World Football

Paper Gossip: Robert Lewandowski, Andros Townsend, Wilf Zaha, World Cup Changes

Alex DimondUK Lead WriterOctober 28, 2013

Paper Gossip: Robert Lewandowski, Andros Townsend, Wilf Zaha, World Cup Changes

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    The Monday newspapers are full of reaction and analysis from the weekend's big Premier League fixtures, but there is still some transfer gossip nestled amid the match reports.

    Robert Lewandowski's long-running transfer saga appears to have taken another turn, while it seems increasingly possible that Wilfried Zaha is another player that could be moving in January.

    Elsewhere, there is a revealed proposal that could see significant changes made to the World Cup.

    So click on for all that and much more...

Premier League Clubs Told £7m Will Get Them Robert Lewandowski

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    The Daily Express claims that Borussia Dortmund have started a Premier League bidding war by offering striker Robert Lewandowski for just £7 million.

    Lewandowski, 25, is out of contract next summer—and has long been linked with a free transfer switch to Dortmund's archrivals Bayern Munich. However, the Express claims that Dortmund are so keen to avoid that outcome they are offering the Poland international to Premier League suitors for a cut-price fee in January.

    Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea are all believed to be interested.

    Reporter Jack Wilson writes:

    Borussia Dortmund want to sell ­Lewandowski in January to prevent him joining Bundesliga rivals Bayern Munich on a free when he is out of contract at the end of the season.

    Lewandowski has made no secret of his desire to move to the Premier League and denied rumours that he has already signed a pre-contract with Bayern.

    There will be no shortage of interested suitors in the Premier League, especially at £7m.

    The Polish ace is just 25 and has the best years of his career ahead of him.

    It remains to be seen if a deal can be done, especially considering that Lewandowski will be ineligible for the Champions League this season.

    The forward has also seemed to prefer a switch to Munich over England in any comments about his future, contrary to Wilson's statement.

Andros Townsend Was "Unconscious" After White Hart Lane Collision

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    Tottenham winger Andros Townsend was left unconscious following a nasty collision with a photographer towards the end of his side's win over Hull City on Sunday.

    The England international needed oxygen on the pitch and help regaining his bearings after flying over an advertising hoarding and colliding with Daily Mail photographer Graham Chadwick.

    OUCH: Poor Andros Townsend: pic.twitter.com/HLHYwd8J3B

    — Squawka Football (@Squawka) October 27, 2013

    Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas subsequent revealed the winger had briefly been knocked unconscious, but he returned to the pitch to complete the match.

    Chadwick recalls in the Mail:

    I’ve been a football photographer for 25 years and that’s never happened before!

    I had blood pouring out of my head thanks to Andros Townsend’s boot and opened my eyes to see him lying beneath me on the concrete floor.

    What you don’t realise at Spurs is that the hoardings are very deceiving - it’s like a horse jumping over a fence at the Grand National.

    He came flying over the hoarding, did a full somersault and the stud of one of his boots caught me in the head on the way down. 

    I had blood spattered all over my press pass and all down my waterproof trousers. I was aware my head was suddenly wet but adrenaline kicks in. 

    As he was lying underneath me I was asking him if he was OK, but then the paramedics and the Tottenham physio all came over and asked me if I was OK.

    Both player and photographer are apparently fine.

David Moyes to Allow Wilfried Zaha out on Loan, Three Clubs Interested

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    Manchester United manager David Moyes has given the clearest indication yet that Wilfried Zaha will be loaned out in January—sparking immediate interest from Swansea, West Brom and Newcastle, according to the Daily Star.

    As reported by the Star, Moyes spoke about Zaha following the 3-2 victory over Stoke City on Saturday.

    Moyes said:

    I've said I would look at in January as I wanted to have him here for six months to see how we work.

    I told him we would try to get him minutes but the competition in the wide areas we have with Nani, Antonio Valencia, Ashley Young, Adnan Januzaj and even Shinji Kagawa playing off the side means we are as strong there as anywhere.

    It's not that Wilf has done anything wrong, it's just that we have big competition and we have to try to make sure he gets some playing time.

    Unfortunately, we haven't done that with Wilf and, if it's still the case in January, we would look at it. But he is very much in my plans and in my thoughts all the time.

    The Star claims that a number of other clubs are keeping tabs on the situation, including Zaha's old club, Crystal Palace, and even Serie A giants Juventus.

Tony Pulis Wary of Accepting Crystal Palace Job

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    Former Stoke City manager Tony Pulis has been considered the overwhelming favourite for the vacant Crystal Palace job ever since Ian Holloway's departure, but it seems the appointment is not a done deal just yet.

    According to John Cross of the Daily Mirror, Pulis is unsure over a move to Selhurst Park—and may indeed turn down a job offer that many have said is his to take or leave.

    Crystal Palace is Tony Pulis's job to turn down. Sadly, he might. #cpfc http://t.co/t4pUAbJEtB

    — John Cross (@johncrossmirror) October 28, 2013

    Cross writes:

    Pulis is understood to have major reservations about the Selhurst Park gig.

    He wants a bumper £1.5million-plus contract, plus a big survival bonus and fears it would be the hardest job of his career to save a side that's lost eight of the first nine games from relegation.

    If Pulis does reject the opportunity to manage the Eagles, Neil Warnock is believed to be next on the list of names club chairman Steve Parish will talk to.

Michel Platini Plots World Cup Expansion by Eight Teams

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    Embroiled in a power struggle with FIFA president Sepp Blatter, it seems UEFA equivalent Michel Platini may have outflanked the Swede with a new proposal to expand the World Cup.

    The Times (subscription required) has the "exclusive", revealing Platini's proposal to expand the World Cup from 32 teams to 40 teams. The newspaper reveals Platini has undertaken research indicating that such an expansion would only require the tournament to be lengthened by three days—while also allowing for the greater African and Asian representation Blatter has been calling for.

    Blatter had previously indicated European countries—13 of which currently qualify for the World Cup—should lose berths, but Platini's proposal would avoid that turn of events, too.

    “Football is changing and now we have 209 associations,” Platini told The Times. “There are more countries so why reduce? Forty is not so bad. You have three days more of competition and you make more people happy.”

    He added:

    It’s a political matter so why not have more Africans? The competition is to bring all the people of all the world. If you don’t give the possibility to participate, they don’t improve.

    We accept one more for Europe and give seven to the others.

    They [FIFA] will be happy. Of course they will vote for it.

Bits and Pieces: Toon Fight over Goalkeeper

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    Newcastle and Spurs have found themselves locked in battle for FC Basel goalkeeper Yann Sommer, according to the Daily Star. Andre Villas-Boas has pegged Sommer as a possible replacement for back-up stopper Brad Friedel, while the Magpies are chasing the Switzerland international in case Tim Krul leaves at the end of the season.

    The Spanish press branded Gareth Bale "irrelevant" following his Clasico showing for Real Madrid against Barcelona, as recapped by the Daily Mail.

    There are also reports that Mark Bosnich has claimed Sir Alex Ferguson is not "brave" enough to meet him face-to-face, following a negative assessment of the Australian goalkeeper in the Scot's recent autobiography.

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