Paper News and Gossip: No United Crisis, Wenger Eyes Striker, No Morata Move

Alex LivieFeatured ColumnistJanuary 20, 2014

Paper News and Gossip: No United Crisis, Wenger Eyes Striker, No Morata Move

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    Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

    The morning papers will not make good viewing for Manchester United boss David Moyes, as his side’s loss to Chelsea has been pulled apart by the scribes.

    Do not fear, though, there's plenty of other news and gossip to get your teeth into. As you’d expect during January, there’s plenty of transfer talk involving a host of clubs—Arsenal and Liverpool among them.

    All this and more feature in Monday’s edition of the Paper News and Gossip Roundup.

Are United Losing Their Star Attraction?

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    There’s plenty of column inches in the papers dedicated to Chelsea’s win over Manchester United.

    It comes as no surprise that a lot of the content is focused on David Moyes and his struggling United side.

    The Mail’s Martin Samuel has led his column on the problems United had in strengthening their squad last summer—and how they now look somewhat unappealing as a destination.

    Samuel focuses on Leighton Baines, who could well commit his future to Everton—having been chased by Moyes for the majority of last summer.

    In his column, Samuel wrote:

    If Leighton Baines does sign a new contract at Everton, what will that say about Manchester United? David Moyes may feel confident that the aura of his club has not diminished but, it seems, not everyone shares his optimism. Baines’ decision to stay put could be an awkward peek into the future.

    Where Everton are settled, United’s plans are in relative turmoil. Nobody knows what next season’s team will look like, whether it will include Wayne Rooney, or how any overhaul might be affected if the club fails to qualify for the Champions League for the first time since 1995.

Moyes Dismisses Crisis Talk

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    David Moyes saw his Manchester United side crushed 3-1 by Chelsea to fall 14 points adrift of the leaders in the Premier League title race.

    The Scot emerged to meet the press and put on a brave face when asked about his current plight.

    He was asked if United were in crisis, which he said was not the case, and insisted defending their crown is still possible.

    The Mail’s Matt Barlow has the quotes:

    That’s your word (crisis), not mine.

    What we won’t do is throw in the towel until we can’t get there. The job is to try to finish first. I was hoping to win more and be competing a bit more than we’ve been but that will come.

    Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho had a different view, as he said in Barlow’s piece:

    I don’t think David will be upset if I say the reality.

    It is a 14-point difference, and 13 and 12. Can they recover to one of these teams? They can. But to three of them? It needs three teams to almost collapse.

Newcastle 'Agree' Cabaye Deal with PSG

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    Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

    Newcastle United spent much of the summer fending off interest in Yohan Cabaye, and it could be a similar story in January.

    The Mail’s Ashley Clements has picked up on a report from the French media which claims the Magpies have agreed a fee with Paris Saint-Germain for the sale of the midfielder.

    In the piece, Clements states:

    Newcastle United have reached an agreement with Paris Saint Germain for the transfer of Yohan Cabaye, according to reports in France.

    Canal + suggested that a £21m deal has been agreed between the two clubs, but the move is subject to the Magpies signing Montpellier star Remy Cabella first.

Liverpool to Make Big Play for Salah

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    Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has been given the green light to step up his efforts to sign Mohamed Salah from Basel, per a report from the Mail’s Simon Jones.

    Reds owner John W Henry was at Anfield at the weekend to see the club draw with Aston Villa. Jones suggests, as you would expect, talks between manager and owner took place.

    Rodgers confirmed last week that the subject of transfers would be on the agenda, and Jones has suggested the talks were positive.

    The Mail writer claims the Reds will make a concerted push for Salah, but there could be competition from clubs in Spain and Germany.

Wenger Confirms Striker Search Is on

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    Arsene Wenger has uttered words that will be music to the ears of Arsenal fans.

    After seeing his side labour to a 2-0 win over Fulham, the Gunners boss has admitted—per a report from the Mirror’s John Cross—he is open to strengthening his squad.

    The Gunners continue to lead the way in the Premier League, but with Nicklas Bendtner currently out injured, there is intense pressure on Olivier Giroud to remain injury free.

    Wenger is far from certain to enter the market in January, but his admission that he is looking will come as a relief to Gunners fans.

    In his piece, Cross has the quotes:

    Ideally if it's possible we'd like another (striker). I give you my phone number, if you find an exceptional (player), you can call me over the weekend. Ideally, though we have not found anyone.

    We are open to strengthening our squad if it's possible. But as well we have Bendtner back in the squad on Monday. Sanogo is back in the squad on Monday week.

Morata Rules out Real Madrid Exit

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    Andres Kudacki/Associated Press

    Alvaro Morata has been heavily linked with a move to Arsenal, but he has shot down talk of an exit from Real Madrid.

    The youngster, who scored for Real at the weekend, had been linked with a loan move to the Gunners.

    However, he has claimed he is happy with his lot at Madrid and has told the club he does not want to move.

    The Express’ James Dickenson has the quotes:

    I have spoken with the club and the coach and told them I want to stay here.

    This is the team I have spent my entire life at and I will stay here and do whatever the club asks of me or needs of me, even if it's to play a minimal amount of games.

Baggies Stand Firm over Anelka

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    There will be plenty of eyes on Nicolas Anelka on Monday evening to see if he is in the West Brom side to face Everton.

    Mail writers Neil Moxley and Dominic King are claiming that the Baggies will not bow to pressure from their sponsors and drop the forward over the quenelle gesture Anelka made recently.

    Baggies sponsors Zoopla wanted Anelka dropped, according to the Express' John Wragg, but Moxley and King suggest the club have discussed the situation at length and will not shift from the stance they took at the outset—which was to make the forward available for selection until the FA has made a ruling.


Bits and Pieces: Pochettino Deal, Ben Arfa to Stay, Ince out and More

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    A shade under a week ago there was talk of Mauricio Pochettino leaving Southampton. Things can change very quickly, as the Mirror’s Alex Crook claims the club are ready to offer their manager a bumper new deal.

    Norwich are bracing themselves for a bid from Celtic for Scotland midfielder Robert Snodgrass, per a report from the Mirror's Peter Layton.

    Hatem Ben Arfa looks set to stay at Newcastle after being told he has a future at the club, according to a report from Martin Hardy of the Sun (subscription).

    Fulham have stepped up their interest in Swansea defender Neil Taylor, according to Gary Jacob and Tony Barrett of the Times (subscription).

    It does not look good for Paul Ince at Blackpool. Per a report from the Mirror's Alan Nixon, the Seasiders are set to sack their manager and put Barry Ferguson at the helm.