Chelsea may have pots of money at Claudio Ranieri's disposal but persuading some clubs to part with the names on their wanted list continues to be troublesome. Having finally raised their bid high enough to interest Blackburn in selling Damien Duff - in theory, at least - they now find Roma reluctant to part with the striker Francesco Totti and the Brazil midfielder Emerson.
According to the News of the World, Chelsea had a £17m offer for Emerson turned down on Saturday by the Italian club, whose spokesman insisted: "Emerson is not for sale and neither is Totti."
The Express, meanwhile, suggests that Chelsea's pursuit of the Arsenal midfielder, Patrick Vieira, may now go on hold until the January transfer window, when the Gunners would have little option but to sell if the Frenchman has still not signed a new contract, given that he would be able to leave for nothing next summer. Chelsea's owner, Roman Abramovich, would then offer Vieira £150,000 a week to move across London, making him the highest-paid player in the world. The Mail on Sunday believes Vieira has asked Arsenal for £110,000 a week plus a £1m annual loyalty bonus.
The Express also reports that the Chelsea target Steven Gerrard and his Anfield team-mate Michael Owen will be offered substantially improved contracts to pledge themselves long term to Liverpool, while the Sunday Mirror's revelation that the Newcastle pair Kieron Dyer and Jermaine Jenas have been added to Abramovich's list - on Sven Goran Eriksson's recommendation - is countered by a People splash naming Dyer as a £20m target for Manchester United. Their story says that Sir Alex Ferguson sees Dyer as the man to replace David Beckham but suggests the spin-off effects could be in Chelsea's favour.
United would apparently be willing to sell Juan Sebastian Veron to Chelsea to help finance the deal and would not then move for Duff, ending speculation that they would hijack Chelsea's move for the Republic of Ireland player.
However, The Express believes United are ready to move for West Ham's Joe Cole following their failure to land Ronaldinho from Paris St Germain, although The Mirror reckons Ferguson's top target is now the 22-year-old Real Betis winger Joaquin.
Aston Villa are linked with three goalkeepers. The People says Sunderland's Thomas Sorensen is the manager David O'Leary's choice in a £1.75m double deal involving the midfielder Gavin McCann, while The Express reckons he has approached Leeds again about Paul Robinson, despite talks with the England squad player having broken down over personal terms. The News of the World has Villa and Wolves in the running to land Tottenham's Neil Sullivan for £500,000.
The Mirror's story that Steve McManaman is to be told he is no longer wanted by Real Madrid contrasts with an Express tale that the former Liverpool midfielder is to stay in Spain for one more year both to give Beckham an English friend in the dressing-room and to pick up the extra £3m he will be paid for seeing out his £60,000-a-week contract.Reuse content