Chelsea star Eden Hazard wanted by Man United, City, Real Madrid, Barca
The transfer window might be closed, but the rumours keep ticking. As always, Transfer Talk has the latest and greatest. See all the summer deals here.
TOP STORY: Top clubs eye Hazard
From hero to zero -- that could describe either Jose Mourinho or Eden Hazard based on current events. Chelsea's manager is on the brink, having been sent to the stands as the Premier League champions lost 2-1 at West Ham on Saturday, while Hazard looks a shell of the player who drew comparisons with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo by winning last season's PFA Player of the Year award.
Paris Saint-Germain are ready to establish themselves as Europe's premier transfer force and test Chelsea's resolve with a £75 million January move for Hazard, according to reports from The Sun. The paper says PSG -- who wanted both Hazard and Ronaldo this summer -- want to "test the playmaker's relationship with Jose Mourinho" and "are willing to offer an improvement on the Belgian's £200,000-a-week wages and a return to France."
Meanwhile, the Star adds Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester United and Man City to the list of clubs on alert over Hazard, with the winger "disappointed and surprised" by how his relationship with Mourinho has changed.
The 24-year-old's potential availability could reportedly affect the futures of Ronaldo, Neymar and Messi, so watch this space.
Liverpool, Spurs chase Vardy
It was only a matter of time before Jamie Vardy's goal-scoring form started to attract the interest of the Premier League's bigger clubs, though in truth that's not an entirely fair portrait of Leicester City, considering Claudio Ranieri's side are just three points off the top spot.
Foxes star Vardy scored in his seventh successive league game Saturday to earn a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace, and sources have told ESPN FC that both Liverpool and Tottenham are considering a January move for the 28-year-old.
According to sources, "Vardy's energy and work ethic would fit right into Jurgen Klopp's style of pressing at Liverpool, while Tottenham chief Mauricio Pochettino sees Vardy as someone who would provide a perfect foil to Harry Kane with his selfless running and creativity."
The Mirror also reports that Spurs have stepped up their interest in £10m Belgium international Laurent Depoitre, with Pochettino sending scouts to watch the 27-year-old striker in Gent's 2-2 draw with Oostende on Saturday. Busy times lie ahead for Daniel Levy and Spurs, it seems.
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United, Chelsea chase new Matic
Being labelled "the next Nemanja Matic" might not be the best thing for young starlets, given the defensive midfielder's woes this season, but such comparisons haven't stopped Serbia midfielder Marko Grujic from being linked with Manchester United and Chelsea.
The Star reports that United have sent scouts to watch the 19-year-old Red Star Belgrade midfielder in recent weeks and had staff overseeing the tall midfielder's display in Wednesday's win against Vojvodina.
The paper says that Serbia's U20s World Cup winner is valued at £3 million plus add-ons, and that United are closing on the midfielder in the knowledge that Chelsea are ready to pounce. But the Guardian says that it's in fact Chelsea are the ones "confident of deflecting interest" from United.
Let the battle commence!
Gunners after Schalke starlet
It's a good time to be an Arsenal fan -- the Gunners capped a "perfect" week for Arsene Wenger by beating Everton 2-1 on Saturday to go top of the Premier League after the morale-boosting Champions League win over Bayern Munich.
Better still for Gunners fans, they might finally be treated to an outfield player with the Mirror reporting that Wenger sent scouts to watch Schalke starlet Leroy Sane in Europa League action this week.
The 19-year-old started on the bench for the Bundesliga side but came on to score with "the Gunners' representation [leaving] impressed." Sane has reportedly agreed to a five-year deal with the Bundesliga side, but such is the Premier Leagues financial dominance that most German players and clubs would find it hard to say no -- especially if Arsenal came calling.
Liverpool to ditch 'Welsh Xavi'?
It's fair to say that Brendan Rodgers' description of Joe Allen as the "Welsh Xavi" was always going to make things difficult for the midfielder at Liverpool, though Allen's chief cheerleader has now departed.
Jurgen Klopp is the man for the Kop now, and the Star reports that Stoke, Leicester and Southampton are all eyeing Allen after the 25-year-old was substituted at half-time of Liverpool's Europa League draw with Rubin Kazan on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the Star also reports that Klopp is set to meet agent Mino Raiola to discuss Mario Balotelli's future. The paper says that Liverpool cannot cut short the Italy striker's season-long loan deal with AC Milan, but "the charismatic, confident Klopp may feel he can be the manager to bring the best out of Balotelli."
Zabaleta on 'crazy' fees
Manchester City defender Pablo Zabaleta knows that Premier League clubs are paying "crazy money" for players these days but says the form of big summer signings Kevin De Bruyne and Manchester United's Antony Martial shows there is still value in spending big.
"Football is like that. If you want to bring in big players, you have to pay crazy money sometimes," the Mirror quotes Zabaleta as saying. "[De Bruyne] has made a great start to the season, and Kevin is probably one of the key players for us at the moment. It is the same with Martial. He is a quality player. I know United paid a lot of money for him, but at the moment, he is doing really well for them."
Louis van Gaal says both United and City can attract any player in the world, adding, "I think all the players that I want also want to come here. So it is not a question of the players not coming, it is a question sometimes of the clubs stopping them."
Is he wrong?