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TOP STORY: Hazard ahead in Chelsea’s Bonucci move?
Hold on a moment, Manchester City. A few days ago, Pep Guardiola’s team were being linked with a move for Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci — but now Chelsea are ready to offer Eden Hazard as part of a dramatic deal, according to the Sun.
With Blues boss Antonio Conte seemingly on a constant lookout for defensive reinforcements at the moment, Italy defender Bonucci has become “his No 1 priority,” the Sun says.
And after reports that Juve could be ready to part with Bonucci for a deal involving a huge fee plus Chelsea’s Spain international midfielder Cesc Fabregas, Conte is ready to offer them a different exchange.
That means Hazard is the name in the frame, with the Belgium star still trying to recover from the difficult season that followed his Player of the Year award for his starring role in the London club’s 2014-15 Premier League title win.
Why might he be in the frame? Well, the Sun says, he has “failed to convince Conte of his reliability.”
The fly in the ointment, however, is that Juventus would still rather add Fabregas — who they believe is better-suited to their style — than Hazard.
Meanwhile, the Daily Mail reports that the Blues are “monitoring Lazio winger Felipe Anderson,” also a reported target of Manchester United in the recent past.
The Daily Mail says Conte has “asked the club to look into” a move for the 23-year-old, who won a gold medal with Brazil at the summer’s Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro.
Schweinsteiger in shape for new challenge
He may not have a future with Manchester United, but former Germany captain Bastian Schweinsteiger is offering clubs interested in him plenty of encouragement, says the Sun.
It reports that Schweinsteiger “has been impressing United staff with his attitude since being frozen out” after the summer arrival of Jose Mourinho, alerting clubs in both the MLS and the Bundesliga — the two most widely mooted January destinations for the 32-year-old.
The Sun reports that Schweinsteiger “has been travelling to the Red Devils’ Carrington training base for extra fitness sessions to get himself in shape.”
And it says a United source revealed that the club have been “very impressed with him,” adding that “he has managed to get himself much fitter over the last month.”
Trio tracking another Fulham prodigy
The last couple of years or so haven’t been too clever for Fulham — but the Cottagers have not lost their knack of producing exciting young players.
Here’s the latest — midfielder Matt O’Riley. O’Reilly is only 15, but he’s already attracting the attention of Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool, says the Sun.
The teenager is regarded as one of the best in the country, the Sun reports, with his performances for the Fulham under-18s “alerting the Premier League big boys.”
O’Riley has “yet to agree to join the club’s academy” but “could command a fee in excess of £1 million” if any of the three interested clubs opts to go for a deal.
— Barcelona midfielder Arda Turan has told Turkey’s Beyaz TV he could have left the Camp Nou for a lucrative offer from China but was told to stay where he was.
He said: “Last season, a club from China offered €50m to Barcelona, but they rejected it because I’m a long-term project. Barca did not sign me just for six months.”
— A double dose of Sunderland news — the battle for Lamine Kone isn’t over yet, despite the club’s successful rebuttal of Everton in the summer window.
The Echo reports that the Toffees have not given up on Kone — and could be joined in the race by West Ham. Meanwhile, Espanyol could move for midfielder Wahbi Khazri.