Chelsea are among the clubs linked with highly-rated Ajax defender Joel Veltman in today’s Sunday Mirror.
Arsenal, Manchester United and Manchester City are also said to be monitoring the 22-year-old centre-back, who has been described as a “sensation” by former Gunners star Marc Overmars, who is now director of football at Ajax.
Overmars is quoted as saying: “I will barricade the doors and I will go and stand behind the door myself to stop them from taking him. He means too much to us.”
The Sunday Mirror also say Liverpool are interested in Chelsea’s Ashley Cole, Real Madrid want Thibaut Courtois, and that Manchester City ditched plans to appoint Jose Mourinho in 2009 because they believed the Chelsea boss, then in charge at Inter Milan, had set his heart on managing Manchester United.
It is claimed that Real’s apparent interest in Blues keeper Courtois is based on a dossier put together when Mourinho was at the Spanish club.
A source is quoted as saying: “As soon as Courtois arrived on loan at Atletico from Chelsea, a file was opened on him under instructions from Mourinho.
“The information built up is exhaustive and Courtois is on Madrid’s list of targets.”
The Sunday People say Mourinho, while publicly playing down Chelsea’s chances in order to keep the pressure off them, has told his players he expects them to win the title this season.
And there is continued speculation about the future of Southampton left-back Luke Shaw.
The Daily Star Sunday claim Manchester United are increasingly optimistic they will beat Chelsea to the signing of the teenager and that Old Trafford boss David Moyes plans to table big-money bids for both Shaw and Everton right-back Seamus Coleman.
Meanwhile, the Sunday Mirror say Rene Meulensteen has only two games to save his job as Fulham boss.
The Whites face United today and it is claimed that Fulham owner Shahid Khan will make a decision after the midweek game against Liverpool.
Technical director Alan Curbishley is touted as a possible replacement for the Dutchman.