World Football

Paper News and Gossip: Neymar Blow, RVP Backs Moyes and Liverpool Confidence

Alex LivieFeatured ColumnistJanuary 17, 2014

Paper News and Gossip: Neymar Blow, RVP Backs Moyes and Liverpool Confidence

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    Andres Kudacki/Associated Press

    The January rumour mill is in full swing, but the papers have a couple of injuries to focus on.

    Neymar damaged an ankle on Thursday, but how long will he be out for?

    Arsenal’s Tomas Rosicky is another player in the wars, but he’s ready to go through the pain barrier.

    There’s a welcome boost for David Moyes, while there’s the usual fill of transfer gossip.

    All this and more feature in Friday’s Paper News and Gossip Roundup.

Neymar Blow for Barca, but a Boost for City?

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    Andres Kudacki/Associated Press

    Barcelona star Neymar found his way into the UK back pages, which either means something great or bad has happened.

    Unfortunately for player and club, it is the latter. During Barca’s Copa Del Rey win over Getafe on Thursday, Neymar turned his ankle when whipping a ball into the box.

    He was given immediate treatment, and he left the field amid talk of a potential long-term absence.

    The Daily Mail’s Pete Jenson has quotes from Barca coach Tata Martino:

    The situation didn't look good when you saw it happen and you thought he might be out for a while but thank God it is not as serious as it appeared and he'll be back playing soon.

    The doctors after the game have said it is not so bad and so if tests confirm it then it is not something serious.

    Jenson’s piece also commented on the potential impact on Manchester City, who face Barca in the Champions League in February.

Van Persie Backs Moyes to Shine at United

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    Jon Super/Associated Press

    Under-pressure managers usually receive the fabled "vote of confidence" from the board. Times, though, are-a-changing and Manchester United boss David Moyes has been handed a timely boost by star striker Robin van Persie.

    There has been talk of a rift having developed between the pair, while van Persie has not played for some time on account of injury.

    While van Persie has been struggling with injury, United have been struggling in general.

    There is no suggestion that United are planning to axe Moyes. But even if the owners have their finger on the trigger, van Persie has urged them to remain calm.

    The Daily Mail’s Ian Ladyman has the quotes from van Persie:

    Moyes needs time, he’s new. The manager is our leading man and he will change things around.

    We lost too many points this year, but we are doing everything we can to change that.

Pochettino Offers No Long-Term Commitment

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    Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

    Turmoil talk still swirls at Southampton, as Mauricio Pochettino has done nothing to dampen talk of his exit.

    The Daily Mail’s Neil Ashton claims Nicola Cortese, who left the club in controversial circumstances on Wednesday, urged Pochettino to remain at the club.

    Speaking at a press conference on Thursday following a meeting with Saints owner Katharina Liebherr, Pochettino gave no guarantees over his long-term future at the club.

    Ashton has the quotes:

    I am a loyal person and a legal person.

    I thought about many things and I did not sleep well. I am 100 per cent decided to stay here until the end of the season.

    We will see what happens at the end of the season and not before. Then we will assess the situation and decide whether I am up to staying here for another season.

Spurs Closing in on Kalou Deal

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    Michel Spingler/Associated Press

    Former Chelsea forward Salomon Kalou could be on his way to Tottenham Hotspur.

    The Daily Mail’s Simon Jones suggests the Lille forward is keen on a return to London, with Spurs in the frame.

    Jones reports that a £2.6 million deal will be done, with the report suggesting that Kalou will arrive for talks on Friday.

Rosicky to Play Through the Pain of Broken Nose

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    Kirsty Wigglesworth/Associated Press

    Tomas Rosicky is ready to play through the pain barrier to help Arsenal in their Premier League title push.

    The Daily Mail’s Sami Mokbel has revealed the Czech midfielder underwent surgery on a broken nose, but is ready to return to the fray immediately.

    Mokbel’s piece carried a quote from Arsene Wenger, who said: “Rosicky had surgery with a general anaesthetic for a broken nose in two places. With a mask he may be available but we have to monitor it closely.”

    The Mail scribe claims Rosicky is available for Saturday’s clash with Fulham after being fitted for a protective mask.

Gutierrez's Newcastle Parting Shot

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    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    Norwich City new boy Jonas Gutierrez has taken a parting shot at Newcastle United.

    The Argentina international has joined the Canaries on loan, but he cannot fathom out why he was left out in the cold by Newcastle.

    There was talk, such as this piece from the People’s Alan Oliver, of the player having a clause in his deal which would have earned him a bumper new contract had he played a set number of games.

    There was no word from Gutierrez, other than to say he was left in the cold by Magpies boss Alan Pardew.

    The Daily Star’s Peter Layton has the quotes from Gutierrez:

    The manager told me in December I was not going to play any more and told me to find myself another club.

    I don't know why it happened and I still don't understand what I did wrong.

    There were no rows with Alan Pardew or anything like that. He just said I needed to leave and that was that.

Stoke Win Fires Up Rodgers

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    Clive Mason/Getty Images

    Brendan Rodgers feels Liverpool’s win at Stoke was an indicator as to the quality he now has at his disposal at the Anfield club.

    The Reds claimed a thrilling 5-3 win over Stoke, which was a huge improvement on their trip to the Potteries 12 months previous when a defeat left Rodgers in a sulk.

    In a piece by the Daily Mirror’s David Maddock, Rodgers said:

    Stoke was a benchmark because it shows our mental endurance and mental fitness has improved. It shows we can go to any stadium anywhere and have no fear.

    It was a poignant win, because I remember going there a year ago, on Boxing Day; we lost, I travelled home and even though the family was round, I went straight up to the bedroom and didn't come back down because it was so disappointing.

Bits and Pieces: Monaco Closing in on Ince, Asenal's Ntep Wait and More

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    Michael Steele/Getty Images

    Monaco are closing in on a move for Blackpool midfielder Tom Ince after setting up talks, per a report from the Daily Mail’s John Edwards.

    The future of Ravel Morrison continues to rage on and the Daily Star's George Scott claims West Ham will sell if a bid of £10 million is tabled.

    Arsenal have not agreed a deal with Auxerre for Paul-Georges Ntep, according to the Daily Star's Colin Harvey.

    Everton are battling with Benfica for Sporting Lisbon's Michy Batshuayi, per a report from the Daily Mirror's Alan Nixon.

    Inter Milan and Juventus have joined Arsenal in the race for Real Madrid forward Alvaro Morata, per a report from the Daily Express' Charles Perrin.

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