Post-Mourinho Chelsea join ‘Pep chase’
Top Story: Chelsea join race for Pep
Manchester United and Manchester City look to be leading the race for Pep Guardiola should he announce he will depart Bayern Munich at the end of the season. Now Chelsea have spectacularly thrown their hat into the ring with the sensational exit of Jose Mourinho on Thursday.
Though Chelsea tried to spare the Portuguese coach further embarrassment by saying the departure was "by mutual consent," the club's woeful defence of their Premier League title coupled with Mourinho losing the dressing room meant the final word, as always, lay with Roman Abramovich. But The Special One is still hot property and could spark a managerial merry-go-round: United and City both want Guardiola and look set to jettison Louis van Gaal and Manuel Pellegrini, respectively, if they can land the Bayern Munich boss, although Mourinho's presence in the market -- plus the vacant Chelsea job -- has thrown everything into flux.
The Express reports that a deal for Guardiola to be Mourinho's full-time successor at the end of the season is "90 percent done." The Daily Mail suggests that the Bayern Munich coach has "scared off" Abramovich by reportedly demanding at least 10 new players to rebuild the squad, but also claims that Guardiola could be tempted to take another sabbatical before replacing Arsene Wenger at Arsenal in 2017.
However, The Sun reports that Man City are still closest to landing the Catalan coach, while the Mail says Diego Simeone is the favourite for the Stamford Bridge post but "remains unconvinced" about taking such a "vulnerable" job. Former Chelsea striker Mateja Kezman says he has it on good authority that former Blues boss Guus Hiddink is set for a second spell in West London before the title holders try to tempt Simeone.
Got that? Right, moving on...
Adebayor in at the Bridge?
Chelsea fans worried about Abramovich's decision-making following the exit of Mourinho will be delighted to see the Mirror reporting that Emmanuel Adebayor has held talks over a potential move to Stamford Bridge -- when it rain, it pours.
The 31-year-old striker is without a club, with his Tottenham contract terminated by mutual consent after having failed to secure a move away from White Hart Lane this summer.
Adebayor's fondness for London was rumoured to have been the sticking point behind failed negotiations with clubs such as Aston Villa. However, West Ham or Watford could still spare us the sight of Adebayor linking up with Cesc Fabregas in a thrillingly nightmarish scenario for Arsenal and Chelsea fans alike.
And if that wasn't enough for Blues fans, Loic Remy -- the man many at the Bridge believe should be given more game time instead of the misfiring Diego Costa -- is a January loan target for St Etienne, with the France forward understood to be open to a move to secure a spot at Euro 2016 on home soil with Les Bleus.
Ronaldo preparing MLS move?
It's easy to read far too much into far too little when considering Cristiano Ronaldo's future, but The Sun believes that the Real Madrid star's latest business venture could point to a late-career move to MLS.
The paper reports that the 30-year-old forward announced he is opening three hotels -- in Funchal, Lisbon and Madrid -- in locations tied closely to his playing career, and is also planning another in New York in 2017.
Ronaldo and his agent Jorge Mendes are masters of spinning stories to ensure maximum leverage come contract renewal season, but the Portugal captain has spoken of an interest in playing in the U.S. at some point. Having suggested a move to Paris with PSG is unlikely because he prefers living in Madrid, that leaves few realistic options for Ronaldo barring a return to Manchester United, a move to Italy or a stateside deal.
Although 2017 may be a little early to make a MLS move, it appears Ronaldo will at least have a gorgeous hotel to put up his entourage rent-free should he decide to join the likes of Andrea Pirlo and Frank Lampard in the Big Apple.
Klopp closes on Grujic
Transfer Talks fans will know all about Marko Grujic, with the Serbian starlet frequently mentioned as a target for a whole host of Premier League clubs over the past year or so. But the good news for Liverpool fans is that multiple British newspapers are reporting that Jurgen Klopp looks to have finally gotten his man after chief executive Ian Ayre flew to Belgrade to finalise a £5 million deal for the 19-year-old midfielder.
The Mirror says that Anfield fans will have to wait to see Grujic in action though, with Klopp set to loan him back to Red Star Belgrade for the remainder of the season so as to not disrupt his development.
Liverpool supporters will also be delighted with The Guardian reporting that Inter Milan had been favourites to sign the youngster until talks with Klopp swayed him towards Merseyside, highlighting the pull factor that the former Borussia Dortmund boss has brought with him.
Di Maria wants Messi at PSG
Angel Di Maria has played with one of the world's best footballers in Ronaldo at Real Madrid, and now the Paris Saint-Germain playmaker wants to add the Bernabeu star's biggest rival -- Lionel Messi -- to his star-studded list of dressing room pals.
Messi is unlikely to ever leave Barcelona despite increased transfer speculation in 2015, but Di Maria says super-rich PSG have the cash to make any such move for his Argentina teammate reality, telling RMC: "I hope that PSG can bring Messi to Paris one day. Everything is possible. It is all about money. It would take a lot of money to sign a player like him.
"It would be great for Ligue 1 and French football in general if Messi joined PSG. We have the resources to sign him. Messi could come to Paris."
Meanwhile, PSG goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu says he will assess his future in the coming weeks amid reports that he could leave the club in January.
-It's not a great time for Manchester United fans, and they won't be pleased to hear Arda Turan's agent confirming that the Red Devils tried (and failed) to sign the Turkey captain from Atletico Madrid before he opted for Barcelona this summer.
-Breel Embolo has been linked with Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool and Wolfsburg, but Basel claim that the 18-year-old Switzerland forward will not be leaving them in the January transfer window.
-Bournemouth will step up their efforts to sign Curtis Davies in January according to the Mirror, with the Cherries confident they can land the Hull City defender for a cut-price £3m given that the defender's contract is up at the end of the season.