Liverpool are set to make a surprise raid for Nathaniel Clyne; Chelsea are chasing the signing of Ezequiel Lavezzi; West Ham agree a deal for Mauro Zarate; while Didier Drogba will reject an emotional return to Chelsea in favour of a move to Juventus – here are today’s rumours from the papers.Liverpool set for £40 million double swoop: Liverpool are set to move for Southampton stars Nathaniel Clyne and Adam Lallana, reports the Daily Star. Liverpool have already made a £25 million move for Lallana but are set to now add a further £15 million to that offer to secure the services of colleague Clyne. Clyne, who plays at right-back, lost his place to Calum Chambers towards the end of last season but is wanted as a replacement for Glen Johnson, who is at a contractual impasse with the Merseyside club.
Paper Round’s view: While Clyne is a solid Premier League full-back, a fee of £15 million seems over-priced – particularly considering that he appears to have been superseded by Chambers in the Southampton pecking order. If Liverpool offer anywhere near the sum reported then expect the Saints to willingly accept. There must be better full-back options out there for £15m, surely? This sort of transfer would make even Damien Comolli – he of '£35 million for Andy Carroll' fame – wince. Liverpool are a Champions League club and should be signing Champions League calibre players.
Chelsea chase Lavezzi: Chelsea are set to pursue the signing of PSG’s Ezequiel Lavezzi, according to the Daily Telegraph. The West London club enquired about the availability of the Argentine international during the negotiations for David Luiz, but PSG are thought not to want to sell. However, with two years left on his contract, the Blues are confident a deal can be done. PSG may try to use Chelsea’s interest in Lavezzi to secure a deal for Eden Hazard.
Paper Round’s view: If it is a straight choice between Hazard and Lavezzi, then logic suggests that the Blues would do well to keep clear of Lavezzi to ensure they keep their Belgian playmaker. However, Jose Mourinho has cut an increasingly frustrated figure with Hazard so this deal may actually happen. There is no doubt Hazard is better player than Lavezzi but Mourinho values team ethic over anything else and that could well see Hazard leave the club.
West Ham agree a deal for Zarate: West Ham have agreed a deal to bring Argentine forward Mauro Zarate to the club, reports the Daily Star. The 27-year-old, who is currently plying his trade with Velez Sarsfield in Argentina, is said to have a agreed a three-year deal at the east London club.
Paper Round’s view: Zarate is a supremely talented player, although his application can at times can be a little questionable. He will certainly add some much-needed guile to this West Ham side – especially considering that they have recently released Joe Cole. If Sam Allardyce can get the best out of the mercurial forward then he could be one of the signings of the season. That is a big IF though.
Drogba set to reject Chelsea: Didier Drogba is set to reject an emotional return to Chelsea in favour of a move to Juventus, reports the Daily Express. The Ivorian is out of contract this summer and is set to decide his future after the World Cup but prefers a move to the Italian champions.
Paper Round’s view: Drogba’s last kick of a football as a Chelsea player won his side the Champions League – why would he jeopardise that legacy? It is only downhill from there in a Chelsea shirt. Yes, there is an emotional attachment there but why burden himself with carrying the Chelsea frontline?