Manchester United may have scraped a win at the weekend but Louis van Gaal still believes his squad is a few sandwiches short of a picnic, and according to the Daily Express he is "planning a £52m double bid" for the Juventus pair of Arturo Vidal and Angelo Ogbonna.
With the Red Devils still failing to convince, despite edging past West Ham on Saturday, Van Gaal has earmarked the pair as January reinforcements. United were linked to the 27-year-old Vidal in the summer but nothing came of it with the Express claiming that van Gaal harboured reservations over the state of Vidal’s knee. But with the Chilean midfielder having proved his fitness in recent weeks a new approach will be made in the new year.
At the same time Van Gaal will table a bid for Ogbonna, though the Express says that Arsenal are "also keen" on the 26-year-old Italian defender, capped nine times by the Azzurri. Together the pair would set United back £52m with Vidal costing £40m of that figure.
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In other news Metro says that Chelsea are now "in pole position" to sign Ross Barkley from Everton next summer after Manchester City’s interest in the 20-year-old midfielder cooled. It appears that the Sky Blues were scared off by Everton’s asking price of £50m, some £15m more than City believe the youngster is worth.
Chelsea, on the other hand, are said to be willing to meet the eye-watering sum and Metro says their chances of landing the player are boosted by the "good relationship" they have with the Toffees, which stems from the transfer of Romelu Lukaku to Merseyside earlier this summer.
Finally, the Daily Telegraph says that Olivier Giroud has signed a new contract "committing him to Arsenal until 2018". The Frenchman is currently sidelined until the New Year with a foot fracture but his 41 goals in his first two seasons have convinced manager Arsene Wenger that the striker can lead the Gunners to the Premier League title. According to the Telegraph Giroud’s new deal will net him £80,000-a-week.
Finally, the Evening Standard reports that Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has rubbished talk of a rift with defender Jan Vertonghen. The Belgian defender has struggled for game time this season, starting just three of the Lilywhites opening six Premier League matches, but Pochettino insists the 27-year-old Vertonghen is still a valued member of the Tottenham squad. "Maybe because I pick players in different games but any problem with Jan, this is wrong," explained Pochettino. "We have a lot of games ahead and need to see and analyse the performance and analyse the situation after the game."
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