Rumour mill: Coleman to Chelsea, Delph to Arsenal, Alcacer to Spurs
Premier League leaders and Coral’s odds-on 4/7 title favourites Chelsea have identified Everton defender Seamus Coleman as their next right back, according to tabloid reports.
The Blues’ scouting network have sent back glowing reports of highly consistent performances from 25-year-old Republic of Ireland international Coleman to Jose Mourinho.
News of this interest will be a blow to Cesar Azpilicueta, who currently plays left back for Chelsea but could easily switch to the opposite flank when Branislav Ivanovic’s legs fade. It is also discouraging for summer signing Filipe Luis, a player that Azpilicueta is keeping out of the XI.
Across London, Arsenal, 9/4 chances to top Champions League group D, are being linked with a double January swoop to reinforce defensive positions. Aston Villa anchorman Fabian Delph, who recently made a senior international breakthrough with England is still yet to sign a new deal at Aston Villa.
As the 24-year-old combative player is out of contract with the West Midlands outfit next summer, the Gunners are mulling over a cut-price swoop for his services. The holding midfield berth has been a problem for Arsene Wenger, but Delph could emerge as the long-term successor to injured club captain Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini.
Portugal left back Vitorino Antunes, 27, meanwhile, is set to be the subject of a winter window bid from FA Cup holders Arsenal. Despite this area being the least of their problems, there are always question marks about Kieran Gibbs’ injury record and understudy Nacho Monreal has done little to be considered a credible challenger.
Malaga may be tempted to part with one of their prized assets Antunes, as they have 31-year-old Ivory Coast international Arthur Boka on their books too and he also plays left back.
Finally, 7/2 top four chances Spurs are prepared to splash £15m to land Valencia and Spain striker Paco Alcacer. The 21-year-old, who recently made his senior La Roja debut, has former Manchester City frontman Alvaro Negredo breathing down his neck for a starting spot at the Mestalla.
Alcacer would be the subject of intense interest if he is available for transfer, but Los Che will want to keep hold of their academy product for a while longer. Tottenham seem undeterred by the big money purchase of flop frontman Roberto Soldado, the previous player to wear number nine at Valencia.