Benitez to offer Mata way out

Chelsea midfielder Juan Mata has found it a struggle to break into Jose Mourinho’s new-look Blues lineup. The Spanish international was the London club’s best player last season and some say unfairly ditched from the starting 11. In today’s newspapers, Mata, is linked with a move to Serie A club Napoli. His former boss Rafa Benitez in now in charge in Naples and is set to offer Mata a way out of the club.

For this rumor and the rest of today’s transfer gossip, click here.


Contract Bridge fo Edinson Cavani?


The wheels are starting to turn in Chelsea’s bid for a world-class striker during the transfer window. New Napoli boss Rafael Benitez says he wants to work with Fernando Torres again which could pave the way for Edinson Cavani’s move to Stamford Bridge. More on this and the futures of Real Madrid trio Cristiano Ronaldo, Luka Modric, Gonzalo Higuain are just one click away in Monday’s edition of Paper Chase - the best gossip in town.


Trecker’s Travels, Day Six: Writer’s bash


Photo: Action Images

By Jamie Trecker


Last night Gareth Bale completed his sweep of the awards circuit by collecting the Football Writer’s Player of the Year Award here at a posh hotel off Kensington Gardens.  It is the most prestigious of the awards, and a throwback to the days when the relationship between the media and the players was very different than it is today.

It is one of the few times of the year that the people who play the game and the people who cover it get together and act chummy. Most of it’s off the record, a lot of it is fueled by alcohol. In years past the, the gala was notorious for its punch-ups and the sheer volume of hangovers it could produce. It’s a very English event: several hundred unwashed scribes poured into the cleanest possible suits, all with exactly the same rep tie. The aim is not to stand out (advice ignored by the American, who was put into his suit by his partner and foolishly wore a bow tie) to avoid embarrassment and then get pissed.

There’s lots of back-slapping. Glasses of lager are sloshed, and it’s a badge of honor to get the next round. If you’re unwary, you can end up holding six pints inside five minutes. The players and managers walk about freely.  Rafa Benitez was eagerly explaining, well, something, to anyone in earshot. Andre Villas-Boas was extremely polite. I ended in the urinal next to Roy Hodgson.

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