Paper Gossip: Didier Drogba's Chelsea Return, Liverpool Make First Move for Isco
Monday's newspapers are, as you would expect, full of transfer stories.
If reports are to be believed, Liverpool could complete as many as four transfers this week, while both Arsenal and Chelsea are close to deals—at either end of the cost spectrum—that could enhance their options for the season ahead.
Meanwhile, further down the Premier League, there is plenty of business being done, as clubs scramble to improve their squads before the new league campaign kicks off in just under four weeks' time.
Read on for those stories, and all Monday's rumours and gossip.
Chelsea Expect to Complete Didier Drogba Move Within Days
Chelsea will re-sign favourite son Didier Drogba on a one-year deal within the next few days, insists the Daily Mirror.
Drogba, who joined the Stamford Bridge club almost exactly 10 years ago, is out of contract following his latest deal at Galatasaray—and Jose Mourinho wants him to return to West London, with the option of taking up a coaching position at the end of the swansong.
Drogba has other options on the table, but the lure of the Blues will prove too much to resist.
Darren Lewis writes:
Mirror Sport understands Blues boss Jose Mourinho is confident of luring the 36-year-old Ivorian back on a one-year deal, with the option of a coaching job beyond that.
Mourinho wants club legend Drogba’s inspirational qualities back in the dressing room having lost two other stalwarts, Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard.
The striking legend has several other offers on the table after the expiration of his contract with Turkish side Galatasaray and his representatives insisted on Sunday that no final decision has yet been made by the player.
But the appeal of a return to the scene of some of his greatest moments as a player will be hard to resist.
Dejan Lovren Move to Liverpool Back On, as Loic Remy and Divock Origi Close in
The Times (subscription required) believes Liverpool could complete the triple signings of Dejan Lovren, Loic Remy and Divock Origi early this week.
A deal for Lovren had appeared to have fallen by the wayside in recent days, but it has reportedly been revived after Southampton had a change of heart over the Reds' £20 million bid.
If he signs, Lovren could join Remy and Origi in completing their deals in time to join up with Liverpool's current tour of the United States.
Tony Barrett writes:
Rémy is due to fly to Boston today to have a medical and join the Liverpool squad at the start of their pre-season tour of the United States. A fee of £8 million has been agreed with Queens Park Rangers for the forward, whose imminent arrival marks the end of Liverpool’s brief pursuit of Wilfried Bony from Swansea City.
Origi has informed Liverpool that he wishes to join them and provision has also been made for the Belgium forward to travel to Boston.
Liverpool will pay Lille up to £9.8 million for Origi, who was also the subject of strong interest from Tottenham Hotspur, and the 19-year-old will remain at the French club on loan next season before moving to Anfield in 2015.
Liverpool’s pursuit of Lovren also appears to be drawing to a conclusion with indications from Southampton that they are ready to accept the club’s £20 million offer for the defender.
Arsenal's William Carvalho Bid Complicated by Payment Structure
Arsenal's attempts to sign Portugal international midfielder William Carvalho are being held up by arguments over the fine print, according to the Daily Telegraph.
Arsenal are keen to strengthen their defensive midfield this summer, with Sami Khedira touted as another potential transfer target. A £24 million deal for Carvalho could be a more realistic proposition, however—but Arsenal will need to amend their bid in order to push the transfer through.
The paper claims that Sporting Lisbon want the entire fee up front for Carvalho, due to the complex nature of his ownership situation. Arsenal, meanwhile, want to pay the fee over two instalments.
Matt Law writes:
Reports in Portugal have claimed Arsenal made a £24m offer for Carvalho, but it was rejected because the London club wanted to stretch the fee over two payments.
Arsenal have scouted Carvalho for some time and are in the market for a defensive midfielder in the 22-year-old’s mould.
Carvalho has a buyout clause in his Sporting contract that is set at £35m, but it is believed the Portuguese club could be negotiated down.
Sporting, though, only own 60 per cent of Carvalho, which means they are determined to land a full fee up front.
Liverpool Make First Steps Towards Isco Move
Liverpool are weighing up the possibility of signing Isco from Real Madrid, according to a report in the Daily Star.
With Real about to complete the signing of James Rodriguez to go with the earlier addition of Toni Kroos, the newspaper believes that the club needs to sell at least one more player in order to try and balance the books.
They believe that player could end up being Isco, with Liverpool interested in the playmaker's services.
Colin Harvey writes:
Spanish media are suggesting the Reds have made the first step down the road to signing Isco but there is still a long, long way to go before a deal is done.
Madrid are looking to recoup some of their summer spending and could be tempted to sell Isco.
Sami Khedira is another one likely to leave the Bernabeu with Arsenal and Chelsea battling it out for the German's signature.
Bits and Pieces: QPR Confident of Caulker Deal, Leicester Want Slimani
Micah Richards is willing to leave Manchester City on loan, claims the Daily Express, after Liverpool, Newcastle and Tottenham all declined to meet the club's £7 million valuation.
West Ham are interested in a double loan deal for Inter Milan's Saphir Taider and Malaga's Vitorino Antunes, according to the Daily Star.
Sky Sports believes QPR remain the favourites to sign Steven Caulker from Cardiff, despite late interest from Southampton.
Leicester are closing in on Algeria and Sporting Lisbon forward Islam Slimani, reports the Daily Mail.
The Guardian reports that Emre Can could miss Liverpool's preseason tour of the United States through injury.
Steve Bruce wants to bring Tottenham's Danny Rose to Hull City, according to the Daily Mirror.
Tim Cahill is among "five or six" remaining QPR targets, claims The Times (subscription required).