The approach of a new transfer window means different things to different people. For Daniel Sturridge it’s an opportunity to find first-team football; for David Moyes it’s a chance to freshen up his squad; for Harry Redknapp it’s a time to take his dog for a long walk along the beach and daydream about a £7.5m triple swoop for Pedro Mendes, Sean Davis and Noe Pamarot.
And for Antonio Conte, it’s a time to steel himself for a bare-knuckle fight with Roman Abramovich, Maria Granovskaia and any other mug in the Chelsea boardroom who disagrees with his transfer policy.
The Blues manager has repeatedly bemoaned the paucity of his squad in recent weeks, just as he did in the summer, and he will therefore be expecting strong reinforcements next month, just as he did in the summer (and ended up with Davide Zappacosta).
The early signs, at least, are promising. The Mail says Chelsea are planning to gazump Arsenal and Liverpool by launching an £80m bid for the Monaco winger Thomas Lemar, who may be available in January following the French side’s elimination from the Champions League.
READ MORE: Conte worried by Chelsea’s squad size
More satisfying still, Conte also looks set to throw a metaphorical carton of milk into the face of his predecessor Jose Mourinho.
The Sun says Manchester United target Alex Sandro is set to snub Mourinho and instead push for a move to Stamford Bridge, the Brazilian left-back having decided he wants to quit Juventus. The Blues are now in “pole position” to sign Sandro for a “significantly lower” fee than the £80m they were quoted in August.
It’s not all good news for Conte though, because the Mail says his £22m offer for Bayer Leverkusen’s 20-year-old winger Leon Bailey has been “rebuffed” by the Bundesliga outfit.
Chelsea have reportedly “been aware of Bailey’s ability since he moved to Europe from Jamaica as a 15-year-old”. Can’t believe they didn’t just sign him then and send him out on loan.
Man Utd lead chase for Germany starlet
In news that is not about Chelsea, the Sun claims that Man Utd, Arsenal and Tottenham are keen on another Bundesliga starlet – the 21-year-old Hoffenheim midfielder Nadiem Amiri. The Premier League trio are said to be “weighing up” £20m bids to land the Germany Under-21 player in January.
Meanwhile, the aforementioned David Moyes has identified Jack Wilshere as one of the new faces to freshen up his West Ham squad next month.
READ MORE: Why Mourinho deserves new Man United deal
Elsewhere, Arsenal have “agreed” a £35.3m deal to sign former Stoke midfielder Steven Nzonzi from Sevilla in January (Mirror), West Brom are plotting a loan move for Liverpool striker Danny Ings next month (Telegraph) and new Everton manager Sam Allardyce has “cancelled” the Toffees players’ Christmas party (Mirror). But that’s mainly because he’s already got his own plans to go on the lash in Marbs.