Arsenal chase Cavani... as well as Dzeko, Adrian and Llorente
Uruguay forward scored all four goals in Napoli's 4-2 win over Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk last week
IS ARSENAL manager Arsene Wenger about top break the habit of a lifetime and offer big money in a desperate attempt to resurrect the club's fortunes? Yes – of you believe a report in the Daily Mail.
Apparently the Nutty Professor is lining up a £30m bid for Napoli striker Edinson Cavani in January. With Arsenal 11 points behind leaders Manchester United, the Mail claims Wenger is beginning to feel the pressure and has decided the 25-year-old Uruguay forward is a "top priority".
It's reported that chief Arsenal scout Steve Rowley has sung the praises of Cavani having watched him in action last Thursday. On that occasion the South American netted all four goals for Napoli as the Italian outfit beat Ukrainian club Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk 4-2 in the Europa League.
Whether Arsenal win the battle to sign Cavani remains to be seen; Manchester City have made no secret of the fact they covet his skills, and several of the top Spanish sides have also sent scouts.
The Mail is so convinced that Wenger is about to splash the cash that it has identified an alternative to Cavani and is also claiming the Gunners will try to sign Edin Dzeko from Manchester City in January.
It also names Adrian Lopez and Fernando Llorente as other possible targets, along with Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha and Swansea goalkeeper Michel Vorm.
Such is Arsenal's desperation for a new striker that almost anyone who scores a goal is being linked with the Gunners, and that could explain why Caughtoffside predicts that Wenger will make an offer for Real Madrid front man Alvaro Morata.
The 20-year-old was on target for Jose Mourinho's outfit against Levante at the weekend, but the website predicts that his run in the first team will be a short one and that the striker will be open to a move to a new club. It suggests that a loan move could be on the cards for the young Spanish prospect.
Still with the Gunners and the latest club to be linked with a move for unsettled winger Theo Walcott is Chelsea. According to the Metro, the Blues are "keen to secure a deal" for the England star in the New Year.
Walcott is currently unable to agree new terms with Arsenal and has become increasingly frustrated this season with his lack of game time. Though he started Saturday's clash with Fulham, he limped off with a gluteal injury close to the end and remains a doubt for England's midweek friendly against Sweden.
None of that, however, will have any bearing on Chelsea's pursuit of the winger which, the Metro claims, has gone on for "the past year". In recent weeks manager Roberto Di Matteo has stepped up the chase as he looks to bolster his strike force.
The Mirror says Inter Milan are plotting to lure Mario Balotelli back at the San Siro. The paper says it's had official confirmation from the Sky Blues that Inter's sporting director Piero Ausilio opened transfer talks with City counterpart Txiki Begiristain last week. Ausilio was despatched by Inter owner Massimo Moratti, who allegedly wants the 22-year-old Balotelli to return to the club he left in 2010 in a £24m move to the Etihad.
Though he performed well for Italy in the 2012 European Championships, the volatile Balotelli has slipped down the pecking order at City this season and now finds himself behind Sergio Aguero, Carlos Tevez and Edin Dzeko in the plans of manager Roberto Mancini.
Finally, The Sun claims that it has it on good authority that Ashley Cole will be leaving Chelsea at the end of the season - and that authority is the left-back's own mum. Apparently Cole's mother, Sue, has told friends on Facebook, "Well looks like his going somewhere better hear than the talk of man u. Not too far on the Euro star."
The Sun, putting two and two together, reckons that can mean only one thing – Cole "will be off to Paris Saint-Germain at the end of the season". It's believed PSG will offer the 31-year-old defender a longer contract than the one-year deal Chelsea were offering.