Liverpool plan Suarez talks to see off Arsenal and Real Madrid
Reds plan contract extension for Uruguayan, but Chelsea star could be heading for the exit
IT HASN'T taken long for Luis Suarez to get back into the headlines. Less than 24-hours after he returned from a ten-match ban for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic and after a summer spent agitating for a move away from Liverpool, the club are apparently planning to open contract talks with the moody Uruguayan.
The Daily Star reports that the announcement from Reds managing director Ian Ayre is designed to try and see off interest from his summertime suitors Arsenal and Real Madrid. Asked about talks over a contract extension, Ayre said: "We sort of begin those type of discussions two years in from the end [of the contract], so it'll be the end of this season."
Out-of-favour Chelsea star Juan Mata will spark a mad scramble for his signature in January after his stand-off with Jose Mourinho alerted clubs in France, Italy and Spain.
The Daily Mail claims that the 25-year-old, who has fallen out of favour at Stamford Bridge, is not prepared to spend the season on the sidelines as it will jeopardise his chances of playing in the World Cup for Spain next summer.
His old club Valencia head the queue of clubs who want to sign him, but the Mail says Atletico Madrid and Barcelona are also keen, while over the border in France Paris St Germain and Monaco like the cut of his jib. Juventus are also said to be interested.
Mata's desire to leave could also resurrect the prospect of a swap deal with Manchester United involving Wayne Rooney, although even the Mail admits that the chances of that happening are slim.
There will be no chance of either Manchester United or Chelsea getting their hands on Robert Lewandowski after the Borussia Dortmund striker confirmed he will sign a pre-contract agreement with Bayern Munich in January.
The Guardian reports that the 25-year-old Lewandowski has agreed to remain at Dortmund until next season and then join Bayern, the current European champions, when his contract expires.
Though the Blues and United both courted the Poland international over the summer it was always a long shot given that Bayern were his most ardent suitors. Asked by German broadcaster, Sport1 TV, if he would announce his switch to Bayern, Lewandowski replied: "Yes, because then I can officially sign a contract."
Another European striker who won't be heading this way is Ciprian Marica, who is out-of-contract after being released from Schalke at the end of last season.
Last week rumours emerged linking the Romanian hitman with a move to either Tottenham or Arsenal. The Gunners soon pulled out of the race when it was brought to their attention that in 34 games for Schalke Marica had managed only five goals - but Spurs were said to still be in the hunt.
Now Metro reports that Marica's agent, Victor Becali, has confirmed that Marica will not be moving to White Hart Lane. "Marica's transfer to Tottenham has unfortunately failed," said Becali. "They would not match his salary – they would not even match half the salary he had at Schalke."
Instead the 27-year-old Marica is said to be weighing up an offer from Rayo Vallecano, one of the lesser known Spanish sides, but a club apparently willing to splash the cash.
According to Talksport, Liverpool will "have to battle Juventus" if they want to sign striker Lacina Traore. The muscular Ivorian has been on Brendan Rodgers's wishlist for a while but the Reds boss is now facing stiff competition from the Italian champions for the 23-year-old.
Currently with Russian outfit Anzhi, Traore is expected to be offloaded in the New Year to the highest bidder. Two other Russian clubs, CSKA Moscow and Zenit St Petersburg, have been touted as possible destinations but Liverpool were believed to be Traore's preferred destination.
That was before Juventus stepped in. Talksport says they are determined to land the African ace even though their strike force already consists of Carlos Tevez, Mirko Vucinic, Fabio Quagliarella and Fernando Llorente.
Finally, the Fulham Chronicle reports that Queens Park Rangers have snapped up Uruguayan forward Javier Chevanton on a short-term deal.
QPR gaffer Harry Redknapp has been desperate to strengthen his strike force following injuries to Bobby Zamora and Andy Johnson and he believes the signing of the 33-year-old Chevanton on a three-month contract will be a fillip for the club. "He arrives with a good pedigree and gives us a much needed extra option in attack," said Redknapp of Chevanton, who spent last season with Italian outfit Lecce. ·