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Back pages | Anorak - Part 40

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Premier League news. Stories from the newspapers and BBC sport – sports news from tabloids Daily Mail, Daily Express, Daily Star, the Guardian, Daily Mirror, the times, daily telegraph

Arsenal earn more money on match day than every other club in Europe

Arsenal matchday

 

Arsenal raked in more cash from match-day activities last season than every other club in Europe. The Gunners took a whopping £101.6m, beating Real Madrid (#99.9m), Barcelona (#980m) and Manchester United (#87.8m).

Given that three other clubs directly behind Arsenal in the list of top earners all boast larger grounds, it’s clear that Arsenal are getting rich on having supporters willing to pay top whack for tickets and snacks.

 

Posted: 21st, January 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Money, Sports | Comment


Spurs go marching on as Leicester sacrifice Cup glory for league success

son FA Cup Spurs are on their way to Wembley! Well, if they can negotiate a deal to play at the national football stadium while their new ground is being built, then yes, they are. Before that they will play at least one more round in this season’s FA Cup, having seen off Leicester City in a replay earned via an iffy penalty when the team first met. The tabloids all lead with Spurs’ 0-2 win at Leicester.

The Sun  – “It was the Son wot won it” – hails Tottenham’s Heung-Min Son. His goal hit the net at 54mph. Good to know. No less interesting is the paper’s dire and ubiquitous “5 Things we learnt” column, in which a football writer is tasked with the dread job of making a list to fill a space. The first point is: “Tottenham’s reserve team was far better than  Leicester’s reserve team.” Not so. Of  the 14 Spurs player who took part in the match, 8 played against Leicester last weekend. Leicester called on 6 from 14. Neither side was at full-strength, but to call them reserve sides is wrong.

And what football writer worth their corn had to watch the match to “learn” that bigger, richer Spurs have more strength in depth than smaller, poorer Leicester?

When Spurs went 1-0 up, fist-choice striker Harry Kane came on. Only with Leicester 2-0 down did Claudio Ranieri, Leicester’s manager, send on top-scorer Jamie Vardy. Two Leicester City players – Demarai Gray and Ben Chilwell – were making their home debuts. Son’s fine goal was in part down to Chilwell’s failure to close him down. It’s pretty clear that Spurs manger, Mauricio Pochettino wanted it more.

Spurs march on. Leicester continue to be the season’s surprise package.

Posted: 21st, January 2016 | In: Back pages, Sports, Spurs | Comments (2)


Manchester United balls: Louis Van Gaal ‘Walks’

The Daily Mirror has news: Louis Van Gone – Old Trafford pressures force boss to consider his future.. he could walk a year before the end of his contract.”

 

Van gaal

 

This follows other Lois Van Gaal walking news:
walking van gaal

 

van gaal manchester united walk

 

And so to today’s walking Louis news:

Louis van Gaal is considering walking out on Manchester United this summer – a year before his contract expires… Sources in Holland claim the Dutchman’s family have become increasingly concerned at the heavy toll leading the Old Trafford giants is taking on the 64-year-old.

Sources in his homeland? If he goes, then what?

 

Van Gaal stepping down would leave the way clear for Jose Mourinho, sacked by Chelsea last month, to take over — the Special One is said to be willing to bide his time until the summer to land the Old Trafford gig.

Mourinho is “willing” be manager of the biggest club in British football. Feel the humility. Why United would go for Mourinho seems odd. Maybe thy plan to narrow the Old Trafford pitch?

 

Posted: 20th, January 2016 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Transfer balls: Spurs make James Maddison the ‘new Dele Alli’ by bidding less than Arsenal

James-MaddisonTransfer Balls: No sooner have Tottenham Hotspur signed Dele Alli, 19, then they’re getting an second Dele Alli. The Times brings news: “Spurs make fresh bid for new Dele Alli.”

This new version of the old Alli is 19-year-old James Maddison, currently on Coventry City’s books. Everton, Liverpool, Manchester City, Southampton and Newcastle United are also in for him, we’re told. The Times says Spurs will offer Coventry £5m.

But the Mirror says Liverpool are “leading the chase” for his signature, although the Reds will probably just wait for Southampton to buy Maddison and then sign him from there.

The Metro says Arsenal also want Maddison and Coventry “could accept a £10m bid”.  The Express agrees, saying that £10m for the “wonderkid” is a fair price.

After so much speculation, we wonder how good he is? The Coventry Telegraph reported a few words from his manager Steven Pressley, back in 2014:

“James typifies what I want to see at this club,” he said. “After the game on Wednesday he was the last player out the dressing room, not because it took him longest to get changed but because he helped Andy Harvey collect the kit and clear up. That’s what it takes at this club – it takes everybody buying into what we are… “

He’s talented and hard-working. No wonder the big clubs want him.

Posted: 20th, January 2016 | In: Back pages, Sports | Comment


Transfer balls: Chelsea want Berahino who wants Spurs but will go to Newcastle

berahino spurs

 

It’s been a busy fee days of doing nothing for West Brom’s Saido Berahino. The Birmingham Mail says he’d play for Spurs or go “nowhere”.

A few days on and the London Evening Standard says Berahino is heading to Chelsea. The Blues are “favourites” to land the striker’s signature. The Daily Express says Berahino is off to Newcastle United. 

Spurs or nowhere? More like just anywhere.

Posted: 19th, January 2016 | In: Back pages, Sports | Comment


Laughably biased Daily Express story calls BT Sport The Arsenal of TV

Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 15.10.45

 

In “BT Sport’s winning duo: Hoddle and Hargreaves showing Sky are no longer the limit” the Daily Express’. The story on Liverpool’s 3-3 with Arsenal is written by Jim Holden. It contains the following:

BT! And there was something else which made this a memorable match – the superb coverage last Wednesday evening by BT Sport…

This was the night when they proved their live football broadcasting can be the equal of the brilliance for so long provided by Sky…

Instead of going to an advert break at just the wrong moment before the start of the game, they allowed us to hear The Kop singing ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’. As anyone who has been to the ground knows, this is an integral part of matches at Anfield and it should always be conveyed to TV viewers….

…the radical decision by BT to have two analysts talking about the match alongside the commentator worked a treat….

Owen Hargreaves and Glenn Hoddle combined perfectly…

This H-men double act of Hoddle and Hargreaves will give the best of Sky a run for their money…

The use of World Cup Final referee Howard Webb to give instant verdicts on contentious or surprising decisions by the officials is another bonus from BT Sport…

You want more?

It takes time, and it has taken time, for a new TV station to develop its coverage and win the loyalty of viewers at home across the country. In my experience, that hurdle has now been jumped by BT Sport.

They are a serious player, much like Arsenal in this year’s Premier League title race…

Nowhere does it say that Holden has another gig:

 

BT Sport Daily Express

 

Back of the net!

 

Posted: 19th, January 2016 | In: Back pages, Sports, Tabloids, TV & Radio | Comments (5)


Transfer balls: four Chelsea players in mass exodus is a blessing

It’s “cHELLsea” on the Sun’s backpage, the pun a natural fit between the fires of Hades and a football club in West London. “Chelsea are fearing an exodus of their biggest players this summer,” writes Rob Beasley in a story on the Blues’ “fab four”.

The “Fab Four” are  Eden Hazard, Diego Costa, Oscar and Thibaut Courtois. These four players have been unsettled by Chelsea’s failure to be closer to the cop of the table, we read. Should Chelsea fail to be better the Fabn Four will leave. Well so says a “source”, who opines: “Yes, they’re tied into deals but those contracts won’t stop rivals moving in at the end of the season. And they won’t stop our players considering their futures either. Contracts don’t count for a lot these days.”

Wise words that could be applied to pretty much every single footballer and every club. Rival clubs buy good players (see Chelsea’s Hazard, Costa, Courtois and Oscar – all bought by Chelsea from less wealthy clubs).

One way around this “fear” of a player exodus would be for Chelsea to develop their youth system so that players from it can progress into the first team, giving Chelsea player who actually care about the club’s fortunes.

 

Posted: 19th, January 2016 | In: Back pages, Chelsea, Sports | Comment


Liverpool Balls: Brendan Rodgers and who gets the ‘final say’ on transfers

Former Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers tells us:

“Well…it was a group decision, really. It was certainly not something I would have the sole or final say on. It’s difficult really. When there is a list of players and the player that you want isn’t on that list, you have to take someone. You can’t have no players. If you haven’t got a left-back, if the left back that you want, for whatever reason, you can’t bring in, if there is a list of three or four, you are having to take the best on that group. It’s the model.”

Is that the same Brendan Rodgers who when Liverpool manager told Liverpool Echo on May 28 2014:

 

Liverpool Rodgers

 

“Obviously, I am involved heavily in the identification of the player,” Rodgers told the ECHO.

“The principle idea when I first came in was that like any manager you will have the first call on a player and the last call.

“That’s the call on whether he’s good enough to continue to look at and try to organise a deal and the last call to say yes or no.

“There is a big part that goes on in between. In modern football you need to trust other people to do the work. That’s something we do here and that’s why we have had the success we’ve had.

“The finer details of that are left to Ian who does a terrific job and our other guys in that field who will go through the contracts. I am aware of where the situation is at right the way through the process.

“We will never bring in a player here who the manager doesn’t want in. That’s a great credit to the owners and the other people at the club.

“We work very closely together – it’s worth stressing that. It’s key that we are very much one club.

“We are really preparing for next season. I’ve had some very good meetings with our recruitment team. We are very much together as one.”

Such are the facts.

Posted: 18th, January 2016 | In: Back pages, Liverpool, Sports | Comment


Manchester United can win league say every tabloid that wants Van Gaal sacked

When Liverpool play Manchester United the Press like to hype it as a meeting comparable to Spain’s El Clasico, the shimmering fixture between Real Madrid and Barcelona. It isn’t. It’s a match between a mid-table side (Liverpool) and also-rans (Manchester United) in an ordinary Premier League league. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp calls these big matches ‘the salt in the soup’. But the soup is horribly thin and over-priced.

In yesterday’s poor match, Manchester United took all three points thanks to a Wayne Rooney goal scored with United’s single shot on target. Rooney’s strike was the one moment of genuine skill in a game devoid of style, intensity, technique and excitement.

The tabloids all lead with news that the result is all that matters.

The Express: “VanTitle Drive – Rooney keeps United hopes alive”

Mirror: “Van Gaal: We are back in title race… and it’s all down to wayne goals”.

The Sun: “Roo Gotta Believe Us – We can still win title claims defiant LVG”

Daily Mail: “Roo in Title Charge – His goal puts United back in the frame”

A dull away win against a bang average Liverpool side and Manchester Untied can in the Premier League. Wow! And these are the same paper that a few weeks ago wanted LG sacked for being dull.

 

Posted: 18th, January 2016 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports | Comment


Transfer balls: Toni Kroos rejoins Manchester United in clickbait cavalcade

Transfer balls spot this in the MetroReal Madrid are tying to sell Manchester United Toni Kroos, 26, to help them pay for Paris St-Germain striker Edinson Cavani, 28.

Regular readers will recall the tabloids telling them that Kroos joined United from Bayern Munich in May 2014.

 

Toni Kroos Man United

 

The trusty Metro said Man United has paid £20m for Kroos.

 

Kroos United

 

All total balls. Kroos joined Real for £20m on a six-year deal.

And so to today’s Metro scoop:

Real Madrid want Manchester United to spend £40.5million on the transfer of Toni Kroos so they can use the funds to sign Arsenal target Edinson Cavani.

Real bought Kroos for £20m. They want to get rid of him so are asking for over £40m. Eh?

The La Liga side are concerned that their transfer ban will leave them short in the striking department. Real president Florentino Perez wants to sign the Paris Saint-Germain striker but needs to raise funds to do so. And he is willing to let United buy Kroos to fund a deal, according to A Bola.

Over to A Bola we go. There we learn that Real’s top target is not Cavani – it’s Robert Lewandowski. Cavani is mentioned only by the writer behind the article as a player he’d like Real to sign. The report does mention Kroos. We learn that Manchester United have bid €53m for the German. The sources is cited as AS. We looked at AS. We can find no word on Kross to Man United. German newspaper Bild did pick up the story. It’s source is the The Telegraph, which heard the news of Kroos to Old Trafford on Fichajes. Its source is Ok Diario. That organ says Chelsea, Manchester United and PSG want to buy Kroos:
The three clubs showed to the representative of Kroos their willingness to engage in talks with Real Madrid at the end of the season and put on the table a negotiating offer of around €50m. The whites signed the world champion in the summer of 2014 for €25m. Kroos had only one year contract with Bayern and didn’t want to renew, so the price of his transfer was much lower than his actual market price.

No sources are cited. There are no quotes. No names. From that one report so many newspaper say Manchester United have bid over €50m for Kroos.

You have to wonder why when facing a two window transfer ban Real would sell one of their players, especially one on a long contract?

Posted: 17th, January 2016 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports | Comment


Transfer balls: Liverpool and Arsenal compete to sign Iñaki Williams – La Liga’s fastest ever player

Liverpool are looking at Athletic Bilbao’s winger Iñaki Williams, 21. Any club can buy Williams if they can produce the €20m needed to activate his release clause. His current contract expires in June 2017.

Will Liverpool get him? The Guardian says Atlético Madrid and Real Madrid also fancy the player. Given that both Madrid clubs are facing a two-window transfer ban, either club could move fast.

The paper adds that Arsenal and Tottenham have also sent scouts to watch Williams. Keiran Gill of MailOnline says the Gunners like what they saw and are ready to spend £15 million on Williams, who has been clocked as the fastest player in La Liga, being recorded at 22.2 miles per hour in a league match last May. That’s 35.73 kph, putting Williams right up with Premier League flyers.

 

Fastest player in a PL match 2015-2016 Via

Fastest player in a PL match 2015-2016 Via

 

He’s quick. But is he any good?

 

Screen Shot 2016-01-16 at 15.57.53

 

 

Yes. He looks like the real deal. £15m for such a talent seems a little chap. Atletico want him to sign a new contract with a €100m release clause. Williams is on a reported £16,000-a-week at Atletico. At the very least he will use the interest in him to negotiate a hefty raise.

 

Posted: 16th, January 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Liverpool, Sports | Comment


Transfer balls: Saido Berahino hawked to Manchster United, sold to Chelsea, bought by Spurs, wanted by Leicester, not for sale

pulis berahino

 

Having been told that  will “only play for Spurs“, the Guardian says Leicester City want to sign West Bromwich Albion sulker. The papers really have no idea what’s going on with Berahino

Daily Star, Jan 10: “EXCLUSIVE: West Brom willing to sell Saido Berahino to Man United”

The Guardian, Jan 13: “Football transfer rumours: Chelsea to sign Saido Berahino and Jamie Vardy?”

Daily Mirror  Jan 14: “Leicester joining Saido Berahino transfer chase alongside Spurs, Chelsea, Newcastle and Stoke”

Daily Telegraph, Jan 14: “West Bromwich Albion tell Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United striker Saido Berahino is not for sale”

The Independent, Jan 15: “Saido Berahino to Tottenham latest: West Brom striker ‘for sale’, says Tony Pulis”

And to further prove that this story has gone nowhere:

BBC, Jan 20, 2015: “Saido Berahino: West Brom striker not for sale, says chairman”

Saido’s been going nowhere.

Posted: 16th, January 2016 | In: Back pages, Sports | Comment


Liverpool v Manchester United: hyping the mid-table v also-rans

Klopp backpage Manchester United The tabloids are attempting to light the bunsen burner beneath Liverpool’s home match with Manchester United. It’s not an easy thing to do. Liverpool, an ordinary mid-table side, versus also-rans Manchester United. Game on!

The papers looks at the charisma-free players on either side, fail to spot any signs of tension, fight, star-quality or feuds, and decide to focus attention on the teams’ respective managers.

The Sun says Liverpool boss Jurgen Kloop, fresh from wildly celebrating a last-gasp home draw with Arsenal – Liverpool fans still unsure how far their club have fallen should study his frenzied reaction and weep – “Said No to United.”

JURGEN KLOPP snubbed a chance to fill Alex Ferguson’s boots at Manchester United.

The Liverpool boss was approached by Fergie himself three years ago. But Klopp admitted: “We spoke and it was a big honour but there was a time I couldn’t leave Dortmund. It was April and in the middle of the planning for next season… We spoke but I first had to finish the job with Dortmund then think about other things. Maybe that is not smart but that is my way.”

No snub, then. Klopp was tied to his beloved Dortmund. He would not leave them in the lurch.

 

Klopp backpage Manchester United

 

The Express says Klopp “turned down Fergie”.  Klopp was not first choice for United. Ferguson sounded out many managers about them taking over at Old Trafford.

 

van gaal liverpool backpage

 

The Mirror and Star both lead with Louis Van Gaal, a man who for week has been on the “brink” of getting the sack at Old Trafford – well, so the papers have told us. He’s still there. Asked if he thinks United will go as long without winning the title as Liverpool, who last won the league in 1990, Van Gaal says:

“I am part of the transition so I cannot imagine that shall happen with Manchester United. But when it’s happening to Liverpool it can happen to Manchester United but I cannot imagine that because we are in transition and we are going in the right way.

“Maybe it shall take a longer time but I cannot imagine that it shall be the same period for Manchester United – the club is too big, too well organised and we have an infrastructure and we are improving that every year.”

 

tumblr_o10mm7dZYP1u5f06vo1_1280

 

So much for his having a pop at Liverpool. He says it could happen to any team.

It’s war!

 

Posted: 16th, January 2016 | In: Back pages, Liverpool, manchester united, Sports | Comment


Transfer balls: Madrid ban kills Manchester United’s plans for Bale and Chelsea’s move for Simeone

In “Bale Bombshell”, the Mail leads with news that Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid have been banned from registering new players for two transfer windows. Both clubs are guilty of breaking rules governing the importing of player under 18.

This has a “major impact” on players like Gareth Bale, David De Gea, Eden Hazard and Cristiano Ronaldo. Sharp eyes will have noticed that two of those players don’t actually play for Real Madrid. But the Mail reasons that Real want to buy De Gea from Manchester United and Hazard from Chelsea, and sell Bale to United and Ronaldo to PSG.

This leads the Mail to declare a state of “mayhem” in the transfer market. Pete Jenson says Everton “could” look to panic buy Everton’s John Stones. Although if Real appeal, they “could” secure a delay to their ban, meaning they “could” buy David De Gea next summer. They “could” also sell Bale to Manchester United.

The Times, says the ban “all but ends” Manchester United’s hopes of recruiting Bale or Ronaldo. Chelsea are hurt in their pursuit of  Diego Simeone, the Atletico coach. He loves the club and “may well demur at the prospect of leaving them in the lurch”. Also, Atletico might block Chelsea’s attempts to buy Antoine Guzmann.

On the plus side, Manchester United will have one less rival for Robert Lewandowski, and Manchester City in their hunt for Paul Pogba’s signature.

The Sun says the ban triggers a £250m “mad dash” by Real to sign as many players as possible. This means they will buy David De Gea, Sergio Aguero , Paul Pogba, Robert Lewandowski and Eden Hazard. The Star adds Harry Kane to the list.

Is it all just hype? When Barcelona were banned from all transfer activity in 2015, they used their appeal to sign targets. Barcelona were handed a 14-month ban in April 2014 after being found guilty of breaching Fifa’s rules on the transfer of players aged under 18. Fifa rejected an appeal in August 2014 but a pending appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport allowed Barca to sign players, including Luis Suarez, Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal. Barcelona signed lots of players during their ban but never registered them until it ended. When it did, they registered a mere 77 players.

The agents are going to be busy.

 

Posted: 15th, January 2016 | In: Back pages, Chelsea, manchester united, Sports | Comment


Tottenham: Spurs put underpaid Kane and Alli in the shop window

When Tottenham offered Dele Alli an improved contract, the player was happy to sign on for a further five and a half years. On Tuesday Alli agreed the deal. His pay doubled to £25,000 a week. With the ink still wet, Spurs coach Mauricio Pochettino compared Alli to Paul Pogba, the star Juventus and France player.

Pogba earns far in excess of Alli’s weekly wage. Should Alli continue his rate of improvement chances are bigger club will offer him a lot of money to play for them. At his age, Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere was earning closer to £50,000-a-week. The big wages help to make Arsenal look ambitious.

Today the Times says Spurs are aware that £25,000-a-week is getting “England’s Pogba” on the cheap. So in the summer Alli will be offered a new deal. Spurs, we read, “are aware that Alli remains relatively underpaid… but are also conscious of his age and the advisability of rewarding him gradually.”

Sure they are. Alli is being underpaid.

And so too is his Spurs teammate Harry Kane. And Pochettino is happy to talk up his striker.

“I was a player. When you have up front Ronaldo, Romario, your challenge is to fight with them and you need be ready 200 percent, not 100 percent. It’s like when Harry Kane starts, for example,” Pochettino said. “Now Harry Kane is a top-class player and it’s always a challenge for the centre-backs to try to stop him. It’s a big challenge. It’s changed how they see us.”

Kane earns £70,000-a-week.

Unless Spurs pay the going rate for regular Barclays Premier League starters and England internationals, their best players will continue to leave the club. Maybe that’s the plan. Alli has no buy-out clause in his contract. The Times says Tottenham will reply on the negotiation sills of club chairman Daniel Levy should they receive any offers.

They will do. And Levy will sell.

 

 

Posted: 15th, January 2016 | In: Back pages, Sports, Spurs | Comments (5)


Manchester United sack Van Gaal (soon…maybe)

Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal is on game from defeat. So says the Times on its back page.

 

van gaal sacked

 

If you say it for long enough eventually you can be proven right:

 

mirror van gaal sacked

 

And on it goes…

Posted: 14th, January 2016 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports | Comment


Transfer balls: Arsenal buy wonderkids, Elneny sleeps with a football

Arsenal have signed Nigerian “wonder kids” (see all papers) Kelechi Nwakali, 17, and Samuel Chukwueze, 16. They will pay the Diamond Football Academy £3m, says the Daily Mirror.

The paper adds that the Gunners will today complete the signing of Mohamed Elneny from Basle for £5m. They will then lose him for a year as he completes national service in the Egyptian armed forces. Unless he gets a note from Arsene Wenger that he’s busy or – gulp! – injured.

The Telegraph says Arsenal are set to bid £12m for Dinamo Zagreb’s Marcelo Brozovic.

The Metro says Arsenal are keen on Inter Milan pair Mauro Icardi and Marcelo Brozovic.

With Jack Wilshere, Danny Welbeck and others approaching full fitness, why would Arsenal want so many new faces?

After the speculation, the last word is with Elneny. He tells the Guardian:

“I remember that my father demanded that I went to bed with the ball. He said: ‘You have to connect with the ball.’ He started coaching me when I was three years old. His biggest wish was that I became a professional footballer… As a kid, I often played for 10 hours on the street. I think that’s when I learned to run and run without a break.”

He’s tough and full of running. He’s just what Arsenal need.

Posted: 14th, January 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment


Transfer Balls: Spurs and Stoke in for Berahino as West Brom seek a winger

The Times says Stoke City are aiming to beat Spurs to West Bromwich Albion’s wantaway striker Saido Berahino.

West Brom have agreed to let Berahino leave the club.  They hope to raise funds to sign a winger.

Tottenham’ manager, Mauricio Pochettino, says he is keen to hire a new striker – but on if the player is of the right characters. Does that count Berahino out? He threw a hissy fit when West Brom blocked his move to Spurs over the summer.  Do spurs need the aggravation?

Posted: 14th, January 2016 | In: Back pages, Sports, Spurs | Comment


Transfer balls: Manchester United want Guardiola, Messi, Kroos, Niguez, Cavani and Gomes

Manchester United will seek to make Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola their manager. To help him settle in at Old Trafford, United will sign Barcelona forward Lionel Messi, who Pep used to manage.

This we know because we read it in the Daily Star. The paper adds that Manchester United can afford both Pep and Messi because they have lots and lots of cash from Adidas. Will Messi will want to play for Manchester United – following a path trod by Argentine players Juan Veron and Angela Di Maria, both who flopped at Old Trafford after big money moves? Question asked, question answered. It’s not going to happen.

Next up is Toni Kroos. Fichajes says the Real Madrid player is going to either Chelsea or Man United. The Express says both clubs have approached the players agent with £40m in their hands.

Can we trust the Express to be right? Let’s look at the paper’s past reporting on Kroos:

 

Toni Kroos Manchester United

 

The Express later declared:

MANCHESTER UNITED have agreed a deal with Bayern Munich for attacker Toni Kroos

Sticking with the Daily Express, we learn that United want Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez, 21, who wants to remain in Spain.

The Independent says United want Valencia play-maker Andre Gomes, 22, because Niguez won’t return their calls.

Lastly, the Manchester Evening News says Edinson Cavani could be of interest, as could Mats Hummels, who in January 2015 caused the Daily Star to scream: “Borussia Dortmund star Mats Hummels AGREES £37m Manchester United deal.” He didn’t. He went nowhere – much like reporting on Manchester United targets.

 

Posted: 13th, January 2016 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports | Comment


Transfer Balls: Chelsea move for Vardy, consider Adebayor

The Times says Chelsea are considering  a bid for Leicester City’s striker Jamie Vardy.

Gary Jacob says Chelsea’s occasional manager Gus Hiddink has expressed a need to sign a striker. He’s worried at the Blues’ lack of cover for Diego Costa.

The Chelsea wish list runs: Jamie Vardy, Saido Berahino, Jackson Martinez and…Emmanuel Adebayor.

Chelsea fans, who do you want – and who do you think you’ll get?

 

Posted: 13th, January 2016 | In: Back pages, Chelsea, Sports | Comment (1)


Spurs make Alli the cut-priced Pogba

dele alliCan Tottenham hang on to Dele Alli, the 19-year-old midfielder signed from MK Dons for £6m? Alli has signed a new deal to keep him at Spurs for the next five seasons. His pay rises from £12, 500 to £25,000 a week, says the Sun.

So good is Alli that the Sun, which leads with news of his new contract deal, hails him as “the English Paul Pogba”. That’s Paul Pogba, 22, the languid, purposeful, imaginative, gifted Frenchman who ended last season playing for Italian double-winners Juventus in the Champions’ League final.

Pogba finished 15th in the Ballon d’Or list. On Monday, he was named in the FIFPro World XI for 2015. At the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, he was named best young player of the tournament. Gifs and Vines of Pogba’s skills are all over the web.

Pogba makes and scores goals. He bosses games.

If Alli is the English equivalent of the shining Pogba why is he on the kind of wages that surely make every team bigger than Spurs confident of securing his signature? Gazzetta dello Sport says Pogba earns €4.5m (£3.3m) a season.

The Mail says PSG are watching Alli. The player, we learn, “is keen to play abroad in the future”.

So why don’t Spurs put him on higher wages?

In December 2012, Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere, then 20, signed a new contract. The Mail said his wage was £80,000-a-week.

If Spurs think Alli can be one of the best, why don’t they pay him a wage that will stop him looking elsewhere?

Posted: 13th, January 2016 | In: Back pages, Sports, Spurs | Comment


Transfer balls: Saido Berahino will only play for Spurs – unless Liverpool buy him

The Sun says West Bromwich Albion’s occasional striker Saido Berahino wants to join Tottenham this January. The paper says Berahino is ready to reject other all offers in favour of Spurs.

Reportedly, Stoke and Newcastle are also after the 22-year-old but he’ll only joins Spurs – “he is ready to snub any other offers to make sure he becomes a Spurs player.” His “heart is set on White Hart Lane”.

Well, given the option of Spurs, Stoke or Newcastle, who would you chose to play for? Which city would you want to live in?

The Independent has a new option. It says Berahino has been earmarked to replace Daniel Sturridge at Liverpool. The Mirror agrees.

As for Berahino, the player who arrived in the UK as a 10-year-old fleeing for his life from the Burundian civil war, well, he’s managed to look every bit as doltish as the next hungry ‘I am’. He wanted to leave West Brom in the summer, handing in a transfer request that the club refused to agree to.

In December 2015, we read:

The Times has learnt that the 22-year-old became increasingly isolated after he angered the club in late autumn. Berahino is understood to have upset his fellow players with his reaction to being substituted at half-time in the 2-0 defeat away to Crystal Palace in October, when he listened to music through his headphones after learning of the decision to replace him.

He also upset the West Brom hierarchy by returning a day late from an agreed trip to Dubai.

One question: why do Spurs want him? He’s a good player. He’s ambitious But he also comes across as trouble. Why disrupt a tight dressing room?

Posted: 12th, January 2016 | In: Back pages, Sports, Spurs | Comment (1)


Transfer balls: Pep agrees Man City move but wants Arsenal says clueless tabloid source

Pep to ArsenalThe Metro brings news that Pep Guardiola “is interested in succeeding Arsene Wenger”.

Newspaper have been on a mind that Pep is heading to Manchester City at the end of this season.

See the Metro stories: “Pep Guardiola has already agreed to take over at Manchester City next season”; and “Pep Guardiola agrees deal to become Manchester City manager next season”.

Can it now be that the Spaniard is to become the next Arsenal boss, replacing Wenger, who has expressed no desire to leave in the summer?

Reading on we learn that the story is attached to the explainer ” claims Guillem Balague”.

The story is utter balls:

“I agree that Pep would be perfect for Arsenal but, despite the interest of Pep in the London team, I feel he might be going somewhere else,’ Balague told SkySports. “As it stands, he has not signed anything and both City and Chelsea think they have a good chance to get him.”

In other words: he hasn’t the foggiest.

Lots more on what Guillem feels here.

Posted: 12th, January 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment


Transfer balls: Arsenal to sign wonderkids and Nolito, Arteta to West Ham,

The Times brings news that Arsenal are on the verge of sining Nigerian “wonderkids” Kelechi Nwakali and Samuel Chukwueze for a combined fee of £3m.

Nwakali rose to the fore thanks to his captaining of Nigeria in their successful pursuit of the U17 World Cup. His older bother plays for Manchester City – so look out for them getting involved.

Both players are with the ASJ Football Academy.

In other news:

Arsenal have the £13.4m to give Celta Vigo for 29-year-old Spain forward Nolito, says Mundo Deportivo.

Metro says Mohamed Elneny will join Arsenal in time for their game at Stoke City. The paper says Arteta could be on his way to West Ham United. It also notes that Borussia Dortmund forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will be a Gunner as soon as Arsenal hand over £60m. Which they won’t do.

The Mirror says Arsenal have “joined the hunt” for Chelsea youngster Ola Aina.

Right-back Aina’s current Blues deal expires in the summer. And having refused to sign a new deal so far the 19 year-old has been demoted from Chelsea’s first-team set-up to the under-21s, edging him closer to the exit.

Because with Debuchy, Bellerin and Jenkinson on the books, Arsenal really need a right-back.

Posted: 12th, January 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment


Transfer balls: Arsenal defender leaves, commits future to Gunners

Other than politics and Her Majesty, only the ending of footballers’ carers occupy the Press. Today the Mirror and other sources tell readers that Arsenal’s Spanish left-back Nacho Monreal is set to sign a new contract. This deal ties him to the Gunners for a further three years.

But before this, those same sources have been full of Monreal’s Arsenal demise.

Daily Star: “Arsenal rocked as Spanish international edges closer to shock exit”

Spanish newspaper Marca claim the 29-year-old, who joined the Gunners in 2013, has agreed a two-year contract with Athletic Bilbao.

Evening Standard: “Arsenal transfer news: Nacho Monreal’s £7m exit looms”

The Metro: “Arsenal’s Nacho Monreal follows Athletic Bilbao on Twitter amid transfer speculation”

The Independent: “Nacho Monreal to Athletic Bilbao”

GiveMeSport.com: “Arsenal agree to sell Nacho Monreal to Athletic Bilbao”

All complete and utter tosh.

 

Posted: 11th, January 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment