Tottenham's efforts to sign Willian from Anzhi Makhachkala could be derailed by the personal intervention of Roman Abramovich, who is rumoured to have button-holed the Russian club's owner, Suleyman Kerimov, at a midweek meeting of Oligarchs Anonymous and gazumped Spurs with a bid of £32m for the big-haired attacking midfielder. The Brazilian has already coughed for the medics at White Hart Lane, where he may yet end up, but Chelsea's last-ditch efforts to turn the player's head are bound to be a huge source of frustration for Spurs suits. Willian is believed to have "held talks" with Chelsea, in which pleasantries about the muggy London weather, the comfort of his hotel room and the size of the number that will appear on his weekly pay-cheque were almost certainly discussed.
If Chelsea successfully hijack Tottenham's proposed deal for Willian, it is Gareth Bale and Real Madrid who could suffer, with some reports suggesting Spurs chairman Daniel Levy is so livid over Abramovich's shenanigans that he is threatening to ball his fists, stamp his feet and refuse to countenance the Spanish club's £94m bid for the Welsh winger, for whom the No11 shirt at the Bernabeu is being reserved but - unlike yesterday - is no longer available for sale on the club's website. Make of that completely meaningless piece of trivia, whatever you like. In other well-documented Tottenham-related transfer tell-all, André Villas-Boas still likes the look of 21-year-old Roma striker Erik Lamela and the 23-year-old Bosnia midfielder Miralem Pjanic.
Manchester United manager Ed Woodward is reported to have sent Chelsea a "terse" letter, warning them to cease and desist in their efforts to sign Wayne Rooney. While the contents of the missive have not been divulged, they are bound to have provided no shortage of comic relief in the Chelsea boardroom, where a new bid for the Manchester United striker is being prepared for submission once the two sides have dealt with the irritating distraction of their Premier League match on Monday night. Should Manchester United refuse to sell want-away Wayne to Chelsea, José Mourinho will attempt to prise Robert Lewandowski away from Borussia Dortmund with a bid of £40m for the Polish striker, who would earn £300,000 per week in London. The bad news for Mourinho, however, is that having made just shy of £44m net profit last season, the Bundesliga club are under no pressure to sell and recently pacified their restless star striker with a €3.5m pay rise.
Arsenal will attempt to pacify their frustrated fans by signing out-of-contract midfielder Mathieu Flamini on a free transfer five years after selling him to AC Milan. Depending on supporter reaction to the deal, Arsène Wenger will spend the remainder of the transfer window attempting to lure other Arsenal old boys to the Emirates, with Gus Caeser, Eddie McGoldrick and Charlie George all reported to be on red alert and sitting nervously by their phones.
Liverpool are hoping to bring Dutch-born Serbian forward Richairo Zivkovic to Anfield. A mere whelp at just 16 years of age, Zivkovic has scored two goals in his six appearances for FC Groningen to date and has already been imaginatively labelled the "new Arjen Robben", either because he falls over a lot or has just replaced the Dutch winger as the Eredivisie club's youngest ever goalscorer. Liverpool are unlikely to have it all their own way as they attempt to sign the talented youngster, with PSV Eindhoven and Ajax are also interested in securing the services of young Zivkovic, according to Groningen director Hans Nijland.
Cardiff City's efforts to sign PSG midfielder Momo Sissoko have hit the skids, after the Welsh Premier League outfit failed to agree personal terms with the former Liverpool enforcer who has been told he is no longer wanted in Paris, but may now find a home in the even more glamorous environs of Stoke.
Internazionale midfielder Zdravko Kuzmanovic would quite like to move to England or Germany and he doesn't care who knows it. "If we get a good proposal from England or Germany we will take this into consideration together with Inter," said the Serbian's agent Marko Naletilic, adding: "We do not care about the rest." Kuzmanovic had been linked with a move to Sunderland a couple of weeks ago but is currently believed to be making loud pinging noises on West Ham's radar. The Hammers are also on the look-out for a striker and are currently gazing seductively at Juventus striker Fabio Quagliarella and his Porto counterpart Silvestre Varela.
Palermo goalkeeper Emiliano Viviano is the latest player who might join Arsenal but probably won't, while Galatasaray and Napoli are preparing to duke it out in their respective efforts to sign John Obi Mikel, who has yet to appear for Chelsea this season and appears to be valued somewhere in the region of £10m.