'United could make shock move for Bale' - Manchester United are reportedly keeping a close eye on how Gareth Bale, 24, adapts to life at Real Madrid with view to a shock move for the Welshman next year. Bale has endured a difficult start to his Real career suffering a series of niggling injuries and coming under increasing scrutiny by the Spanish press for his under-par performances. United were left powerless to compete with the £85 million world record fee tabled by Spanish giants Madrid, but could be about to make their move.
Paper Round's view: Utter tosh. This has got to be the most ridiculous rumour of the year. Bale may have not enjoyed the most auspicious of starts to his Real Madrid career but he is a huge part of the club's plans on the football field and off it in terms of marketing campaigns and sponsorships. There is no chance of him returning to the UK in the next year and he will surely begin to settle once he has regained his form and fitness.
This kind of story was, of course, inevitable after a slow start, but does anyone seriously think that Real would splash out £85m to simply allow him to drift back to the Premier League after a fairly average start? He may have been savaged for his performance in the Clasico on Saturday by many Spanish papers, but he can still thrive at the Bernabeu with a little patience.
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'Arsenal and Liverpool to compete for new striker' - Arsenal, Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund are all reportedly in competition for Olympiakos's Greek striker Kostas Mitroglou, who has scored 14 goals in 14 games. Mitroglou would cost either club at least £7m but the striker's prolific goal-getting looks set to spark a bidding war. He's already hit three hat-tricks this season and has helped his country to a World Cup play-off with Romania. Dortmund could well poach the striker from both Premier League clubs, however.
Paper Round's view: With Dortmund having conceded that Polish ace Robert Lewandowski is on his way out and are on the lookout for replacements, this would be a logical move for the German club. Arsenal, in particular, could do with bolstering their forward line come January, but Arsene Wenger would be loathe to make another signing that may resemble Marouane Chamakh regardless of his need for another striker.
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'Chelsea to offer £35m for United's Rooney' - Chelsea will reportedly test Manchester United’s desire to keep hold of in-form Wayne Rooney with a new £35m bid in January. The Blues had two offers for the England striker rejected in the summer and manager Jose Mourinho appeared to resign himself to the fact that Rooney will remain at Old Trafford for the long-term. Chelsea are now willing to test the water one last time with a bid in the new year.
Paper Round's view: Rooney has been United's most consistent attacking force so far under David Moyes and the last thing the under-pressure Scot needs would be to lose him come January. However, as much as United would not want to sell, Chelsea offering £300,000-a-week to Rooney could see the situation taken out of their hands before too long if Mourinho continues with his very public pursuit.
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'Arsenal, Chelsea and Spurs target Belgian duo' - Top London clubs Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham have all reportedly started keeping tabs on Belgian duo Dennis Praet and Youri Tielemans. It's thought the three Premier League rivals all sent representatives to scout the pair during Anderlecht's Champions League fixture against Paris St-Germain this week. Praet plays in an attacking midfield role, while the 16-year-old Tielemans also plies his trade through the middle of the park. The three London outfits weren't the only interested parties at the game however, with Inter, AC Milan and Juventus all understood to have sent scouts too.
Paper Round's view: What is it with young Belgian talent? Of course, this must be true. Praet could be a target for many clubs in the January transfer window but surely strong bids would be more likely to wait until the summer with there being no obvious rush to bring him in at this early stage. A summer scrap for the duo sounds much more likely, but Belgian players are all the rage at the moment.
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- Manchester United
- Gareth Bale
- Real Madrid
- Premier League