World Football

Paper News and Gossip: Van Persie Blow, Gala Eye Sagna, Hazard Talk Cooled

Alex LivieFeatured ColumnistJanuary 11, 2014

Paper News and Gossip: Van Persie Blow, Gala Eye Sagna, Hazard Talk Cooled

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    David Ramos/Getty Images

    The transfer window is in full swing and there's no shortage of speculation in the papers.

    Manchester United remain headline news and there's plenty of talk about the Red Devils.

    Arsenal and Chelsea are teams in focus, with talk about a couple of their players moving on.

    All this and more feature in Saturday's edition of the Paper News and Gossip Roundup.

United Struggles Exposed

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    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    The pressure continues to pile on Manchester United boss David Moyes and Matt Lawton’s piece in the Mail will do little to raise his mood.

    On the back of three defeats on the spin, one in the league and two in the cups, Lawton claims to have conducted a week-long assessment of the club in which he has spoken to a host of figures.

    His conclusion is far from positive.

    Sportsmail has spent the past week talking to central figures in this unfolding drama in an effort to establish what exactly has gone wrong at United, the club who have dominated English football in the Premier League era.

    How did it get to the point that defeat in Saturday's encounter with Swansea would come as no great surprise to anyone?

    A picture emerges of a divided dressing room, a squad with some senior players who seem to have ‘retired when the manager retired’ and a group of players disaffected by Moyes’s apparent indulgence of Wayne Rooney.

    Confidence is shot at a club renowned for their flair and never-say-die spirit.

    Lawton has, though, moved to dismiss suggestions that Moyes culled the backroom staff of his predecessor Sir Alex Ferguson, but he does suggest there are divisions among the players over the Scot’s management style.

    Certainly an interesting read and it can be found in full here.

     

Van Persie Blow for United

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    Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

    If Lawton’s expose is not bad enough, the Mail writer and his fellow scribe Chris Wheeler are claiming that striker Robin van Persie faces another six weeks out.

    Van Persie has endured an injury-hit campaign and his latest thigh problem has sidelined him since December 10.

    Lawton and Wheeler claim the striker has been sent back to his native Netherlands to work with a fitness coach.

    The pair have a quote from Moyes, who has refused to put a date on van Persie’s return, but they say it could be into February before he is back in action.

United Set Sights on Gundogan

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    Alex Grimm/Getty Images

    There is talk, such as this piece from the Express’s Richard Tanner, that David Moyes has upwards of £100 million to spend on players.

    The Mirror’s David McDonnell claims the United boss is ready to shell out a large portion of that on Borussia Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Gundogan.

    The Germany international has spent much of the season on the sidelines on account of injury, but McDonnell claims that has not put off Moyes who wants to land him in January.

Galatasaray Enter Race for Sagna

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    Christopher Lee/Getty Images

    Arsenal are facing a fight to retain the services of Bacary Sagna, with Mail writers Laura Williamson and Sami Mokbel claiming Galatasaray are in the hunt for him.

    The full-back is in the final year of his contract and with no new deal having been agreed, he is free to talk to foreign clubs with regard to a transfer.

    The Mail pair say Turkish side Gala are in the frame and ready to offer Sagna £4.1 million per season after tax in a bid to lure him away from the Emirates.

Mourinho Rubbishes Hazard PSG Talk

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    Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

    Jose Mourinho has moved to dismiss talk of Eden Hazard being lured away from Chelsea by Paris Saint-Germain.

    The winger has been in sizzling form and reports have suggested he could be lured to the French capital next summer.

    Mourinho is not of a mind to sell his star men and he claims there is no chance of Hazard being allowed to leave.

    The Mirror’s Martin Lipton has the quotes:

    There is no chance of Eden going, no chance.

    His value was £32 million when he joined and he’s now two or three times better than that, so his market value, even if we wanted to sell, would be crazy.

Sturridge Told to Learn from Suarez

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    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    Daniel Sturridge is on his way back for Liverpool and manager Brendan Rodgers has urged him to take a leaf out of Luis Suarez’s book.

    Suarez and Sturridge have forged a superb understanding up front for Liverpool, but the latter has been sidelined for some time with injury.

    Suarez has carried on the momentum and Rodgers wants Sturridge to look to his partner for inspiration.

    The Mirror’s David Maddock has the quotes from Rodgers:

    Every player is different, but the clever ones learn.

    Luis is what he is, which is a competitor, a performer. And if there is a great role model for Daniel, then it is Luis, only being a couple of years older at 26, and being a world-class striker.

Alonso: No Premier League Offers

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    Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

    Xabi Alonso recently committed his future to Real Madrid by signing a new deal, which ended talk of a return to the Premier League.

    There was speculation that linked Alonso with the likes of Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United, but the classy midfielder has claimed there were no offers from the Premier League.

    The Star’s Nick Lustig has the quote from Alonso:

    There were no offers, I decided to stay and that's it.

    I have a good relationship with Mourinho but he never said anything about going to Chelsea.

     

     

Bits and Pieces: Essien Exit Talk, Hull Close to Jelavic, Zaha to Cardiff

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    Nikica Jelavic
    Nikica JelavicPaul Thomas/Getty Images

    The Mail's David Kent claims Hull City have agreed a fee with Everton for the transfer of Nikica Jelavic.

    Mail writers Laura Williamson and Craig Hope claim Fulham are readying a £7.5 million bid for West Ham forward Ravel Morrison.

    According to the Mirror's Ed Malyon, Cardiff boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is on the brink of wrapping up a loan deal for Manchester United winger Wilfried Zaha.

    Michael Essien is being lined up for a move from Chelsea to Ai Ain, according to the Mirror's Darren Lewis.

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