Paper News and Gossip: Cardiff Concern, New Luis Suarez Deal, Ashley Cole

Ian Rodgers@irodgers66World Football Staff WriterDecember 21, 2013

Paper News and Gossip: Cardiff Concern, New Luis Suarez Deal, Ashley Cole

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    The future of Cardiff City manager Malky Mackay again dominates the back-page headlines on Saturday, with reports claiming the Scot will take charge of the team for the last time on Saturday.

    But one unexpected name has been reported as a potential interim replacement for the former Watford boss.

    Liverpool striker Luis Suarez also figures highly in the headlines after signing a new long-term deal with the Anfield club, just months after voicing his desire to leave.

    And Chelsea defender Ashley Cole will be sidelined for the Premier League trip to Arsenal on Monday after turning up at the Gunners' Christmas party, according to one report.

    But who else is making the headlines on Saturday? Read on to find out more.

Craig Bellamy in Line to Succeed Malky Mackay at Cardiff City on Interim Basis

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    The future of Cardiff manager Mackay looks bleak with several reports claiming the Premier League trip to Liverpool on Saturday could be his last.

    The relationship between the Bluebirds boss and club owner Vincent Tan has reached breaking point, reports Ian Gordon of The Sun (subscription required) among others.

    Cardiff chairman Mehmet Dalman had urged Tan to let Mackay stay until the end of the season, reports Riath Al-Samarrai of the Daily Mail.

    But Tan has approached striker Craig Bellamy to take over from Mackay on an interim basis, according to Patrick Barrett and Gary Jacob of The Times (subscription required).

Luis Suarez Vows to Stay at Liverpool for 'A Long Time' After Penning New Deal

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    Liverpool supporters are celebrating an early Christmas bonus after star striker Suarez signed a new deal to keep him at Anfield until 2018, reports Andy Hunter of The Guardian among others.

    The new contract will see the Uruguay international's weekly wage rise to £200,000, but Liverpool have refused to confirm whether there is an escape clause inserted into the new deal, according to Hunter.

    However, the 26-year-old forward has vowed to stay at Liverpool for "a long time" after signing the new deal, adds the article:

    It's nice because when you extend your contract, you extend it because you want to stay here for the future.

    I signed not only for two-and-a-half more years, but I signed for a long time to stay here and I am so happy.

    When you are happy, you try everything for the best for the future.

    I spoke a lot with my family because my family are very important to me and they are happy here.

    We spoke over the last few weeks with the club and everything is OK. I don't have a problem; the club don't have a problem, so it's very good.

    Meanwhile, Richard Beech of the Daily Mirror noted that Suarez spent the immediate time after signing his deal shopping at budget wholesale store Costco.

Chelsea Defender Ashley Cole 'Dropped' After Attending Arsenal Xmas Party

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    Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho will drop defender Ashley Cole for the Premier League trip to Arsenal on Monday, days after the left-back was pictured at the Gunners' Christmas party, reports Andrew Dillon of The Sun (subscription required).

    Mourinho will replace Cole with Cesar Azpilicueta, who will move from left-back to the opposite side of the defence to accommodate the returning Branislav Ivanovic.

    But the Stamford Bridge boss remained tight-lipped on whether the decision to omit Cole was due to his attendance at the Arsenal players' party, according to the report:

    It was his free day, his free night.

    The next morning we didn’t train. We only trained in the afternoon, so I have no right to make a comment. 

    I won’t. I just have my opinion.

    Meanwhile, Chelsea have opened talks with Bayer Leverkusen over the proposed transfer of midfielder Kevin De Bruyne to the Bundesliga club, reports Neil McLeman of the Daily Mirror.

Frank De Boer Rules Himself out of Tottenham Manager Vacancy

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    Ajax head coach Frank de Boer has reiterated his desire to stay with the Dutch giants, despite being linked strongly with Tottenham, reports Ben Burrows of the Daily Mirror.

    Spurs are seeking a new head coach to replace Andre Villas-Boas, who left the club on Monday in the wake of the 5-0 home defeat by Liverpool at the weekend.

    De Boer had been considered as a potential target for the White Hart Lane club, according to Burrows, but the former Netherlands international, who has also been linked with Liverpool in the recent past, insists he is happy at Ajax:

    Spurs are not a club I’m interested in moving to at the moment. But I think they are certainly a great club.

    Just as it was with Liverpool, it is to do with the timing.

    But I’m not finished at Ajax.

Bits and Pieces: Lionel Messi, Gareth Bale, Marouane Fellaini, Peter Crouch

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    There may be trouble brewing between Barcelona and Lionel Messi, reports Antony Kastrinakis of The Sun (subscription required).

    The Argentina international criticised Barcelona economic vice-president Javier Faus, who had dismissed the idea of a new deal for Messi in the wake of Neymar's arrival at the Camp Nou, claims Kastrinakis.

    The article claims Messi's words are the first time he has openly criticised the club, and Kastrinakis says it represents "a blatant challenge to the authority of president Sandro Rosell and his board."

    Real Madrid star Gareth Bale has been explaining the secrets behind his free-kick technique, reports Justin Allen of The Sun (subscription required).

    Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini could be out for up to two months with back and wrist problems, reports Ian Ladyman of the Daily Mail.

    Stoke City are preparing to sell striker Peter Crouch with Queens Park Rangers waiting in the wings, reports Graham Hill of The Sun (subscription required).

    Everton are considering the sales of Nikica Jelavic and John Heitinga to salvage the players' World Cup hopes with Croatia and Holland respectively, reports David Anderson of the Daily Mirror.