Another day, another set of headlines about Sir Alex Ferguson’s book.
There’s also more from Cesc Fabregas, this time the Barcelona man comments on his own future.
There’s talk of trouble in the Manchester United camp, while there is also plenty of transfer speculation.
All this and more feature in Saturday’s iteration of the Paper News and Gossip Roundup.
Former Liverpool and England defender Jamie Carragher pens a column in the Mail and he has used his Saturday piece to take issue with Sir Alex Ferguson and his book.
Reds' boss Brendan Rodgers hit out at Ferguson on Friday and now Carragher has taken up the baton.
Carragher revealed he received a letter from Ferguson in the week of his own retirement and admits to being "humbled" by it.
He also adds that certain parts of the Scot’s book are correct in their assessment of Liverpool, but he has taken issue with regards to his comments on Gerrard.
The reference to Steven Gerrard not being ‘a top, top player’. I found that outrageous. He won a Champions League final almost single-handedly in 2005. I didn’t see anyone do that for Ferguson on the two occasions Manchester United won it, 1999 and 2008.
Ferguson’s opinion is authoritative but I’d love to know who he does class as a ‘top, top player’; he says Stevie never got a kick against Roy Keane and Paul Scholes, but I don’t remember that to be the case. What I do remember is Stevie scoring big goals against United—like the League Cup final in 2003—and setting up winning goals for Danny Murphy at Old Trafford.
I remember Stevie’s energy, desire and talent rattling United when we played them.
All is not well at Manchester United. They have struggled in the Premier League, currently eight points behind leaders Arsenal, and have been decidedly unimpressive in the Champions League.
Add to this is talk of a rift between manager David Moyes and striker Robin van Persie.
Moyes was asked to comment on the rumours on Friday. His reaction has been picked up by the Mail’s Chris Wheeler:
I would say that’s complete nonsense.
He (Van Persie) is doing some great stuff for us and, contrary to what you’ve said, I’ve only found him fantastic to work with. I’m finding it hard to answer it because he’s been that good.
All that stuff you’re saying is a load of rubbish. I don’t even need to answer it because it’s such rubbish. He’s been great, fantastic.
It’s El Clasico on Saturday and Cesc Fabregas has been a prominent figure in the newspapers in recent days on account of wide-ranging interviews he has conducted.
During the summer, Fabregas was strongly linked with Manchester United. The Red Devils made a concerted effort to bag the midfielder, but Fabregas has revealed he never considered leaving Barcelona.
In Jenson's piece, Fabregas said:
It’s true that they had offers and they told me about them but the only thing in my head was staying at Barcelona.
I saw the stories and I spoke with Darren [Dein, his agent] and he said, 'What do you want to do?'. I know that if a club come in for you and you tell your representative that you want to go, then you go. All that’s missing is that the club accept the offer. It’s easy.
But at no time did I say that I wanted to go. It was clear in my mind that I wanted to succeed at Barcelona.
Jack Wilshere’s ankle problem is continuing to cause concern for Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, writes the Mirror’s John Cross.
Wilshere spent a long spell on the sidelines with the problem earlier in his career but had been nursed back to fitness by the Arsenal medical team.
It appears, though, that the problem remains and Wenger is set to rest his midfielder.
In the Cross piece, Wenger said:
It’s difficult for us to find the right rhythm for him. Before I always played him and people say I overplayed him.
Now I try to be a bit more cautious. It’s difficult because his ankle is up and down a little bit. He’s getting better but it’s still inflamed sometimes and responds sometimes to games. But after that it goes down again and is normal.
Patrice Evra has hinted he is ready to commit to another season at Manchester United.
The defender had been linked with a move away from the club at the end of the season, but he suggests he was misquoted in an interview.
Taking up the story in David McDonnell’s piece in the Mirror, Evra said:
I had a French interview and I said 'It's personal' meaning 'I don't want to talk about it'.
And then they say 'I will leave'. "I will answer if somebody wants to talk about my contract because I think it ends after this year.
But then they have to talk with Manchester United and my agent. Me? I love this club so much.
The only thing I can say is it [the French interview] was a big misunderstanding.
The issue is far from clear, though, as McDonnell concludes his piece by saying: "It is understood that United are prepared for the left-back to leave at the end of this season."
Barcelona have offered a new deal to Antonio Sanabria in a bid to keep the teenager out of the reach of a clutch of clubs, Arsenal and Manchester City among them, writes the Mirror’s John Cross.
Ghanaian defender Daniel Amartey has emerged as a transfer target for Liverpool, writes the Star’s Nick Lustig.
Tottenham have tabled an offer for Juventus midfielder Andrea Pirlo, according to the Star’s Gary Jones.