Real Madrid in £45m Suarez bid, Chelsea join Benzema hunt
Liverpool face fight to keep striker in January as Mourinho tries to lure Arsenal target
URUGUAYAN trouble-maker Luis Suarez might be back in a Liverpool shirt and knocking them in for boss Brendan Rodgers, but that does not mean that the striker, who spent much of the summer trying to quit Anfield, will be spending much longer on Merseyside.
The Spanish media service Punto Pelota says Real Madrid are ready to make a "concrete" bid for Suarez in January. Coach Carlo Ancelotti and club president Florentino Perez are both admirers of the Uruguayan and the latter is alleged to have made an informal approach in the summer.
Punto Pelota would have us believe that Suarez's representatives have been in touch with Real about a formal bid in the New Year, suggesting to the Spanish giants that an offer in the region of £45m would be enough to "convince" Liverpool to sell Suarez.
Claims that Real are still after Suarez will only serve to heighten speculation about the future of Karim Benzema at the Bernabeu, with Chelsea now emerging as a rival to Arsenal for the services of the French striker.
The Gunners were heavily linked to Benzema in the summer, but eventually landed his German team-mate Mesut Ozil, who has had an instant impact at the Emirates. It was reported that Ozil's success could prompt Benzema to join him in London. But if he does it seems he might be wearing blue rather than red and white.
According to Portuguese website A Bola, Jose Mourinho believes that Benzema could be the answer to his striking problems this season. Chelsea's front three of Samuel Eto'o, Demba Ba and Fernando Torres have hardly been pulling up trees this season and that could prompt Mourinho to try and lure Benzema to the Bridge, unless he still has designs on Wayne Rooney, of course.
Talking of Rooney, it seemed before the start of the season there were plenty of pundits who believed that, with the 'White Pele' apparently about to quit Old Trafford, the stage was set for Shinji Kagawa to become the new darling Old Trafford. But after managing just 45 minutes on the pitch in six league games it appears that the Japanese playmaker is not part of David Moyes plans, and Metro suggests that he could be on his way to former club Borussia Dortmund in January.
He is certainly more popular in Germany than Manchester, and Dortmund fans have launched a bring back Kagawa campaign. Given his bit-part role at Old Trafford Metro believes he may cost just £10m.
The future of Valencia defender Adil Rami will also be decided in January with the Daily Star claiming that the 27-year-old livewire, who looks set to leave his current club, is being courted by Arsenal, Manchester City and the once great Manchester United.
At the moment Rami is in the cooler for ten days, having been slapped with a suspension by Valencia for criticising their summer sale of Roberto Soldado and Alberto Costa. The Star says Rami's representatives have made it clear that he is unhappy at being sent to the naughty step but the paper adds that Valencia aren't bothered because they are looking for the player to move on in the New Year.
It's believed that Valencia will look to loan out Rami initially, with the interested club taking on his full salary, before a full-term deal can be discussed next summer.
The Star claims that Arsenal, City and United were interested in signing Rami in the summer, but all balked at Valencia's £9m valuation. However the prospect of a loan deal is more attractive and all three are expected to make enquiries for the France international in the coming weeks.
In other news Metro reports that Tottenham are lining up a move for Leyton Orient winger Moses Odubajo in January's transfer window. The 20-year-old Odubajo is regarded as one of the brightest young players in the lower reaches of English football but the big question facing Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas is whether the wide man has the ability to make the transition from League One to the Premier League.
So far unbeaten in the league, Orient are expected to demand at least £3m from Tottenham, although Metro says Manchester United and Arsenal have also been monitoring the player.
Tottenham's initial offer will likely be in the region of £1m after Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy gave the OK for a January swoop but the Greenwich-born right wing could yet go for considerably more.
Finally, Talksports report that West Ham midfielder Jack Collison has joined Bournemouth on a one-month loan deal. The 24-year-old has struggled for game time under Sam Allardyce this season at Upton Park, making just three appearances for the Hammers as the gaffer opts for Joe Cole and Stewart Downing in his midfield. But Talksport says Allardyce still has faith in Collison and believes a spell playing regular Championship football could be just what he needs to rediscover his mojo. ·