Football Rumours: Liverpool target Arsenal contract rebel Theo Walcott

THEO Walcott could be on the verge of joining Liverpool in January with his contract expiring at the end of the season and a central striking position offered at Anfield.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is believed to be monitoring Walcott’s contract dispute at Arsenal and the Reds boss could use the �10m he has been promised for transfers to make a bid for the England forward.

Walcott could be snapped up for just �8m in the January transfer window and could be offered a �100,000-a-week as well as the central striking role he prefers.

The 23-year-old has rejected a five-year contract worth �75,000-a-week at the Emirates, insisting he wants to switch from the wing to a central striking role and also play more frequently.

Meanwhile, Chelsea’s pursuit of Brazilian midfielder Paulinho, who is also wanted by Inter Milan, appears doomed after his club dismissed rumours he will be sold.

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Roberto Di Matteo has been tracking the 24-year-old defensive midfielder for some time and was hoping to bring him in as competition for first-choice pair John Obi Mikel and Ramires.

But the six-cap international has recently signed a new deal at Corinthians and the club’s president Mario Gobbi Filho insists he did not do so in order to command a larger transfer fee.

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Sunderland, Aston Vila and Fulham are among a host of sides tracking Norwich midfielder Wes Hoolahan, who is yet to be offered a new contract by the Canaries.

The 30-year-old’s form earned him a place in the Republic of Ireland squad on Thursday, but Norwich are in danger of losing midfielder Wes Hoolahan after dragging their heels over a new contract.

Manchester City’s out-of-favour defender Kolo Toure, 31, has revealed he would like to play in France.

Toure has slipped down City’s pecking order since he was suspended for a failed drugs test in March 2011 – and he made just 13 appearances as City won their maiden Premier League crown last season.

Elsewhere, Newcastle are set to open talks in January for �4m-rated Toulouse midfielder Moussa Sissoko who would “jump at the chance” to join the Magpies.

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew is compiling a list of potential January signings, and for the second transfer window in a row, strengthening the Magpies defence will be a priority.

But Newcastle have put contract talks with defender Danny Simpson on hold until next year after failing to reach an agreement.

Back in London, Arsenal are lining up a move for Croatia U17 midfielder Ante Roguljic, 16, who is valued at �1.5m by club NK Adriatic Split.

Meanwhile, Spanish side Real Betis want to take QPR midfielder Esteban Granero on loan in January, while West Ham are keen to move for Chelsea’s Belgian international keeper Thibaut Courtois, 20, who is currently on loan at Atletico Madrid.

Everton could move for Poland striker Arkadiusz Milik, after the Gornik Zabrze player became the youngest leading scorer in Europe.

And finally, having signed Jan Vertonghen in the close season, Tottenham are eyeing another Belgian defender playing for Ajax, with �8m-rated 23-year-old Toby Alderweireld their latest target.

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