Paper Gossip: United and Chelsea Fight for Cavani, Cole Pay Cut and More
The transfer window is well and truly shut, but the transfer talk continues apace.
All of the Premier League's big guns are being linked with new faces, while the champions have been jolted by one of their key players confirming his departure.
West Ham are refusing to accept Andy Carroll's red card, while the turmoil at Leeds United continues.
All this and more feature in Friday's edition of the Paper News and Gossip Roundup.
Moyes Wanted to Keep Vidic at United
The changes at Manchester United are set to continue, with Nemanja Vidic confirming he will be leaving the club in the summer.
The Serbian has been on the periphery under David Moyes this season, and he has confirmed he wants a new challenge at this stage of his career.
Vidic issued a statement to the club’s official website, in which he said:
I have decided that I will move on at the end of this season. I want to challenge myself again and try to make the best of myself in the coming years.
I’m not considering staying in England as the only club I ever wanted to play for here is Manchester United and I was lucky enough to be part of this Club for so many years. I’ve got a few options to move on and I will choose the right one for me and for my family.
I am now going to focus all my efforts on playing for Manchester United and do the best I can for the team until the end of the season. I hope this stops any further speculation about my future.
The Mail’s Joe Strange has picked up on the story and he has made the claim that Moyes wanted to keep Vidic at the club for one more season, but the Serbian was not interested in holding talks.
United and Chelsea in Cavani Battle
A defender may be on Moyes’ agenda following Vidic’s announcement, but a striker is also in his sights in the shape of Edinson Cavani.
The Mail’s Simon Jones and Chris Wheeler claim that United and Chelsea are ready to go into battle to sign the striker from Paris Saint-Germain.
Cavani will not come cheap, with the Mail writers suggesting his asking price will be in the region of £54 million.
It is a long way until the transfer window opens, but Jones and Wheeler claim Cavani’s representatives have been in London for talks.
Leeds in Limbo as Ownership Row Rumbles on
The turmoil at Leeds United rumbles on, following a weekend that saw manager Brian McDermott sacked and then reinstated.
The Mail’s Matt Lawton has taken up the baton, with a special report looking at the issues currently afflicting the fallen giant.
In his piece, Lawton wrote:
Men in suits have grappled, players have been used as pawns and, like a West End farce, the manager has been sacked and then reinstated.
In further tensions bubbling beneath the surface, the prospective new owner’s lawyer has been ejected from the ground by security and the club’s official shirt sponsor has hit Leeds with a winding-up petition for an unpaid debt.
Lawton digs into the ownership struggle, looks at players who are in the middle of the row and how it is affecting the club.
Neville and Giggs to Follow Beckham into Football Ownership?
Manchester United legends Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs are considering investing in non-league side Salford City.
The club, a close neighbour of the Red Devils, could have famous names in charge in the near future as the Mail's Ian Ladyman claims Salford’s board is broadly in favour of the investment.
Do not fear United fans, Neville and Giggs have not fallen out with the club. Ladyman claims any deal should in no way be viewed as a rival to the Premier League giants.
Neville, per Ladyman’s piece, is concerned by the lack of players making it from non-league football into the top tier and is keen to throw out a net to give young players a chance to progress.
It's not quite the investment David Beckham has made in Miami, but it's a start.
Carroll Red Card to Be Viewed Again by New Panel
The Andy Carroll saga rumbles on, despite the West Ham striker losing his appeal against his red card last week.
Carroll was dismissed by referee Howard Webb for a clash with Swansea’s Chico Flores.
The Hammers were convinced the red card would be overturned, but they were left stunned by an independent panel’s decision to uphold the on-field ruling.
That would normally be the end of the matter, but the Hammers were so incensed that they were threatening to take the matter to the High Court.
However, that scenario has been avoided after the FA agreed to a fresh arbitration which will take place on Friday morning, according to the Mirror’s Darren Lewis.
Liverpool Turn Attentions to Abdulrahman
Liverpool missed out on signing Yevhen Konoplyanka in the final hours of the winter transfer window, but Reds boss Brendan Rodgers is still interested in a winger.
Konoplyanka may still be on the radar, but the Star’s David Woods claims Rodgers has turned his attentions to Omar Abdulrahman.
Woods claims Abdulrahman has been hunted by Premier League teams in the past, with Arsenal and Manchester City taking an interest.
Rodgers has been alerted to Al-Ain attacker Abdulrahman’s quality by his chief scout Barry Hunter.
City Face Juventus Fight for Fernando
Manchester City face competition for Porto star Fernando from Juventus, according to the Mirror’s David McDonnell.
The Brazilian was a target for City in the final days of the winter window, but they failed to push through a deal to sign the Brazilian.
City boss Manuel Pellegrini retains an interest, but McDonnell claims Serie A champions Juventus are ready to enter the race.
McDonnell suggests Juventus chief executive Giuseppe Marotta has already held talks with Fernando’s people in a bid to gauge the player’s interest in making a move to Turin.
Cole Would Have to Take Pay Cut to Move to MLS
If Chelsea defender Ashley Cole wants to relaunch his career in America, he will have to tighten his belt.
No, it’s not a worry about him putting on weight. It is to do with his ability to command a sizeable wage, as the Star’s David Woods clams the England international would have to take a massive pay cut.
Woods states that defenders do not command huge salaries in MLS, with the Star scribe suggesting the most Cole would be able to earn would be £50,000 per week.
Bits and Pieces: Real Eye Pochettino, Butland Loan Move, Big Guns Eye Young Star
Mark Hughes will allow Jack Butland to leave Stoke City on loan in a bid to keep the goalkeeper's World Cup dream alive, according to a report from the Mail's Neil Moxley.
Michael Laudrup is ready to take Swansea to court as he is baffled as to why he was sacked, per a report from the Star's Graham Clutton.
Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal are keen on Marseille teenager Maxime Lopez, according to the Express' Ben Jefferson.
Southampton boss Mauricio Pochettino is a target for Real Madrid, according to the Mirror's Alex Crook.