Chelsea back in the hunt for Hulk, Arsenal after Mitroglou

Blues close in on Brazilian frontman, Gunners could use Joel Campbell to snare Greek striker

BY Bill Mann LAST UPDATED AT 08:45 ON Tue 17 Dec 2013

IT'S one of the best-loved and most enduring of transfer rumours and now it's back in the headlines. Yes, Chelsea are back on the trail of the Hulk. The 27-year-old Brazilian international is said to be "preparing to leave" Zenit St Petersburg in the New Year after little more than a year in Russia and once again he is being linked with a switch to Stamford Bridge.

The South American striker joined Zenit from Porto in the summer of 2012 in a deal that was allegedly worth £40m. But though he's netted 23 goals in that time, Talksport reports that the Hulk feels his talents deserve to be recognised in a more prestigious league. England has long been mooted as a possible destination for the Hulk and Chelsea are thought to be lining up a January swoop. Talksport claims that Zenit will agree to sell the frontman provided they "receive a sizeable offer for his services".

Still with the Blues and Caughtoffside says that Wolfsburg and Bayer Leverkusen are the frontrunners to land Chelsea outcast Kevin De Bruyne. The Belgian midfielder has found himself surplus to requirements at the Bridge under Jose Mourinho and apparently he could be on his way out of London next month. In the past Leverkusen chief Rudi Voller has made no secret of his interest in De Bruyne while Wolfsburg are also on his tail. De Bruyne is desperate for a fresh start in January as he looks to showcase his talents to the Belgian national coach ahead of their appearance in the World Cup finals.

The Daily Star resurrects another popular rumour as it reports that both Arsenal and Liverpool are locked in a battle to sign Olympiakos striker Konstantinos Mitroglou, before talking solely about Arsenal's interest in the Greek frontman and ignoring Liverpool's efforts to sign him.

The paper says that the striker, who has an impressive 22 goals to his name so far this season, would cost just £7.5m, a relative snip for a quality forward these days. The Star also notes that Wenger's hand is strengthened by the fact that Mitroglou currently plays alongside Arsenal loanee Joel Campbell, something Wenger could use to his advantage as he tries to persuade Olympiakos to sell.

The Daily Express reckons that Fabricio Coloccini will remain at Newcastle next month despite recent rumours suggesting the 31-year-old defender was angling for a move back to former club San Lorenzo. The Argentine has captained the Magpies of late and after a shaky start to the season Coloccini has been at the heart of Newcastle's recent revival. Admitting that he had "the chance to return to Argentina", Coloccini nonetheless pledged his allegiance to Newcastle, declaring: "I am currently very happy at Newcastle - I have three more years on my contract."

Elsewhere and reports that Manchester City are close to sealing deals for what they describe as "two of the highest-rated teenagers" in world football. The gifted pair are Kjetil Haug and Kelechi Iheanacho, the former a 15-year-old Norwegian goalkeeper and the latter a 17-year-old striker who shone for Nigeria in the recent Under-17 World Cup. Apparently Iheanacho will discuss terms with City in the coming weeks while reports that shotstopper Haug has already agreed in principle to join the Sky Blues.

Finally, the Daily Mail reports that Napoli are eyeing a January loan move for Liverpool defender Daniel Agger. Napoli manager Rafael Benitez knows the Danish international well from his time in charge of the Reds and the Mail says he has identified Agger as just the player to shore up the Napoli defence in the second half of the season. · 

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