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Chelsea set to return for Gonzalo Higuain after failed January bid

ESPN FC's Steve Nicol assesses the latest transfer rumours, but will Messi and Ronaldo head to China?

The winter window might have shut, but the rumour mill rolls on. As always, Transfer Talk has its finger on the pulse when it comes to the latest rumours and gossip. See the latest deals here.

TOP STORY: Chelsea to return for Higuain

According to the Mirror, Chelsea have made Gonzalo Higuain a top summer transfer target after a secret bid was rejected for the striker in January. Higuain, 28, reportedly held reservations over a potential move after the Blues made it clear that Diego Costa was to remain as their first-choice striker for the rest of the campaign.

Gonzalo Higuain is scoring at a goal-a-game pace at Napoli, and Chelsea are reportedly interested in bringing the Argentine to London this summer.

That is unlikely to stop Chelsea from going back for Higuain in the summer, with Atletico Madrid reported to be keen on re-signing Costa, their former striker. Loic Remy could opt for a payday in China after struggling to hold down a place at Chelsea, while Alexandre Pato was signed on loan in January but is short of match fitness. All this has left the West London club desperate to bring in more attacking options ahead of next season, and the Argentine will be top of their list.

Higuain has been in red-hot form this season, scoring 24 goals in 24 Serie A appearances. With his contract expiring in 2018, Napoli may be willing to sell. They reportedly value him around £40 million, but it remains to be seen whether Chelsea would meet that price. If they do, they likely won't be alone.

Paper Round

Spurs to beat West Ham and Newcastle to Batshuayi

Tottenham are in "very advanced talks" to sign Michy Batshuayi from Marseille, reports French newspaper L'Equipe. After being linked to both West Ham and Newcastle throughout January, it seems the North London club will win the race for his signature in the summer after positive talks took place this week. The French club are thought to be demanding around £28m.

The 22-year-old has scored 15 goals in 33 games for Marseille this season, and in a climate where top strikers are at a premium, there is plenty of potential for Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino and his coaching staff to work with. The Belgian will provide excitement for the future, but also a different or rotational option should Harry Kane stay with the club ahead of next season.

Liverpool look to Lucas Perez

With £32.5m man Christian Benteke struggling for goals, Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport reports that Jurgen Klopp will go after La Liga star Lucas Perez this summer. After spending most of his career playing as a winger or attacking midfielder, Deportivo decided to use him as a central striker this season and it appears to have paid dividends.

The 27-year-old has 14 goals and four assists in 23 league appearances, in addition to equaling Bebeto's stunning 20-year record of scoring in seven consecutive league games for the club. The former Atletico Madrid youngster has also broken the record for La Liga goals scored by a Galician in a single season (12).

United plot biggest summer yet

After two disappointing campaigns, Manchester United CEO Ed Woodward says he is ready to sign some of the world's leading talent, according to the Telegraph, after it was announced that the club's revenues are expected to top £500m this year. Since Ferguson retired in 2013, signing off with a 13th Premier League title, United have twice shattered their own transfer record but it hasn't worked out for them as they continue on in a period of transition.

The FC crew discuss Manchester United's potential record-breaking profits, but recent failure to bring in top talent.

That included the British record £59.7m signing of Angel Di Maria from Real Madrid in 2014, an ill-fated deal that saw the Argentina star moved to Paris Saint-Germain after a solitary miserable season at Old Trafford. But after signs of stability promise to shine through the clouds of disappointment, the Red Devils are ready to spend their way back to the top again this summer.

Tap-Ins

-- Bayern Munich's Arjen Robben has said that Pep Guardiola hasn't approached him about joining the manager at Manchester City, and doesn't expect the Spaniard to enquire about any of his Bayern charges.

-- Arsenal star Mesut Ozil is in talks over a new contract that will keep him at the club until 2019, reports the Star, taking his wages up to £160,000 per week. The Sun claims that Alexis Sanchez has also held talks over renewing at the Emirates Stadium.

-- Italian broadcaster Sportitalia reports that Chinese Super League side Jiangsu Suning are working on a deal to sign Falcao, using the same representatives who brokered Ramires' switch from Chelsea to China. The Blues are willing to offload Falcao given his disappointing stint at Stamford Bridge, and Jiangsu Suning are hopeful of reaching an agreement with both them and Monaco.

-- Spanish outlet Sport claims that should Jose Mourinho take over for Louis van Gaal as Manchester United manager this summer, Real Madrid duo Gareth Bale and Luka Modric will be among his primary transfer targets to bring into the club.

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