Paper News and Gossip: Cesc Talks Arsenal, New Utd Deal and Rodgers Slams Fergie
Sir Alex Ferguson and that book remain headline news, while there’s more fallout from the CSKA racism issue.
Cesc Fabregas has been grabbed for an interview, and he talks plenty about Arsenal.
There’s transfer speculation involving a host of clubs, while there’s talk of a mega new kit deal.
All this and more feature in Friday’s edition of the Paper News and Gossip Roundup.
Cesc Fabregas Gushes over Mesut Ozil and Arsenal
Hats off to The Mail's Pete Jenson for securing an interview with Fabregas who talks all things Arsenal.
Calm down Gunners fans, he's not thinking of coming back from Barcelona. Not yet, anyway.
The former Gunner has opened the door to a potential life as a coach, and learning his trade at Arsenal appeals.
Speaking to Jenson, Fabregas said:
I’m sure they would give me the option to help out there. Sol Campbell is there at the moment.
Dennis Bergkamp also went there two or three times a week to train when he was doing his coaching badges.
It’s a great club in that sense.
It's the current Arsenal that dominates the interview, and Fabregas is convinced Arsene Wenger's side are on the right path.
Fabregas describes Mesut Ozil as a "spectacular signing" whom they could not let pass them by.
Jenson's piece has the quotes:
Ozil is the man who makes the difference in the final third.
He will find so much space in the Premier League and he’s a player who with space kills you. His final pass is brilliant.
And he will score more goals in England than he did in Spain.
Fabregas says Ozil will bring out the best in Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey, while he feels the return of Theo Walcott will make the Gunners even stronger:
The only player who maybe is a bit different is Theo Walcott but you also need that type of player because it’s true that at the end of pass, pass, pass you need a Pedro—someone who will get behind the opposition. Someone who gives depth and hits space.
Fabregas also praises experienced heads Mathieu Flamini, Per Mertesacker and Lukas Podolski, so the future looks bright for Arsenal.
Yaya Toure Warns of World Cup Boycott over Racism Issue
The CSKA Moscow racism row remains prominent in the papers. Yaya Toure, the man who highlighted the issue following Manchester City's win in the Champions League on Wednesday, says black players could boycott the 2018 World Cup in Russia if the problem is not stamped out.
UEFA has opened disciplinary proceedings, per a report by BBC Sport, despite CSKA insisting there was no racist behaviour from their fans—a stance that has earned condemnation, as outlined in a report by Martin Samuel of the Daily Mail.
Having carefully studied the video of the game, we found no racist insults from fans of CSKA.
In many occasions, especially during attacks on our goal, fans booed and whistled to put pressure on rival players, but regardless of their race.
Why the Ivorian midfielder took it as all being directed at him is not clear.
Toure is not convinced and has words of warning for FIFA, per James Dobson's piece in the Star:
Of course it is important. They need to sort it out before the World Cup.
Otherwise we will not be confident of coming. We won’t come.
People won’t come. It’s a problem here, it happens all the time.
Brendan Rodgers Rails Against Sir Alex Ferguson over Gerrard and Henderson
You just can't keep Sir Alex Ferguson's book out of the headlines (which will be music to the ears of the publishers), and Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers is the latest to fire back at the former Manchester United manager.
Rodgers has admitted to being saddened by elements of the book and leapt to the defence of Gerrard and Henderson.
In a piece by the Star's Dave Lyons, Rodgers took issue with Ferguson's comments on Henderson:
I was disappointed, coming from someone with that status in the game.
As someone who has worked with young players and understands the impact words can have with them, for a young player making his way in the game it could be damaging.
And on the subject of Gerrard, Lyons has Rodgers' take:
He is one of the very few, if not the only one, who thinks Steven's not a top player.
I don't think it's credible in terms of what was said. You only need to look at Steven's career to see that, and the accolades he's received—not just from managers but from players and top players.
He may not have won the title but that's more because of the teams he's been in rather than him.
Sunderland Boss Gus Poyet's Anti-Ageing Plan
Gus Poyet takes his Sunderland into the heat of a North East derby with Newcastle on Sunday, and he has set his players a task of ensuring he does not age too soon.
Poyet has taken on a team bottom of the league, and his first game was a 4-0 defeat at Swansea.
Second up is the derby, and Poyet has laid out his targets. The Star's Ian Murtagh has the quotes:
I like to have a good life. And I want to enjoy this job.
I don’t want to have a heart attack or lose my hair being here. But the longer this run goes on I will probably go bald because of the way I am.
I want to be able to enjoy Sunday night with my family, have a nice meal and talk about how good the match was.
Manchester United Close to New £300M Nike Kit Deal
Money, money, money, lots of money could be heading to Manchester United amid reports of a mega kit deal being agreed.
The Mirror carried the report, first published in the Sun (subscription), which says United have reached an accord with Nike.
In his piece in the Mirror, Sam Adams writes:
Manchester United have reportedly signed a huge £300M kit sponsorship deal with sportswear giants Nike.
The contract would equal the Premier League record deal signed between Chelsea and Adidas earlier this year.
Adams goes on to say that a sizeable chunk of the funds will be made available to manager David Moyes to strengthen his squad.
Rene Adler Flattered by Arsenal Move Talk
Talk of Arsenal signing a new keeper continues to swirl, and Metro's Jamie Sanderson reveals Hamburg's Rene Adler is open to a move.
Adler reveals, per Sanderson, that on two occasions he has had the chance to join the Gunners, only to take up other opportunities.
However, the keeper has suggested he may well be tempted if Arsene Wenger came in again.
When I was 15 there was the opportunity to move to Arsenal, but I decided to go to Leverkusen to get a professional contract there.
There was also contact after the Under-20 World Cup in the Netherlands. I played against Lionel Messi and some other big names and there was contact with Arsenal.
I’d like to play in England in the future. You can’t say never in football.
It’s a big honour for me if a club like Arsenal are interested in me.
Bits and Pieces: PSG Wanted Januzaj, Reds' Transfer Links & Newcastle Fan Jailed
The Express' Ben Jefferson reports that French giants Paris Saint-Germain were planning to sign Adnan Januzaj on a free transfer in the summer, only for the teenager to commit his future to Manchester United.
Manchester City forward John Guidetti is back to full fitness following a spell on the sidelines, and he is attracting attention from Liverpool, reports Metro's Jamie Sanderson.
It could be a busy period on the transfer front for Liverpool, as the Star's David Wright says the Reds are interested in Hannover' Ron-Robert Zieler. Wright claims the keeper has a £7 million release clause in his contract.
Everton manager Roberto Martinez has revealed, per the Mail's Elliott Bretland, that Darron Gibson's knee operation has been a success.
The Mail's John Drayton writes that Newcastle fan Barry Rogerson has been jailed for a year for punching a police horse following the North East derby last April.