Football Rumours: Juventus targeting Theo Walcott
JUVENTUS have reportedly hit the front of the queue waiting to snap up Theo Walcott if the England international fails to sign a new Arsenal contract.
Arsene Wenger is planning new talks this week with Walcott but the Italian giants appear primed to register their interest should he become available on a free transfer at the end of the season.
The 23-year-old is in the final year of his contract at the Emirates and will be available to negotiate a pre-contract agreement with an overseas club in January.
Walcott, who was linked with possible moves to Manchester City, Liverpool and Spartak Moscow over the summer, has publicly stated his role in the side rather than money is the largest stumbling block to him putting pen to paper.
Meanwhile, Sir Alex Ferguson is plotting a move for Fulham centre-back Brede Hangeland with rumours circulating Nemanja Vidic could soon be joining Barcelona.
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The 31-year-old Norwegian’s contract expires at the end of the season, but United are considering lodging a bid for the defender in January.
Ferguson has once again this season been forced into playing Michael Carrick at centre-back with Vidic, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling all still on the sidelines with injuries.
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Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini was at the Vicente Calderon stadium on Sunday as Falcao scored in Atletico Madrid’s 2-1 victory over Malaga.
The 26-year-old striker has been linked with a possible January move to either the defending Premier League champions or Chelsea.
But Atletico chairman Enrique Cerezo has no concerns over his hitman, insisting they are calm over his future – and joked Mancini was there to search for a home in Malaga.
Joey Barton’s career at QPR appears to have come to an end after chief executive Philip Beard admitted the club has moved on.
The 29-year-old midfielder, who received a 12-match ban for his sending off and subsequent reaction on the last day of the 2011-12 season against Manchester City, is currently on loan at Marseille.
However, Beard admitted the club is looking to move on, insisting Barton was signed by former boss Neil Warnock and not current manager Mark Hughes.
Meanwhile at the London club, Tony Fernandes insists he will not sack Mark Hughes as QPR boss, despite the Hoops having not yet won a single Premier League game.
Elsewhere, Roy Hodgson is set to call Liverpool midfielder Jonjo Shelvey, 20, into his England squad ahead of the World Cup qualifier.
Blackburn Rovers managing director Derek Shaw says Alan Shearer has the credentials to be considered for the managerial vacancy at Ewood Park, but that his popularity among fans should not be a decisive factor.
And finally, Mario Balotelli is set to escape a fine from Manchester City for his tunnel strop on Saturday.