Man Utd Di Maria boost as PSG target Eriksen of Spurs
But Spurs could end up signing Arsenal targets Adrien Rabiot and Jackson Martinez
It's a case of Angel delight at Old Trafford with the news that Argentine winger Angel di Maria "looks set to stay at Manchester United" this summer after Paris Saint-Germain switched their attention to Tottenham playmaker Christian Eriksen.
According to the Daily Express, Eriksen is now the French champions' "first-choice signing" next summer with PSG said to be confident they'll lure him away from White Hart Lane at the end of the season. Indeed, PSG gaffer Laurent Blanc made his intentions pretty obvious when asked by French sports daily L'Equipe about his 2015 transfer targets. "I see a great player in Eriksen," he said. "He was already strong at Ajax and has become even better in England. It would be nice if we could have him with us."
That might be bad news for Spurs but its good news for Man United who feared PSG would launch an audacious bid to prise Di Maria from Old Trafford – despite the fact he only joined the Red Devils from Real Madrid for a British record £59.7m in the summer. The Express says that plan is now dust because of the cost of the South American.
If Eriksen does head to Paris, what will Spurs get in return? According to Metro, Mauricio Pochettino's side, crushed 3-0 by Chelsea on Wednesday night, have "agreed a shock deal" to sign PSG midfielder Adrien Rabiot.
If true, the move will come as a blow to Arsenal who have long been linked with Rabiot and came within a whisker of signing him in the summer. Metro quotes Italy's Il Tempo newspaper as its source, saying that the Lilywhites have pounced for the Frenchman, "with the player's mother also giving the green light to the move". Metro says the deal was arranged by Spurs' technical director Franco Baldini, who nipped in ahead of Arsenal in a piece of sharp business that "will likely anger Arsenal".
Spurs could also tweak the nose of Arsenal and other Premier League rivals including Liverpool by getting their hands on Porto striker Jackson Martinez in January. According to Metro, Tottenham boss Pochettino is "lining up a cash plus Roberto Soldado offer" for the Colombian in the new year. And with the player stalling over a new contract the Portuguese club could be tempted.
But the Gunners have other fish to fry. Talksport says that Arsenal are "ready to lodge a £31.6m bid" for Palermo hitman Paulo Dybala. Quoting yet more reliable sources in Italy, Talksport says that Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has singled out Dybala as the coming man. The 21-year-old has notched six goals in 13 Serie A games so far this season and it's reported that several of Europe's big beasts are tailing the young gun.
But according to Italian newspaper Tuttosport Arsenal "have moved to the front of the chasing pack". Manchester United are also said to be monitoring Dybala but Arsenal are believed to be ready to "meet the striker's minimum fee release clause" of £31.6m as Wenger looks to find players other than Alexis Sanchez who can score goals for his side.
Perhaps Arsenal's interest is Dybala is because Lukas Podolski is on his way out of the Emirates next month. The sheer volume of stories about an imminent exit suggests that a January departure is now inevitable. The latest comes from the Daily Star, which says the German international is being eyed up by Inter Milan, among others, and reports that the club's transfer chief, Piero Ausilio, was in London yesterday to discuss a possible deal with the Gunners.
Podolski has made no secret of his frustration at being frozen out of the Arsenal squad this season (he came on for the final five minutes against Southampton) and the Star alleges that the 29-year-old's representatives "will meet with Wenger" shortly to discuss his prospects.
Finally, could Manchester United be persuaded to offload Juan Mata next month, asks the Daily Mirror? The Spaniard, signed by David Moyes less than a year ago, has failed to establish himself under Louis van Gaal and Spanish outfit Sevilla apparently believe they can tempt him home.
But January might come too soon for the La Liga outfit. "United are said to be reluctant to let Mata go in January, but could be open to the prospect of a potential sale next summer, depending on other targets," says the paper.