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Not one, not two but three. No, not the number of months that Mesut Ozil will be sidelined after the German midfielder became the latest Gunner to fall victim to the Arsenal injury curse, but the number of players being targeted by Gunners in the new year.
According to the Daily Star that Arsene Wenger is lining up a "sensational triple swoop" in January. With Arsenal's season in danger of coming apart like the Lib Dems, the paper says that the Nutty Professor is poised to spend upwards of £60m "bolstering his squad" – or providing more work for the club's physios, it depends how you look at it.
The Star confirms what others have been saying for days, namely that Sami Khedira is on his way to the Emirates, with Arsenal agreeing to pay the Germany World Cup winner £100,000-a-week in wages. Secondly, Wenger is increasingly confident he will get his hands on Benfica midfield "starlet" Anderson Talisca and, thirdly, the Star says that the fiery Frenchman with no regard for technical areas will also "revive his pursuit" of Schalke star Julian Draxler.
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The Gunners tried to sign the German midfielder last January, but Wenger apparently shied away from his £37m buyout clause. But with Arsenal's season shaping up to be as shambolic as Roy Keane's beard, it's reported that the gaffer will bite the bullet and "stump up" the buyout clause.
Then again, Metro claims that most of the £60m at Wenger's disposal will go on a £55m bid for PSG striker Edinson Cavani. Claiming the Gunners have been tracking Cavani over the last year, the paper says that Wenger has "sanctioned the move this week and senior Arsenal officials are now working on trying to do a deal" with the French champions.
Elsewhere and the Daily Express reports that Real Madrid will table a bid for Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea in a couple of months' time. With Arsenal and Liverpool both trailing Madrid's current stopper, Iker Casillas, boss Carlo Ancelotti has apparently identified De Gea as the keeper he can count on to replace the Spanish World Cup winner.
The former Atletico Madrid gloveman was signed by Alex Ferguson in 2011 and after a shaky start has adapted well to life at Old Trafford. The Express says new United manager Louis van Gaal wants to "tie De Gea down to a new contract" to ward off an approach from Real in the New Year.
Website Caughtoffside boasts an exclusive with the news that Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is ready to stump up £60m to sign Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba in a major "transfer coup". The 21-year-old French international began his career with Manchester United before being offloaded to Juventus where he's since gone on to sparkle like a 'glamburger'.
Now Caughtoffside claims that Abramovich is desperate to send a statement of intent to the Blues' rivals by signing Pogba in what would be a British transfer record, surpassing the £59.7m that Manchester United paid for Argentine winger Angel di Maria over the summer. It's said that the Chelsea owner is confident the offer will be "too good for Juventus to turn down" and Pogba will soon be strutting his stuff at the Bridge.
Finally, back to the Star, which says that Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal has "been told to forget" about signing Kevin Strootman in the new year. The 24-year-old Roma midfielder, 24, recovering from a long-term knee injury but that hasn't stopped van Gaal sniffing around his compatriot. But now Roma president James Pallotta has put his foot down, declaring: "We don't have any interest in selling Kevin... I have told the papers that they should stop wasting paper. Writing about this is not good for the environment."
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