23 days down, eight to go until the transfer window opens. Here's our update of the top five stories from the past 24 hours...
1) Italian reports claim Arsenal have sent scouts to look at experience right-back Dusan Basta of Udinese. Bacary Sagna is 50-50 over signing a new deal and could leave in the summer, so 29-year-old Serbian international Basta would represent a contingency plan. Basta is rated at £7 million and has a contract until 2016, with two goals and one assist to his name so far this season. Inter Milan are also interested, but any transfer is not expected until next summer rather than January.
2) Manchester United linked winger Angel di Maria has dismissed talk he is set for a move away from Real Madrid. Rumours have been circulating he is angling for a January exit after losing his place in the starting line-up to Gareth Bale, with it even claimed Real Madrid had accepted an offer from AS Monaco for him. He returned to the starting XI against Valencia on Sunday and responded with a goal, and said afterwards he wanted to stay. He told Marca: "I am thinking about Real Madrid and I am still working hard. The coach and everyone around me knows. I have to keep going and try to earn a place in the team... The important thing is to continue here, I'm very happy."
3) 2010 Champions League winner Wesley Sneijder is another who won't be joining Manchester United, despite rumours in the Mirror last week he was prepared to take a £1 million pay cut to leave Galatasaray to head to Old Trafford. Sneijder's name pops up each transfer window in connection with United, but each time the chances of it happening get slimmer, and it surely would no longer be the right move for the club. With the Turks into the last 16 of the Champions League, Dutch international Sneijder told local television today as reported by SkySports: "There are rumours about me in every transfer window. I look forward to the end of transfer windows so people stop talking about me. I'm very happy here with the team and the fans and I have no reason to leave."
4) The third player to reject links with Manchester United, and also Chelsea is Colombian midfielder Fredy Guarin. After his performance in the San Siro in the Milan derby inspired Inter to a 1-0 win, he denied he had spoken with Chelsea and added he had a real desire to stay in Serie A. "I haven't spoken to Mourinho,” Guarin told reporters, as quoted by Evening Standard. “My agent has done that. I hope that Inter are thinking about how much I really want to stay here. There is something going on, I can definitely not deny that. But now I focus only on Inter and to do well here, we'll see in the future." Inter's director general Marco Fassone also scotched rumours, stating: "Right now, though, we are just talking about rumours. Guarin is a champion who belongs to us and we are keeping a tight grip on him."
5) Sunderland want to sign full-back Kyle Naughton from Tottenham on loan report The Mail. Naughton has been frustrated behind Kyle Walker at his preferred right-back, while he has managed game time at left-back at times. Sunderland successfully brought Danny Rose over on loan last season to the benefit of player and club and the Black Cats will hope their promotion push is aided by a similar deal. Naughton, 25, has made five Premier League starts so far and five in the Europa League this campaign.
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