Chelsea line up Khedira, but Arsenal could turn to Sissoko
Blues to land Khedira, Talisca and Reus in the summer- but will they really pay £200m for Messi?
Chelsea, who will spend Christmas three points clear at the top of the Premier League table after beating Stoke 2-0 on Monday night, are already planning for next season according to the Evening Standard. The paper claims that the Blues are unlikely to make any forays into January's transfer market but that doesn't mean boss Jose Mourinho is resting on his laurels and he could get the ball rolling by torpedoing the hopes of Arsenal fans next month.
Top of his list of summer targets is Sami Khedira, who Mourinho knows well from his three years at Real Madrid. The German midfielder is a free agent at the end of the season and that means he can talk to other clubs in January. The Standard says Chelsea intend to see off competition from Bayern Munich and Arsenal by offering the World Cup winner a pre-contract next month.
The paper also claims that Chelsea "want to sign another forward" in 20-year-old Benfica striker Anderson Talisca. The youngster has been in cracking form in his first year at the Portuguese club and though his release clause is set at £35m Chelsea, "believe they can sign him for below the asking price" on account of the strong relations they enjoy with Benfica.
The third player in Chelsea's sights is Borussia Dortmund playmaker Marco Reus and the Standard says they "have made an enquiry" about the man with the £19.5m release clause written into his contract. It seems that the 25-year-old Reus is edging closer towards the Dortmund exit and Chelsea want to lure him to the Bridge rather than see him sign for one of Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Manchester City.
If that all sounds plausible, then what about the claim in the Daily Express that Chelsea are also weighing up a £200m move for Lionel Messi next summer? The paper says the Argentine striker is "considering" the offer and that the Blues' sponsors, Adidas, could help broker a "shock deal".
If Chelsea do beat Arsenal to their various targets then the Gunners may be able to console themselves with the signing of Newcastle midfielder Moussa Sissoko. The Daily Mirror says that the Gunners are preparing a £16m bid for the French star, who joined the Magpies almost two years ago but has admitted that Arsenal were "my favourite club when I was young".
Elsewhere Inter Milan have laughed off rumours that they're on the trail of Tottenham winger Aaron Lennon. Rumours have emerged in recent days suggesting the England star was poised to wing his way to the San Siro, but that's just not so, say the Serie A club. Asked by the club's official website if they were hoping to unwrap Lennon as a late Christmas present next month, Inter sporting director Piero Ausilio declared: "Lennon? We are not interested in the Tottenham player." According to Talksport when Ausilio was asked why, he said: "He does not have the profile we are looking for. When you build a team you follow the guidelines of the coach."
Finally ESPN says that Arsenal and Real Madrid can forget about finding a dressing room peg for Germany World Cup star Christoph Kramer after he signed a contract extension with Bayer Leverkusen until 2019. Currently on loan with Borussia Monchengladbach, the 23-year-old midfielder had been mooted as a possible Arsenal target in January, but Kramer will return to Leverkusen in June and turn out for Monchengladbach for the rest of the current campaign.
"There was no reason to hesitate after talking to those responsible at Leverkusen," Kramer told the club's official website. "It gives me a great sense of pleasure... I will do all I can [to help] the club return to Europe next season."