What the papers say
Alexis Sanchez’s highly anticipated move to Manchester United either lies in the hands of Henrikh Mkhitaryan or the Arsenal money men, according to reports. Expectations that the wantaway Arsenal forward was on the verge of moving to Old Trafford as part of a cash-plus-player swap appeared to have been somewhat set back, after agent Mino Raiola publicly warned that Mkhitaryan will only leave United on the player’s terms. However, The Sun says United are prepared to offer Arsenal £35million and Sanchez £350,000-a-week, should the swap fall through. The Times says Ed Woodward, United’s executive vice-chairman, is hopeful of signing Sanchez and the Chile international is Jose Mourinho’s top target. According to the Daily Mail Mkhitaryan accepts he has no future at his present club and wants an increase on his £140,000-a-week contract. With more than one option open to United, the chances of a rumoured bid by Chelsea coming to fruition are looking slender.
Meanwhile lead candidate to replace Sanchez, Borussia Dortmund forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, has agreed personal terms with Gunners chiefs – leaving it to their Bundesliga club counterparts to finalise a deal, the Daily Mirror reports. The Gabonese international is reportedly intent on the deal going through after he was dropped from Dortmund’s Wolfsburg clash for missing a team meeting, his third internal suspension in 12 months.
David Moyes may have publicly denied that he is aware of a Chelsea bid for Andy Carroll, however West Ham bosses are willing to listen to offers of £20 million, according to Sky Sports. The striker was absent from the squad for the Hammers’ 1-0 FA Cup replay win over League One side Shrewsbury on Tuesday, however the manager insisted this was down to an ankle injury. Speculation that the 29-year-old could go to Stamford Bridge on loan came as Antonio Conte was said to be looking to enhance their attacking capability. The Daily Telegraph says Chelsea have contacted West Ham about signing him permanently during the January window.
Theo Walcott will complete his £20million move to Everton on Wednesday after spending Tuesday afternoon at the Toffees’ training ground Finch Farm for a medical and finalising terms, the Liverpool Echo reports. After nearly 12 years with the Gunners the 28-year-old England forward is expected to be in the Blues’ squad for their West Brom clash at Goodison Park on Saturday.
Jose Mourinho is close to signing a new five-year contract with United, according to The Sun. The new deal is two years longer than his initial agreement with United, which saw him signed up for three years in May 2016. The Portuguese 54-year-old is reportedly on £250,000-a-week, said to be the same as Manchester City rival Pep Guardiola, making them the Premier League’s highest-paid managers. United’s top brass will likely be happy with their investment, as Mourinho has reinvigorated the side who lost their spirit under previous boss Louis Van Gaal, the newspaper says.
Social media round-up
Players to watch
James Madison: Tottenham have the 21-year-old Norwich midfielder in their sights, along with Liverpool and Manchester City, according to the Evening Standard.
Sebastian Leto: The Argentinian 31-year-old former Liverpool winger, currently playing in the UAE Arabian Gulf League with Emirates Club, could return to English football after opening talks with Fulham, the Daily Mail says.
Andre Silva: Swansea are favourites to sign AC Milan’s £35million striker, Wales Online reports.
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