Paper News and Gossip: Rooney Confusion, and Toure Wants UEFA Racism Action

Alex LivieFeatured ColumnistOctober 24, 2013

Paper News and Gossip: Rooney Confusion, and Toure Wants UEFA Racism Action

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    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    The fallout from Sir Alex Ferguson’s book continues, while there’s reaction to Ian Holloway’s departure from Crystal Palace.

    Manchester City’s win in Russia was overshadowed by racist chanting, while there’s plenty of transfer speculation to keep you interested.

    All this and more feature in Thursday’s edition of the Paper News and Gossip Roundup.

Wayne Rooney and Sir Alex Ferguson Have Not Spoken in Months

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    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    A couple of days on from its publication and former Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson's book is still dominating the agenda.

    The Scot's memoirs had opinions on just about everyone bar the Old Trafford postman (note: he might have written about the postman, we've not got there yet), with a word or two dedicated to Wayne Rooney.

    It's fair to say that the relationship between the pair soured towards the end of last season. Ferguson stated on a number of occasions that Rooney asked for a transfer late in the campaign.

    Rooney has kept his own counsel, but in his own book Ferguson maintained that Rooney wanted away

    He came into my office the day after we won the league and asked away. 

    He wasn’t happy with being left out for some games and subbed in others. His agent Paul Stretford phoned David Gill with the same message.

    Rooney was headline news on Wednesday night after inspiring United to victory over Real Sociedad in the Champions League.

    Following the game, he was asked about Ferguson's book, and—per a piece by the Mail's Neil Ashton—thanked the Scot for clearing up the transfer request (without actually clearing it up).

    The England international, who turned 28 on Thursday, also revealed that the pair have not met since last season.

    Obviously he's (Ferguson) got his own opinion. I've not said nothing and thankfully he's come back and corrected the story that I put a transfer request in.

    He's come back and proved that I didn't, so I'm thankful for him for it.

    I haven't seen him since he retired so I'm happy under the new management and we're working to get results under David Moyes and his coaching staff.

    That's the main thing for me. The other stuff doesn't concern me.

Ian Holloway Lost the Dressing Room as Crystal Palace Eye Tony Pulis

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    It was never going to knock the Champions League off the top of the sports bulletins, but Holloway's departure from Crystal Palace nudged the Eagles up the news agenda.

    There will be journalists up and down the country shaking their heads at the departure of one of the most quotable managers in the game, and, true to form, he was forthright at the press conference confirming his departure on Wednesday night.

    Holloway spoke openly about a range of subjects and, in a piece by the Mail's Sami Mokbel, he confirmed the dynamic of the dressing room had changed.

    With the changes in the squad, I have to hold my hand up and say we didn’t keep the spirit that got us up, we lost some very important parts of it.

    I think we have tried to change too quickly. Some of the new lads, their attitude, I’m finding it slightly annoying and that ain’t right.

    I didn’t value enough the spirit of the group [that got us up]. We changed to give us a chance to stay up but lost the spirit of the group.  

    We’ve got worse in that vein rather than better, and I owe it to the lads to admit that.

    The search for Holloway's successor has begun. And it could be a short search, as the Mirror's Martin Lipton has revealed Eagles chairman Steve Parrish has trained his sights on former Stoke boss Tony Pulis.

    "I will talk to Tony, to see if he is interested," Parrish said. "Tony never got relegated from Premier League. He’s out of work and a manager with Premier League experience."

Yaya Toure Wants Strong Action Following Monkey Chants

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    Football was not the main talking point following Manchester City's win at CSKA Moscow in the Champions League. Unfortunately, City's black players were seemingly subjected to monkey chants in the Russian capital.

    City captain Yaya Toure brought the issue to the attention of referee Ovidiu Hategan, and he called on UEFA to come down hard on the Russian club.

    Speaking after the game, as reported by the Mail's John Edwards, Toure said:

    I’m furious. I’m very, very disappointed about what those fans have done today and I think UEFA have to take action because players with the same colour of skin will always be in the same position.

    For me, as captain, I was wearing an armband which said “no to racism” and I was totally disappointed. I want to see UEFA take some action.

    We have to be as strong as possible, otherwise they will continue like that. Maybe they could ban the  stadium for a couple of years or a couple of months.

    In his piece, Edwards confirmed the club had already lodged a complaint to Europe's governing body.

Real Madrid's Sami Khedira Eyeing Chelsea Move

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    Sami Khedira is ready to swap Real Madrid for the Premier League, and, according to the Star's Jack Wilson, has his eyes fixed on a move to Chelsea.

    Khedira played under Blues boss Jose Mourinho at Real, and Wilson says his sources in Spain claim the no-nonsense midfielder wants a reunion.

    Arsenal and Manchester United have been linked, but Wilson claims Mourinho's Chelsea are leading the way.

    In his piece, Wilson writes:

    The Real Madrid star has his mind set on swapping the Bernabeu for London, according to sources in Spain.

    But it's Chelsea—not Arsenal—who are leading the race to sign him.

    Manchester United had been eyeing up the 26-year-old as an answer to their midfield problems. United chiefs were pondering a £34m move but Mourinho, who worked with Khedira in Madrid, is the frontrunner to snap him up.

Jack Wilshere's Arsenal Rallying Call

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    Jack Wilshere has urged Arsenal fans not to fear a slump in form following the loss to Borussia Dortmund.

    The Gunners are flying high at the top of the Premier League, but were beaten 2-1 by Dortmund in the Champions League on Tuesday.

    It will be a test of Arsenal’s resolve, and Wilshere has insisted, per a piece from Daniel Jones in the Metro, that they will bounce back.

    Wilshere said:

    It is never nice to lose at home but it is not the end of the world.

    We can’t let this result affect us now, especially in the Premier League where we are on a great run.

    It will be tough away at Palace, it always is, they will fight for every ball and it will be a different game from Dortmund, but we still have to bounce back straight away.

Emmanuel Adebayor Back in the Tottenham Fold

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    The lesser-spotted Emmanuel Adebayor could make a rare appearance for Tottenham on Thursday night, but there will be no Andros Townsend against Sheriff Tiraspol, according to the Mail's Laura Williamson.

    Adebayor has not played for Spurs this season after joining up late with the squad for pre-season. He was made to train with the reserves for a period of time, but is now back in the fold and travelled with the squad for the Europa League clash.

    Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas, per Williamson's piece, confirmed the striker was in the mix for the game: "Adebayor travelled. There is a chance he could be involved, but I’m not sure if he’s starting or not yet."

    As well as leaving Townsend in London, Villas-Boas has also rested Kyle Walker and Paulinho.  And such is the depth to his squad, the manager feels he can rotate without weakening the team.

    Villas-Boas said:

    The different thing we have this season from before is we have quality throughout, which allows us to do these things.

    Last season that wasn't the case. We had much less rotation and a small squad and, to some extent, we ended up paying the price when we had injuries to major players. That's the first difference.

    The difference from last year, I think, is the competition is higher.

    Last season we wouldn't rotate as much for this competition as we have so far. This is done because of the immense talent we have at our disposal.


Bits and Pieces: Saints Hunt Astori, City and Chelsea in Blaise Battle

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    Davide Astori is on Southampton's radar
    Davide Astori is on Southampton's radarEnrico Locci/Getty Images

    Southampton are to renew their interest in Cagliari defender Davide Astori in January, writes the Mirror.

    USA international Brek Shea is ready to leave Stoke City on loan after failing to make an impression on the squad, writes the Mirror's Jeremy Butler.

    Newcastle are ready to compete with Arsenal and Liverpool for MK Dons youngster Dele Alli, writes the Star's Gary Jones.

    Blaise Matuidi could be on his way out of Paris Saint-Germain, and the Express’ Ben Jefferson says Chelsea and Manchester City are vying for his signature.

    The chase is on for Wolfsburg winger Julian Brandt, and the Star's Nick Lustig claims Chelsea are ready to do battle with Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund for his signature.