Arsenal want Chicharito as Chelsea eye Romelu Lukaku and Jackson Martinez
The winter window draws closer with each passing day, and the transfer rumour mill is starting to pick up steam. As always, Transfer Talk has the latest and greatest. See all the summer deals here.
TOP STORY: Arsenal want extra treats with Chicharito
Arsenal suffered a huge dent to their Premier League title hopes after falling 4-0 at Southampton, passing up the chance to grab top spot from Leicester with a very public display of cold feet. Arsene Wenger blamed the defeat on refereeing decisions, but he may want to forget those and instead treat himself to a few treats in January.
The Star reports Wenger wants Mexico striker Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez after the former Manchester United player's stunning Bundesliga form for Bayer Leverkusen, with "sources" suggesting the 27-year-old "would like another crack at the Premier League." The forward has been linked with the Gunners in the past but could have a decision to make if the talk continues.
What's more, the Star also suggests Wenger has made a "firm inquiry" over Riyad Mahrez to beat Spurs and Man United to the Leicester playmaker, but the move "is set to end in failure."
Another potential arrival is Basel defensive midfielder Mohamed Elneny, with the Mail reporting the 23-year-old Egypt international is set to complete a £7m switch to North London next month.
Though Chicharito and Elneny could give the Gunners a big lift in the race for the title, though one player on his way out could be Mathieu Debuchy. The France international has lost his starting role at right-back to Hector Bellerin, and the Star reports West Brom are keen on a January loan deal.
Chelsea want to lure back Lukaku
Jose Mourinho's departure from Chelsea cannot be attributed to only one root cause, but one of the key decisions behind Roman Abramovich's decision to sack the Portuguese coach -- who wants the England job after 2016, according to the Mirror -- will surely have been his decision to let two young Belgian talents depart the club too early.
Kevin De Bruyne is starring at Manchester City having earned a £55 million move from Wolfsburg in the summer, and Romelu Lukaku has attracted the interest of Paris Saint-Germain following fine form at Everton -- and Chelsea want the striker back, according to the Star.
The paper reports Didier Drogba has instructed interim manager Guus Hiddink to try and re-sign Lukaku as the "ideal replacement" for Diego Costa. The Star suggests, somewhat optimistically for Chelsea fans, that any potential fee would be £32m -- just £4m more than what Everton paid for him.
Meanwhile, the Mirror reports both Chelsea and Tottenham could seek the services of Jackson Martinez, who is "unsettled" at Atletico Madrid following a summer move from Porto. The 29-year-old Colombia striker has struggled in La Liga, and Diego Simeone "is willing to let him go out on loan for the rest of the season" -- good news for Spurs and the Blues, who are both after forwards.
Madrid back in for United star
Manchester United's woeful recent run will surely have a few key players questioning their roles at Old Trafford, especially if the club -- currently sixth in the table -- fail to reach Champions League football for next season.
David De Gea missed out on a move to Real Madrid in the summer, and though the goalkeeper signed a new long-term contract at United straight afterward, it appears Los Blancos are ready to return for the Spain international next year. The Star reports a Bernabeu spokesperson as saying: "Real Madrid will not attempt to sign David De Gea in the January window. But the club has proposed to sign him in the summer for next season."
Though De Gea's contract will surely contain more than enough bells and whistles regarding another approach from Madrid, it now seems some stars' futures could be dependent on that of Louis van Gaal, who suggested after Saturday's defeat at Stoke that he could quit the club rather than be sacked. Ed Woodward and the Glazers may have to take matters into their own hands if the Dutch coach's presence at Old Trafford raises the merest hint of a player exodus.
One potential departure from Madrid is Dani Carvajal, with Marca reporting the 23-year-old defender "is not short of admirers" with the "European big boys" on alert should he decide to move on from the Spanish capital in search of regular first-team football.
Vardy on City's radar
How do you catch your Premier League title rivals? Sign their best striker, of course. Manchester City took a step closer to chasing down Leicester City on Saturday as the Foxes fell at Liverpool while City crushed Sunderland 4-1, though Wilfried Bony did little to suggest he is an able deputy for Sergio Aguero despite a goal against the Black Cats.
With that in mind, Manuel Pellegrini is likely to be looking for a consistent forward to challenge the injury-prone Aguero for starts -- and Jamie Vardy is emerging as a main contender with The Sun reporting that City are considering a £30m January bid.
Hanging onto Vardy and Mahrez would constitute a successful transfer window for Leicester, though Vardy is an "ideal target" given his success in the English top flight and potential cost relative to ridiculous fees elsewhere.
Meanwhile, the Mirror reports City have moved a step closer to making Pep Guardiola their manager next season after director of football Txiki Begiristain "met with the Bayern Munich boss last week." While it could be a mere case of "two old mates getting together to celebrate Christmas," it's hard to imagine that City wasn't discussed.
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- Everton's promising season continued with a 1-0 win at Newcastle on Saturday, and the Mirror reports Roberto Martinez is keen on adding Scottish winger Matt Ritchie to his squad. The problem? Man United are one of the four clubs said to be interested in the 26-year-old.
- Leicester remain top despite defeat at Liverpool, and the Mirror reports Claudio Ranieri wants PSV Eindhoven's Santiago Arias to strengthen the right side of his defence.
- Aston Villa's survival hopes could be boosted with a January bid for Charlie Austin, with the Star reporting Remi Garde is keen on making a winter move for the striker by offering QPR cash now to avoid taking a hit on the 26-year-old in June when his contract runs out.
- Portland Timbers defender Liam Ridgewell is a loan target for Championship side Brighton, sources have told ESPN FC. The 31-year-old enjoyed a loan spell at Wigan last season during the MLS offseason and Ridgewell is thought to be keen on another temporary move back to England.
- Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce says he believes he must act in the January transfer window after Saturday's crushing defeat at Man City.