Paper News and Gossip: Real Eye Aguero, Gerrard Attacked and Red Bulls Want Cole
The Sunday papers are brimming with speculation once again.
There’s talk of manager movements and player movements, both in and out of the Premier League.
There’s also a Manchester United player looking for a long stay at the club, so it’s not all about people on the move.
All this and more feature in Sunday’s iteration of the Paper News and Gossip Roundup.
Spurs Line Up Capello and Hiddink as Villas-Boas Replacements
Andre Villas-Boas is still in charge of Tottenham, despite speculation suggesting he is under pressure at White Hart Lane.
He faces a big game against Manchester United on Sunday, and the Mail’s Bob Cass claims Spurs are lining up former England boss Fabio Capello as a potential replacement.
Capello is currently in charge of Russia and recently guided them to the World Cup, but Cass still suggests he has been mentioned in discussions as a potential replacement by Spurs bosses.
Cass’ report is at odds with a piece from the Mirror’s Steve Stammers, who claims Spurs chairman Daniel Levy has lined up Guus Hiddink as Villas-Boas’ successor.
Hiddink is currently out of work, having left Anzhi Makhachkala in the summer, and—according to Stammers—the Dutchman is a potential “short-term fix” if Villas-Boas is axed.
Manchester City Eye Etihad Expansion
Manchester City are no longer the poor cousin of Manchester United, and their ambition is such that they are looking to boost the capacity of their Etihad Stadium.
The Etihad currently has a maximum capacity of 48,000 but, according to the Mail’s Alex Miller, plans have been put in for the capacity to be increased.
In his piece, Miller wrote:
City have formally applied for planning permission to expand the Etihad Stadium from 48,000 to 62,170, making it the second biggest venue in the Premier League.
The plans also show that the East and West stands could be further increased to raise the capacity beyond 70,000 in the future, about 6,000 short of what Old Trafford holds.
Miller claims the Olympic Stadium architects have drawn up the plans and could begin work as soon as February.
Richards Admits City Future Doubts
Micah Richards’ future at Manchester City is in doubt, and the defender has hinted he may have to leave the club to keep his career on an upward curve.
Richards has a little over 18 months to run on his present deal, and he claims the club have already told him they want to extend his stay.
However, according to the Mail’s Joe Bernstein, Richards has made it clear his future will be decided by how many games he plays in City colours this season.
Per Bernstein’s piece, Richards said:
I’ve already spoken to City and they’re happy to extend my deal, but I’ve said I want to see how many games I play this season.
I don’t ever want to leave City with the way it’s going, but it’s one of those where you have to look at your career and say, ‘Are you playing enough?'
Come the end of the season, I’ll do that. Hopefully I’ll have played enough—but at the moment I don’t think I am playing enough to get my top sharpness.
If Richards does move on, Arsenal are waiting in the wings to make a bid—according to the Star’s Steve Millar.
David de Gea Eyes Long United Stay
David de Gea has finally established himself as Manchester United’s No. 1, and he has no intention of turning his back on the club any time soon.
De Gea had a tough time in his early months at United, and there were suggestions that the club would jettison the keeper.
However, De Gea fought off competition from Anders Lindegaard for the No. 1 spot, and he has been in fine form this season.
The Mail’s Joe Bernstein has picked up quotes from De Gea, who claims the only thing he misses about his native Spain is the weather.
De Gea said:
I am very happy at United and want to be here for many years. Yes, I miss the weather and the climate of Spain. It’s different in England but you can still live well.
My own form is good and I’m happy. I am at a very good level and the team are also playing very well. We gave our best performance of the season in Leverkusen and showed we are playing well.
I’ve always been able to train with a positive mentality and that has allowed me to push forward. I know how to train properly.
Police Hunting Man over Steven Gerrard Attack
According to Wright’s piece, the incident took place in August and left Gerrard “badly shaken.”
Police are hunting a man on suspicion of common assault after Gerrard was, according to Wright, “abused, threatened and assaulted before the man ran away.”
Red Bulls Set Sights on Ashley Cole
Ashley Cole was given a vote of confidence by Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho on Friday, but his future remains in doubt.
Cole has seen his position as the club’s No. 1 left-back come under threat, but Mourinho said on Friday, per the Star’s David Woods, that “his [Cole’s] attitude is phenomenal, as always.”
However, the defender's future at the club is in doubt, and the Mirror’s Dave Kidd claims a potential move to MLS side New York Red Bulls is on the cards.
Kidd claims the Red Bulls have a spot open for a marquee player and want to bring Cole to the club in January.
However, per Kidd’s piece, LA Galaxy are also keeping tabs on Cole’s situation.
Real Madrid to Move for Sergio Aguero in Summer
Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero is in Real Madrid’s sights.
The forward has been in sizzling form this season, and the Sun’s (subscription required) Antony Kastrinakis claims Real want the forward.
In his piece, Kastrinakis wrote: “Real supremo Florentino Perez is plotting a £48million raid to add the Manchester City striker to his team of Galacticos.”
If Real need to justify their move for Aguero, they can point to quotes from City boss Manuel Pellegrini.
According to the Express, Pellegrini said: “After Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo he is the best—and gets better.“
Bits and Pieces: Spurs Eye Rossi, Newcastle Targets in Focus and More
Giuseppe Rossi is the latest striker to be targeted by Tottenham. The People’s Alan Nixon claims a £30 million bid could be tabled for the Fiorentina man in January.
The People’s Alan Oliver claims Newcastle have stepped up their interest in Heerenveen forward Alfred Finnbogason.
Newcastle are also hunting defenders, according to the People’s Clive Hetherington, and Olympiakos centre-back Kostas Manolas is on Alan Pardew’s list of targets.
Luke Shaw has been catching the eye at Southampton and the Express’ Neil Fisher claims Chelsea are ready to break the British transfer record and bid £30 million for the Southampton defender.
Manchester United have set their sights on Dundee United’s Ryan Gauld and will offer £3 million plus three friendlies for the midfielder, according to the People's Steve Bates.