Arsenal eye Delph, Bender and Brozovic, but still want Khedira
Gunners face competition from Everton for Delph, and battle Liverpool for striker Gignac
England new boy Fabian Delph is being eyed up by Arsenal and Everton. That's according to the Daily Mirror, which adds that Aston Villa are "battling to keep" the 24-year-old midfielder. Delph made his England debut earlier in the month against Norway, and his form has apparently led to interest from the Gunners and the Toffees who are "closely monitoring the situation" at Villa Park.
The Mirror claims that Villa have offered Delph a new deal in the hope of preventing his leaving on a free transfer at the end of the season. But Delph has yet to sign along the dotted line and that's come to the attraction of Arsene Wenger, who sees the midfielder as the sort of "energetic, ballwinner" his squad currently lacks. The Mirror adds that Wenger is also circling Sven Bender of Borussia Dortmund with a view to a possible January swoop.
Meanwhile the Sunday People reports that the Gunners have their sights set on a different midfielder, in the form of Dinamo Zagreb man Marcelo Brozovic. It's alleged that "two high-ranking representatives" from Arsenal ran the rule over the youngster earlier in the month during Dinamo's clash with Hajduk Split. The 21-year-old Brozovic was a member of the Croatian squad during the summer Wold Cup and can operate in a defensive or attacking role.
But the Daily Express believes that the answer to Arsenal's midfield problem is still Sami Khedira, who almost joined in the summer. But if that is the case, then the solution is still some way off as the paper claims Wenger will not move for the German international until the end of the campaign, when he becomes available on a free transfer.
According to the Express, Khedira has refused to enter into contract negotiations with Real Madrid and will be free to talk to other clubs in January. However, he will not become a free agent until next summer, so if Arsenal want him this term they will have to pay for him in the January transfer window,.
Still with Arsenal, it appears that the Gunners are preparing to go head-to-head with Everton's Merseyside rivals, Liverpool, in the battle to sign France forward Andre-Pierre Gignac. The Daily Star says that Liverpool and the Gunners are both eager to snap up the 28-year-old who is out of contract in June.
Apparently Marseille are "keen on reducing their wage bill" and getting shot of Gignac would ease their financial burden. Speaking to French daily sport rag, L'Equipe, Gignac's agent Christopher Hutteau said: "He has a real market value... he can play in England, Arsenal or Liverpool, no problem. For me, [an appropriate transfer fee] is between €12m and €15m."
In other news the Daily Mail says that West Ham United have run out of patience with Andy Carroll and will look to offload the former England striker in January. The problem, claims the Mail, is that the Hammers haven't a clue who would want to buy the injury-prone 25-year-old who has made just 15 starts for West Ham in the last two years. Currently on an estimated weekly wage of £85,000, Carroll could attract interest from Newcastle – "but only if he agreed to drop his wages" – while the Mail says QPR might be amenable to a deal.
Might Juan Mata be on his way back to Valencia? The Star thinks so with their claim that the Spanish club are "weighing up a move to re-sign" their former playmaker. Mata left Valencia for Chelsea in 2011 and then joined United in a £37m deal at the start of this year. There has been speculation for some time that the midfielder could be offloaded by Louis van Gaal and the red-top bears that out, saying Valencia are "keen on a loan deal in January with a view to a £30m deal in the summer".
Finally, Goal.com says it understands that Real Madrid have "made it clear" to Cristiano Ronaldo that they have no intention of allowing him to return to Manchester United next season. Rumours have been rife in recent days that United are preparing an audacious bid for the 29-year-old goal machine but according to the website Real have pooh-poohed the idea of the Portuguese preener returning to the Premier League and "have refused to discuss a price for the forward". Real agreed a new five-season deal with Ronaldo last September, one that guaranteed him £16.4m a year after tax, and it appears the European champions intend to make their star asset honour that modest agreement.