Premier League - Paper Round: United's shock move for QPR star

Manchester United are to make a stunning surprise bid for QPR star Adel Taarabt, according to The Sun.

Premier League - Taarabt passes Fulham medical

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Adel Taarabt, Queens Park Rangers

The controversial attacking midfielder - who once stormed out of the stadium and caught the bus home after being subbed off at half-time by QPR - is seen as a potential replacement for Nani or Ashley Young, who have failed to impress Alex Ferguson of late in contrast to Taarabt.

"Ferguson knows Taarabt is still a work in progress but also recognises that, on his day, he is capable of running a game against the best sides the Premier League has to offer," the paper's source claims.

Speaking of QPR, new boss Harry Redknapp is featured on the back page of the Daily Mirror after apparently giving his new charges a roasting in his first training session. "Shame on you" is the headline, with the manager apparently branding the players "embarrassing" for how badly they have played in the opening few months of the season.

Yet even more embarrassing that the Loftus Road stars' performance is the players that QPR are being linked with: the latest name, from the Daily Mirror, is Nicolas Anelka.

It's beginning to feel like any player approaching pensionable age is being linked with Redknapp: David Beckham, Peter Crouch and Scott Parker have all been mentioned as well. At this rate, by the time January comes around Redknapp will be tipped to sign his former West Ham team-mate Geoff Hurst.

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Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha has become the most talked-about player outside the Premier League for many moons, with the weekend's papers claiming that a £15 million move to Manchester United is a possibility in January.

But Tuesday's Sun reports that United have competition on their hands in the form of Manchester City and Arsenal.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is said to believe that his side are favourites, since Zaha was an Arsenal fan as a youth, with the North London club hoping a bid of £10m plus generous success-based add-ons will do the trick. He may also agree to loan Zaha back to Palace for the remainder of the season in order to clinch the deal.

Also set to spark a January bidding war is Shakhtar Donetsk's Brazilian playmaker Willian, with the Daily Mirror reporting that Manchester City are the latest English side - along with Chelsea and Tottenham - to be linked with a bid.

The Daily Star claims that City are more interested in securing a £25m deal for Roma's Daniele de Rossi, however, with the 29-year-old apparently having already held talks with Roberto Mancini about joining the English champions in January.

The Daily Mail reports that Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson has lost all hope of signing Ashley Cole from Chelsea, and will now concentrate on a £15m bid for Everton's Leighton Baines in January.

The Mirror reports links to another defender for United: Torino's Angelo Ogbonna, who will apparently cost £16m.

And finally, the Daily Mail reports that Chelsea held a "secret ref summit" with referees to try and diffuse the tension over their allegations against Mark Clattenburg, which came to nothing as the FA ruled there was no case to answer.

Clearly it's not really that secret if it's made the back page of a national newspaper, but Blues chairman Bruce Buck is said to have gone to the National Football Centre at St George's Park to try and smooth things over with Clattenburg and 15 of his colleagues who all officiate at the highest levels of English football.

Apparently, "yesterday’s meeting went well enough for the discussions to include how Clattenburg could again referee a Chelsea game."

Let's hope that this starts a new era of hatchet-burying in the game; perhaps Alex Ferguson could join in by inviting Rafa Benitez to share a bottle of rioja when Chelsea next face United.

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