Liverpool are to temporarily fix their striker crisis by bringing in Didier Drogba on loan, according to Sunday’s papers. The Chinese season ends next week and The People claims that Shanghai Shenhua are willing to tear up Drogba’s mammoth contract in order to free him up for a move to Anfield – on the understanding that he returns for the new season in March.
However with financial uncertainty surrounding the Chinese club which also employs Nicolas Anelka he may never return.
Drogba’s family live in Surrey and, with Liverpool down to one fit striker in Luis Suarez, the giant Ivorian who served Chelsea with such distinction could be the ideal short-term fix.
Liverpool are still thought to be likely to sign Newcastle striker Demba Ba in January, and Alan Pardew will have all the funds from any deal with which to replace him. (Sunday Mirror)
On the back of yesterday’s reports that Manchester United are to make a shock move for Chelsea star Ashley Cole in the summer, several papers have said Roberto Di Matteo has pleaded with the Stamford Bridge hierarchy to give the left-back anything he wants.
Cole is out of contract and, with history showing that he is not above jumping ship from one big club to another, he would be tempted by a move to Old Trafford.
However Di Matteo sees the England star as key to Chelsea’s future.The clubs play each other today. Banned John Terry was reported yesterday to be ready to make a public show of support to the Kick It Out campaign in his programme notes.
Not surprising – but today’s news that Rio Ferdinand is ready to shake his ex-England team-mate’s hand and don a Kick It Out tee-shirt at the Bridge after brother Anton, who was subjected to racist abuse from Terry a year ago, did so in QPR’s match at Arsenal, is more of a shock. (Sunday Express)
Real Madrid are still after Gareth Bale and are ready to offer Tottenham Portugal left-back Fabio Coentrao as part of a £50m deal. (The Sun Sunday)
Struggling Milan are so desperate to bring in Mario Balotelli that they are willing to sell off a few stars in order to afford the Manchester City striker, formerly of city rivals Internazionale. (various)
City boss Roberto Mancini is feeling the pressure after the Champions League debacle against Ajax and is seeking talks with chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak and new chief executive Ferran Soriano to ensure he retains their full support. (Sunday Mirror)
City are on the verge of crashing out in the group stage.
Goalkeeper David De Gea has been hit-and-miss since joining Manchester United but has dismissed reports that he wants to return to Spain due to homesickness. (Sun)
Blackpool manager Ian Holloway is wanted by a variety of clubs, namely Blackburn, Burnley, Crystal Palace and Ipswich. (Mirror)
Former Everton star Andy van der Meyde – who joined for £2m from Inter in 2005 and earned £6.24m in wages over four years – has revealed in a new book that he stole pills from the Merseyside club’s doctor – he was addicted to them – drank inordinate amounts of booze, cheated on his wife with strippers and, worst of all, hates Phil Neville. (Sun)
Neville has said that his priority is to stay on the pitch when the Toffees face Liverpool in today’s derby. He has been sent off in these “heated” battles twice before. (various)
And finally, Alex Ferguson has said he will shelve his winger-less diamond formation after an 80-year-old woman named Margaret rang MUTV and demanded he do so.