Transfer talk: Luis Suarez in Premier League return, Lionel Messi to Chelsea, Manchester United sign Victor Valdes, Petr Cech to Arsenal

A look at today's major transfer rumours

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The Independent Football

As revealed by The Independent, Manchester United are determined to tie down David De Gea’s future at Old Trafford despite agreeing a deal with his Spanish compatriot Victor Valdes that will see the former Barcelona goalkeeper join on a free transfer.

De Gea has 18 months left on his contract and is attracting interest from European champions Real Madrid, with the Spanish international identified as the long-term successor to Iker Casillas. However, United are hoping to extend De Gea’s stay in Manchester beyond 2017 after a first half of the Premier League season that has seen him establish himself as one of the leading goalkeepers in the world.

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Barcelona’s £75m summer signing Luis Suarez is being linked with a stunning return to England as Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United have all been put on alert to a potential Nou Camp departure, according to the Daily Mail.

 

Suarez has hardly set the La Liga alight since his arrival last year having scored just three goals in 12 appearances, although his playing time has been hampered by the four-month ban he received for biting Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup. The dismissal of Andoni Zubizarreta and resignation of his assistant Carlos Puyol is thought to be pivotal to Suarez’s future, and could pave the way to a shock return to the Premier League. However, Barcelona’s one-year transfer ban is likely to halt any sale in the short-term as the Catalans would not be able to sign a replacement.

Liverpool are hoping to persuade Manchester City’s versatile midfielder James Milner to join them in January despite the England midfielder being available on a free transfer at the end of the season when his contract expires, according to The Times. Milner has failed to tie down a regular first-team berth this season, although he was given a run in the side as a striker due to the injuries suffered to Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and Stevan Jovetic.

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Milner is a target for Liverpool

On paper, however, Milner doesn’t figure in City’s strongest XI, and Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is determined to strike a deal this month despite the option of taking him on a free in the summer.

Chelsea are reported to be willing to trigger Lionel Messi’s incredible £200m release clause and hope a six-year deal will lure him to Stamford Bridge, according to the Daily Star. Despite Jose Mourinho’s comments earlier in the season that a move for the Argentinian was “obviously not true”, a breakdown in the relationship between Messi and Barcelona coach Luis Garcia has strengthened talk of a Nou Camp exit.

The Blues, who are not afraid of splashing the cash if the deal is right, are said to be able to match his high wage demands that could effectively double the cost of any transfer.

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Messi has had a meeting with team-mates to clear the air

Real Madrid

look to be winning the race for highly-regarded teenager Martin Odegaard after the Norwegian was pictured at the Vicente Calderon for last night’s 2-0 defeat to Atletico Madrid in the Copa del Rey. The 16-year-old talent has attracted the interest of the biggest clubs around Europe ahead of his 17th birthday when he can sign a professional contract, with both Manchester clubs plus Liverpool believed to be interested in signing the youngest player to ever appear in the European Championship.

But his appearance at Atletico appears to suggest that Real have won the battle for his signature, having fended off the likes of Bayern Munich, Ajax and Roma as well as the Premier League trio.

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Cech looks to be on his way out of Chelsea

Finally, Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech has been told he can choose his next club when he decides the time is right to end his career with the Blues with a move to Arsenal appearing more and more likely. As reported in the Telegraph, Cech will be allowed to leave at the end of the season despite his contract running until 2016 after falling behind Thibaut Courtois in Mourinho’s pecking order. However, any move in January was given “no chance” by the Portuguese who allowed third-choice Mark Schwarzer to leave this week in a move to Leicester.

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