Premier League - Paper Round: Madrid to beat Mourinho to Cavani

Jose Mourinho’s feet have only just got under the table at Chelsea but the man who called himself the ‘Happy One’ in his press conference yesterday is already working hard on his recruitment plans, according to reports in the morning’s papers.

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Edinson Cavani (Reuters)

However, he has little reason to be so happy, according to the Daily Mail, with the club he has just left, Real Madrid, working hard to scupper one of his big potential signings at the start of his second reign at Stamford Bridge.

According to the Mail, Madrid are “stepping up their interest” in Napoli striker Edinson Cavani, who has already been the subject of two bids from Chelsea as they look to recruit one of world football’s most deadly strikers.

And even worse for Mourinho, Cavani would rather move to the Bernabeu than try to succeed where Fernando Torres and Demba Ba have failed and provide a regular supply of goals for Chelsea.

“The Spanish club held talks on Monday with the Napoli striker's representatives in Madrid and are known to be the player's preferred option if they can meet the £53 million buy-out clause,” the paper reports.

“Chelsea have made two offers. The first was rejected and the latest is understood to be goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois plus £40m.”

Still there is some cause for optimism, if the Daily Mirror is to be believed, as one of his first recruits could be Netherlands playmaker Wesley Sneijder, who helped Mourinho win the treble with Inter and is devoted to the Portuguese coach.

While he is currently contracted to Turkish club Galatasaray, Sneijder has been made available for just £12.75 million. After being linked with Manchester United for years, and Tottenham briefly, perhaps the former Ajax and Real Madrid star will finally be making a move to England.

As the Mirror reports: “Galatasaray president Unal Aysal has told the west Londoners that the 29-year-old can go if the price is right. He said: ‘I have been following the rumours about Sneijder, but we have not received an offer for him. If an offer in the region of 15m euros comes in, we might decide to sell him though.’”

With Spain impressing at the European Under-21 Championship it’s no surprise to see some of their players pop up in the gossip columns and on Tuesday captain Thiago Alcantara finds himself linked with Manchester United.

The prodigious playmaker is believed to be available at Barcelona due to his frustration at failing to secure regular first-team football in arguably the most talented midfield in world football.

Sir Alex Ferguson was notoriously reluctant to expand his retinue of midfielders but according to the Daily Mirror David Moyes has no such hesitation and has made an approach for a player he first identified during his time at Everton.

Manchester City are also interested in the 22-year-old but Moyes has set wheels in motion behind the scenes.

The paper reports: “Moyes has put chief scout Jim Lawlor on the case to set up a deal for Spain Under-21 skipper Alcantara, who is currently on duty at the age-group European Championship in Israel.

“Midfielder Alcantara is available as Barca are willing to cash in for big money, and he is growing fed up at a lack of regular game-time.

“The Mirror understands that Premier League champions United have made contact with the Alcantara camp, with his father - Brazil hero Mazinho - open to the transfer.

“United’s new manager has made progress behind the scenes and hopes to put an offer to both club and player shortly.”

Meanwhile, the Daily Mail reports that United have been given encouragement in their attempts to sign Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski and Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas as both players have indicated a willingness to move to Old Trafford.

And finally, with Stephane Sessegnon’s future in doubt at Sunderland, the club’s new player recruitment team have identified Siena midfielder Alessandro Rosina as a possible replacement.

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