poised to make a shock £15 million bid for Chelsea striker Demba Ba in January. Wenger thought of moving for Ba, 28, last summer when he failed to sign the likes of Gonzalo Higuain, Luis Suarez and Karim Benzema. Senegal star Ba scored his first goal of the season for Chelsea against Schalke in the Champions League on Wednesday but is way down the Stamford Bridge pecking order and a move is getting closer.
Paper Round’s view: This story is utterly absurd given its timing. There is zero chance of Jose Mourinho agreeing to let Ba leave the club to join Chelsea’s title-chasing rivals in January and Wenger must be fully aware of this. There is no doubt that Ba would be a good signing for Arsenal who desperately require back up for Olivier Giroud, but this transfer is just not at all realistic given the two clubs’ pursuit of the title.
‘Toronto club target Eto’o and Defoe’ – Samuel Eto’o is reportedly a serious target for ambitious MLS side Toronto in a summer-transfer bonanza involving Jermain Defoe. The Canadian minnows are splashing out in a bid to end seven years of obscurity and see Chelsea striker Eto’o and Tottenham’s Defoe as the answer to all of their problems. Defoe and Eto'o will both be the subject of bids in the summer from the MLS club.
Paper Round’s view: This another frankly ridiculous rumour with Eto’o only just beginning to find his form under Mourinho at Chelsea. There is no chance of the striker leaving Stamford Bridge, even during the summer, as he settles in London under his former Inter boss. At the age of 32, Eto’o is still very much capable of competing at the highest level while Defoe is equally unlikely to want to leave the Premier League at this stage of his career.
- Sports & Recreation
- Manchester United
- Jermain Defoe
- Demba Ba