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In the Champions League games over the next two days, several talented players are going to be monitored. Manchester United will be keeping a close eye on Joao Moutinho, who has said this morning that he is ‘determined to put on a show’ when Sporting Lisbon face the Premier League champions at Old Trafford tonight. To gain a result for his current club or impress the home side and gain a move to them in January? Chelsea, meanwhile are going to be watching Yssouf Kone when they play against Rosenborg tomorrow.
Away from the Champions League though there has been other transfer news today.
Leroy Lita wants out of Reading in the New Year after not being involved with the squad in the last two games for the Royals. The England Under 21 striker is valued at £3m and has been linked to Middlesbrough and Portsmouth. It remains to be seen though if Reading would sell him should they receive an offer.
Asamoah Gyan had strongly been linked with a move to Manchester City from Udinese however the Italian side have blocked any move for the Ghanaian international. The striker was reported to be joining Manchester City in January but as he would be playing in the African Nations Cup for Ghana in the New Year a move was more likely to happen next summer. Will Manchester City test Udinese’s resolve by still trying to land the player or will they turn their attention else where?
After Croatia’s victory over England last week there have been a few Croats linked with moves to the Premier League. Luka Modric has been the favourite to join any number of Premiership sides reportedly interested in him. Mario Mandzukic today though has been linked with a move to Manchester City, who are also interested in AC Milan defender Mario Simic. Everton and Fulham are another two clubs said to be keen on Simic.
Celtic are determined to defend their Scottish League title from Rangers this season and want to bring in three new players in January, especially as star player Shunsuke Nakamura has been linked with a move away from the club. Top of their wanted list apparently is James McFadden from Everton for £4m, Jose Bosingwa from FC Porto for £3m (also linked with a move to Aston Villa) and Hibernian’s Steven Fletcher for £2m + Derek Riordan.
Newcastle United are leading the chase to sign central defender Jonas Olsson. Newcastle United hope the 24 year-old Swede can help organise their shaky defence. Olsson currently plays for Dutch side NEC Nijmegen but has not hidden his desire to play in England. He told an interviewer that ‘If I leave in January, NEC can get a lot of money for me.’ He is valued at £3m.
With the trouble surrounding Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez’s public clash with owners Tom Hicks and George Gillet last week it’s been revealed that the player Benitez wanted to sign which caused his reaction was AC Milan defender Kahka Kaladze. Now it seems that any hope of signing the Georgian player have vanished as even Benitez’s days are numbered at Liverpool. The American owners wanted to schedule a meeting with Benitez for 16th December in order to discuss transfers but it’s thought the manager would have had to sell first in order to buy anyone new. The Georgian would have no doubt added some experience to Liverpool’s back four as Sami Hypia has struggled, Jamie Carragher has not been playing to his best and Daniel Agger has been missing through injury. Liverpool have also been previously linked with promising Argentine Ezequiel Marcelo Garay.