Manchester United, Chelsea, Newcastle, and Liverpool feature in a round-up including Diego Costa, two De Jongs, and Wayne Rooney.
TRANSFER CLOCK: 21 days down, 10 to go until the Transfer Window closes. Here are five of the most interesting storylines to emerge over the past 24 hours.
1) A remarkable development in the Juan Mata saga involved Manchester United being offered Diego Costa by Atletico Madrid, on the condition they drop their interest in Mata, report The Telegraph. Diego Simeone is said to be keen on signing Mata and is prepared to give United first option on Costa, who has 19 goals in as many La Liga starts this season. The Mail reported earlier this January that Costa is being monitored by United, but Chelsea and Arsenal have been more prominently linked with activating his €42 million release clause. The Telegraph also report Atletico are offering left-back Filipe Luis if United withdraw from the Mata race.
The flaw in this plan appears to us, that it would make more sense for Atletico to offer Chelsea first option on Costa if they sell Mata to them, with the London club holding the cards still regarding the Spaniard, rather than appealing to United, who desperately need a player now. Atletico, the Telegraph states, want to bring Mata in on loan until the end of the season.
2) Manchester United have been linked with a deal for Brazilian defender Dante. The rumours emerged last night when The Telegraph reported David Moyes would be attending Bayern Munich v Moenchengladbach, suggesting the defender was likely to be scouted. A journalist from Fox Sports Brasil then claimed a deal had been done for the 30-year-old. This was quickly denied by none other than the player himself, "I am happy at Bayern and the most important is to keep working, I am happy with Man Utd's interest, let's see what happens in the future. I follow the Premier League and although Man Utd are in a bad moment, I appreciate the interest." Dante's agent also ruled out a potential transfer. Moyes is also claimed to be scouting Moenchengladbach's Patrick Herrmann and Max Kruse this weekend.
3) Newcastle are close to agreeing a permanent transfer for striker Luuk de Jong from Borussia Moenchengladbach, report The Mirror. It had previously been considered that only a loan could be considered. The striker is valued at £8.5 million, with the paper claiming if a permanent agreement is not struck, then a loan with a view to buy in the summer is the back-up plan. They add that Newcastle do hope to have De Jong signed and registered in time for next week's midweek Premier League fixtures.
4) Liverpool want to sign former Manchester City hardman Nigel de Jong on loan from AC Milan to cover for Lucas, ruled out with injury on Tuesday for around two months. It leaves the Reds with a real need for a defensive midfielder, and The Mail claim Liverpool are considering a loan offer. De Jong, 29, has been a regular for Milan however, making 18 Serie A starts, providing two assists in their defeat to Sassuolo a week ago. The club's best bet is new manager Clarence Seedorf decides the Dutchman is not part of his plans, but it remains a long shot at this point.
5) Wayne Rooney is a top summer target for Real Madrid, report The Mail, in a report which will certainly give The Red Devils food for thought. Rooney has just one year left on his contract, and the chance to sell to a non-Premier League club will tempt the Red Devils with Chelsea lurking. A sale would be dependent on no first option agreement being struck as any part of a Juan Mata deal. Rooney's departure could create space for Mata to flourish in the number 10 role, and allow him to link up with former teammate Cristiano Ronaldo. Sergio Aguero of Manchester City and Monaco's Falcao are both said to be alternatives for Real.
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