Premier League - Paper Round: No room for Mata at Chelsea

Jose Mourinho has hinted that Juan Mata is not in his plans at Chelsea; Tottenham have been given the green light to spend more in January; and Nicklas Bendtner is set to return to action for Arsenal - here are the main stories making headlines in this morning's newspapers.

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Premier League - Paper Round: No room for Mata at Chelsea
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Juan Mata, Chelsea

No room for Mata at Chelsea: Mata must adapt to what Chelsea want, says Mourinho. The "Special One's" comments have been jumped on by most papers, with the Daily Telegraph saying the Chelsea manager has given "the clearest indication yet that Mata has no more than a peripheral place in his plans". The paper claims that Mata has many admirers, including Andre Villas-Boas at Tottenham, who will have taken "eager note" of the Portuguese's comments

Paper Round's view: Mourinho hasn't come back to Chelsea just to please fans and his stance over Mata proves it. Mata may have been top dog in season's gone past, but under the new regime, it's clear that he will have to adapt his style of play if he wants to get a look in. It's now up to the player himself to do so, otherwise Spurs - or other interested parties - could be on the verge of a real coup.

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Spurs told to spend again: And to prove Tottenham are in a position to compete for Mata, Daniel Levy has told Andre Villas-Boas to open the chequebook once again in January, according to the Daily Mail. The report claims there are still "substantial funds" available to AVB once the transfer window re-opens in January, although the paper makes no mention of Mata and says he will look for a defender and a striker. Real Madrid’s Fabio Coentrao is the top of his list, while he has also asked his scouting network to identify forwards.

Paper Round's view: Perhaps this was written before Mourinho opened his mouth about Mata, because if he was available, surely Spurs would be in for him. Whether Chelsea would be willing to sell to a direct rival though remains to be seen.

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Bendtner set to return for Arsenal: Nicklas Bendtner has finally proved his fitness to Arsene Wenger and could return to action next week, according to the Daily Mail. The £52,000-a-week striker has not played for the Gunners since August 2011 but Wenger's failed attempts to bring in a forward over the summer - and Bendtner's refusal to sign for another club - has forced him to bring the Dane back in from the cold. He is in line to feature in the midweek Capital One clash against West Bromwich Albion.

Paper Round's view: Bendtner has been undergoing a gruelling boot camp-style fitness regime in a bid to impress Wenger and his efforts appear to have paid off. Although a long-term future with the club is still difficult to envisage.

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Baines wanted United move: The Independent reports that Everton coach Alan Stubbs has confirmed that Leighton Baines wanted to leave the club for Manchester United during the summer, but was refused a transfer. "Bainesy had obviously said he’d like to go," Stubbs said.

Paper Round's view: It was pretty common knowledge that Baines wanted to go to Old Trafford, but Everton were not willing to let him go. Still, it could be good news for United, should his desire to move to United remain in January, or next summer, when a more concerted plan to snag him could be put into action.

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Rooney dismisses United-City rivalry: Wayne Rooney's comments that the game against Liverpool is his club's real derby have been picked up by a number of papers today. Ahead of Sunday's Manchester derby, the Guardian is one of the outlets to relay the Manchester United striker's quotes that "United-Liverpool is still the biggest game".

Paper Round's view: It's not difficult to spark animosity before a Manchester derby, but Rooney's incendiary comments are sure to have lit the touch paper and provoke a reaction from City fans at the Etihad. He must be in confident mood to have come out with this pearler pre-match.

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