Press Watch: Abramovich's spending 'to hit £70m with Emerson and Veron deals'

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The Independent Football

Chelsea's spending since Roman Abramovich began the Russian revolution at Stamford Bridge could rise to more than £70m this week thanks to a spectacular double signing if Sunday Mirror predictions are accurate.

The Mirror says Chelsea have agreed a club record £20m fee with Roma for the Brazilian midfielder Emerson and reckons Manchester United's Juan Sebastian Veron will complete a £13.5m move to London this week. The People, however, is not so sure about Veron, claiming Chelsea's £100,000-a-week offer is a last attempt in response to his initial rejection of their overtures.

The People says United are ready to sign the Barcelona defender Carlos Puyol to partner Rio Ferdinand with Wes Brown still injured and Laurent Blanc retired. The News of the World claims Real Madrid offered Raul to United before Chelsea's £37m bid for the striker.

The same paper says two Chelsea players are attracting interest from elsewhere, with Borussia Mönchengladbach keen on the striker Mikael Forsell and Portsmouth looking at the defender Celestine Babayaro. The Sunday Express links Portsmouth with a £1.5m move for the Newcastle centre-back Nikos Dabizas.

The People reckons Liverpool are ready to spend £2.5m on the Cardiff and Wales defender Daniel Gabbidon, while the News of the World claims the Aston Villa manager, David O'Leary, wants to complete a hat-trick of buys from Sunderland by adding Kevin Phillips and Thomas Sorensen to the already signed Gavin McCann. Sunderland are said to want £3m for Phillips, for whom Villa have reportedly offered £2m, and would not want far short of that for goalkeeper Sorensen. The Mirror says Sunderland are the latest club to show and interest in Wimbledon's Republic of Ireland striker David Connolly.

Blackburn's busy summer is set to continue with a move for Sunderland midfielder Claudio Reyna, according to the Mirror. The People says Blackburn have bid for £2m for the West Bromwich Albion left-back Neil Clement.

Despite the Mirror's insistence that Birmingham must offload one from Stern John, Clinton Morrison and Geoff Horsfield to reduce a striker surplus at St Andrew's, the News of the World says that Steve Bruce wants to follow his signing of Argentinian Luciano Figuero by landing the Arsenal front man Francis Jeffers. The News of the World reveals a £1.5m Everton offer for Birmingham's Robbie Savage and reckons the Welsh international will be allowed to leave if the bid is raised to £2.5m.

Meanwhile, the Express reckons Arsenal are ready offer Real Madrid's apparently unwanted Steve McManaman a passport back to the Premiership if they can find a buyer for either Sylvain Wiltord or Kanu.

Southampton are poised to clinch the £2m signing of the Real Sociedad winger Javier de Pedro, reports the Mirror, while The People says the Saints have been told by Charlton to find £3.5m if they want to land the full-back Paul Konchesky.