Paper News and Gossip: Moyes' Man Utd Misery, Arsenal Target Morata

Ian RodgersWorld Football Staff WriterJanuary 8, 2014

Paper News and Gossip: Moyes' Man Utd Misery, Arsenal Target Morata

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    Manchester United manager David Moyes dominates the back pages on Wednesday after suffering his third defeat in a week.

    The 2-1 loss at Sunderland in the Capital One Cup semi-final first leg might only represent half-time in the tie, but a third successive loss has piled the pressure on the Old Trafford boss.

    There could be further bad news for Moyes over the future of a first-team defender.

    Arsenal are considering a move for Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata after the season-ending injury to Theo Walcott.

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

David Moyes Blames Officials for Cup Defeat as Vidic Eyes United Exit

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    Manchester United manager Moyes turned on the match officials in the wake of the 2-1 Capital One Cup semi-final defeat at Sunderland, reports Simon Bird of the Daily Mirror.

    Fabio Borini scored the winner from the penalty spot after Tom Cleverley was adjudged to have fouled Adam Johnson in the area, much to the dismay of the United boss:

    I feel we are having to play the opposition and the officials.

    They gave a free-kick on the first goal that I couldn't believe. I thought the referee was going to blow in our direction. It was a terrible decision.

    We are all just laughing at them at the minute. We get a player booked for doing the same.

    Maybe I have got to understand that's what happens at Manchester United. They are certainly not giving us much at this moment in time.

    There could be further bad news on the horizon for Moyes with The Sun (subscription required) reporting that defender Nemanja Vidic is unlikely to sign a new deal at the club.

    Crystal Palace manager Tony Pulis says Wilfried Zaha will not be returning to the club on loan from United, reports Liam Prenderville of the Daily Mirror.

Arsenal Line Up Real Madrid Striker Alvaro Morata to Replace Theo Walcott

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    Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has made his move for Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata, reports John Cross of the Daily Mirror.

    Wenger wants to bring the Spain Under-21 international to the Emirates Stadium on a loan deal with a view to a possible buy in the summer after the season-ending injury to Theo Walcott.

    The Gunners also have a fall-back option if the deal for Morata fails, with FC Porto striker Jackson Martinez in their sights, claims Sami Mokbel of the Daily Mail.

    Arsenal and Manchester City are chasing Celtic central defender Virgil van Dijk, reports David Woods of the Daily Star.

'Trophies Are Not Everything,' Says Manchester City Boss Manuel Pellegrini

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    Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini insists winning silverware is not the sole sign of success, reports David Anderson of the Daily Mirror.

    City play host to West Ham United in the Capital One Cup semi-final first leg on Wednesday night and the Chilean is three games from winning his first trophy in 10 years.

    Personally, though, Pellegrini maintains trophies alone do not necessarily define success:

    For me, what I did at Villarreal and Malaga, and I'm talking about me personally, not the fans, has more importance than to win a title with a big team.

    It’s more difficult to take Villarreal to the semi or quarter-finals of Champions League than to win the title with an important team.

    So for me, it’s not my personal ambition, but I would like to do it, of course.

    If we win a trophy playing the way we are playing now, with the football that I like, that is very important.

    Meanwhile, Pellegrini has warned the Hammers that he will not be allowing defender Joleon Lescott to leave the club this month, reports The Sun (subscription required).

    City have still not given up hope of signing Nigeria starlet Kelechi Iheanacho, reports John Cross of the Daily Mirror.

Mario Balotelli Says He Will Not Be Joining Chelsea

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    AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli insists he will not be leaving the San Siro for Chelsea or any other club, reports Colin Harvey of the Daily Star.

    The Italy international had been linked with a move to Stamford Bridge this month, but he wants to remain in Serie A to prepare himself for the World Cup finals, according to the report.

    However, Real Madrid midfielder Xabi Alonso is also on the Chelsea wish-list, reports Tony Banks of the Daily Express.

    The same article claims Chelsea have also been told to increase their offer for Inter Milan star Fredy Guarin.

Bits and Pieces: Paul Pogba, Andrea Pirlo, Kyle Walker, Loic Remy, West Brom

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    Juventus insist that Paul Pogba and Andrea Pirlo will not be leaving the club in January, reports Alex Richards of the Daily Mirror.

    Both players had been linked with moves away from the Italian giants this month, with Pogba interesting Arsenal, according to the article.

    But Juventus have moved to assure supporters that neither player will be leaving this month.

    Paris Saint-Germain are interested in signing Tottenham defender Kyle Walker, claims Paul Collins of the Daily Mail.

    Newcastle United have been warned that on-loan striker Loic Remy will cost £16 million by QPR manager Harry Redknapp, reports Simon Bird of the Daily Mirror.

    West Bromwich Albion are hoping to have a new manager appointed before the weekend, with former Werder Bremen head coach Thomas Schaaf in pole position, according to Brendan McLoughlin of The Times (subscription required).

    West Ham United are hoping to complete the loan signing of Monaco striker Lacina Traore, reports Anders Anglesey of the Daily Mirror.

    James Nursey of the Daily Mirror reports that Cardiff owner Vincent Tan believes former manager Malky Mackay was given the funds to buy a Bentley but came back with a Toyota, in reference to the purchases of underwhelming players like Andreas Cornelius.