Press Watch: Michael Owen's tipped end-of-season departure from Anfield may see a £30m bid

Barcelona will keep their money for Arsenal's Thierry Henry
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The Independent Football

If Michael Owen decides to leave Liverpool, as the Sunday Express predicts he will at the end of the season, most of Europe's top clubs can be expected to join a chase for the England striker, even at a projected fee of £30m. But Spanish giants Barcelona may have spent up by then.

According to the Sunday Mirror, Barça will go all out to sign Thierry Henry from the Premiership leaders, Arsenal, as the man to revive the Catalan club's flagging fortunes. And they will make sure Patrick Kluivert is available to be offered as bait, which would scupper Newcastle's dream of signing the Dutch star.

And Barça's transfer splash may not end there. The News of the World says they are ready to make a serious bid for the Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard and suggests also that they have pipped Arsenal for PSV Eindhoven's Serbian striker Mateja Kezman. They are even tipped by The People to be ready to offer £6.25m to give the Tottenham flop Helder Postiga an escape from White Hart Lane.

Liverpool are lining up Alvaro Recoba, Internazionale's Uruguayan international striker, as Owen's replacement, according to the Express, while the Mirror says Arsenal want Real Mallorca's Cameroon frontman Samuel Eto'o to step into Henry's shoes.

The News of the World says Chelsea have been successful with a £5.3m bid for the 19-year-old Brazilian striker Nilmar, who is with Internacional de Porto Alegre, but it is Manchester United who are seemingly poised for the next big moves in the market.

The People links United with a move for Anderlecht's impressive 17-year-old centre-half Vincent Kompany, while the Mirror predicts a double New Year swoop for the Real Madrid defender Michel Salgado, whose contract expires next summer, and £8m-rated Sao Paulo striker Luis Fabiano.

Salgado is also a target for Chelsea, but the Londoners could be in trouble with Fifa, according to the News of the World, which reports that Real are threatening to report Chelsea's incoming chief executive, Peter Kenyon, for making an allegedly illegal approach for the player.

The Mail on Sunday says Chelsea are set to take over from United as favourites to land the 14-year-old American prospect Freddi Adu, the nephew of the former Leeds striker Tony Yeboah, after United decided £2m was too much to pay for one so young.

West Ham should brace themselves for more departures, even after the arrival of Alan Pardew as manager.

The News of the World predicts the £10m sale of Jermain Defoe to Manchester United in January, with Pardew spending £3m on Dwight Yorke as his replacement. The People says that the £25,000-a-week midfielder Don Hutchison is also likely to be sacrificed.

Blackburn's out-of-favour Yorke is also a possible target for the First Division leaders, West Bromwich Albion, the Mirror reports, although Newcastle's Carl Cort is apparently Gary Megson's first choice.

The News of the World reckons that Middlesbrough are ready to splash out again with an £8m bid for Internazionale's Nigerian striker Obafemi Martins.

Nigel Clough is favourite to land his first managerial post in the Nationwide League at Second Division strugglers Wycombe Wanderers, according to The People.

The Mirror reckons that the sacked Millwall manager, Mark McGhee, has been interviewed by the Second Division promotion contenders Brighton.