In Brief

Arsenal set to lose Khedira to Chelsea, but could get Hummels

Khedira's relationship with Mourinho could seal Blues deal as clubs circle Man United teen Rashford

It might not yet be in the same league as a Serbia v Albania match, but the battle for Sami Khedira is starting to hot up and the Evening Standard claims that Chelsea hope to gain the upper hand by offering the Real Madrid midfielder "a pre-contract in January".

It's been well documented that Khedira is in the last year of his contract with the European champions and is unlikely to sign on for another term. Arsenal have long been linked with the 27-year-old German, and in recent days so have AC Milan, but the Standard says the Blues are preparing to steal a march on their rivals. The paper claims that Khedira "enjoyed a great relationship" with Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho when he was in charge of Real, and that friendship could be the clincher. Apparently Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti wants Khedira to stay till the end of the season but he is willing to let him sign a pre-contract agreement in the new year, with Chelsea handing over "a transfer fee in the region of £10m" in the summer.

But if the Gunners look set to lose one battle they could be ready to win another, if the Daily Express is to be believed. It claims that Arsenal have "leapfrogged" Man United in the race to sign Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels.

The German World Cup winner was linked with a move to Old Trafford in the summer, but the paper says he does not want to miss out on the Champions League and "that has opened the door" for Arsenal. It says Wenger wants Hummels to partner Laurent Koscielny in his back four and that a £32m bid could be forthcoming in January.

Arsenal's pursuit of another long-term target is also back in the headlines. This time it is Metro that claims Edinson Cavani is "a step closer" to joining the Gunners. For months now Arsenal have been linked with a move for the PSG striker but each time the gossip has proved worthless. Metro claims that the 27-year-old Uruguay international has now told the French champions he "wants to move to the Premier League in the new year". Were such a move to happen the paper says PSG would demand no less than £55m for Cavani.

Meanwhile, the Daily Star says that Arsenal and Chelsea are both circling Manchester United teenage frontman Marcus Rashford. At only 16, the young forward has inevitably been labelled a "wonderkid" by the Star and has also attracted interest from Manchester City. They made an unsuccessful bid for Rashford last May, and could come again next year, along with Chelsea and Arsenal. The Star alleges that the rookie is "demanding more money" than United are prepared to offer and that could prompt him to leave sooner rather than later. Rashford will be able to sign professional terms when he turns 17 on the last day of this month, and that's alerted the trio of Premier League clubs.

In other news, Talksport claims that Tottenham's chances of signing Alessandro Florenzi from Roma are about as likely as finding a cheap ticket for an Arsenal game. The Lilywhites had been tracking the 23-year-old for a while but the international midfielder is "on the brink of signing a new deal" at the Stadio Olimpico. Taking its source as Italian rag Il Messaggero, Talksport says that Florenzi is poised to sign an extension that will keep him at Roma until June 2020.

Still with Roma, the Daily Express says that the Serie A outfit are "prepared to double Kevin Strootman's salary" to  keep Manchester United at bay. The 24-year-old midfielder – who returned to training this week after recovering from a long-term knee injury – has been on Louis van Gaal's radar since his arrival at Old Trafford and the Express says that he is "readying a January move" for his compatriot. But it seems that Roma – who in the past have said they would want in excess of £75m for the playmaker – will dangle a lucrative new contract under Strootman's nose in the coming days. It's believed the deal would double his wages to £50,000-a-week, but tempting as the offer may sound that particular carrot might not seem so tasty when United offer him at least twice that amount in the new year.

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