Paper News and Gossip: Mourinho-Pellegrini Row, De Gea's New Man Utd Deal
Jose Mourinho and Manuel Pellegrini are engaged in a war of words, according to the back-page headlines on Saturday.
The Chelsea and Manchester City managers have both been in feisty mood after the Stamford Bridge club claimed a 1-0 win at the Etihad Stadium on Monday.
Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea is poised for a new contract with the Old Trafford club, claims one report.
But who else is making the headlines on Saturday? Read on to find out more.
Jose Mourinho and Manuel Pellegrini Continue War of Words
The ongoing row between Jose Mourinho and Manuel Pellegrini dominates the sports pages on Saturday, with the Manchester City boss dismissing his counterpart's claim that his team have been lucky.
Before Chelsea's win at the Etihad Stadium on Monday, Mourinho had claimed City had been lucky with decisions from referees and then criticised Alvaro Negredo for attempting to get Nemanja Matic dismissed during the game, as Mark Ogden and Jeremy Wilson of the Daily Telegraph reported.
However, Pellegrini countered those claims with the Telegraph article quoting him as saying:
It is very simple. Every week you say what you think is better for you. There’s a famous sentence: ‘Lie, lie but some things always remain.’
If you are talking about the decision at Tottenham [when Spurs defender Danny Rose was sent off] everyone said Rose touched the ball with his left leg before he tackles Edin Dzeko.
But we had had six clear chances, so it is not like in that moment the game changes.
The other decision at Newcastle [Cheick Tiote's disallowed goal was ruled offside], the referees at the beginning of the season would say not offside, but now they might say it was offside. And we scored another goal more, so it was not a goal that decided the match.
The only time a referee has come out and apologised about an important mistake is in the Chelsea-West Bromwich game, when there was a penalty in the 93rd or 94th minute and that has given them two points more.
Meanwhile, Mourinho believes Ashley Cole could quit Stamford Bridge for the MLS in America next season, reports Martin Lipton of the Daily Mirror.
Manchester United Goalkeeper David De Gea Set for New Contract
Manchester United are poised to offer goalkeeper David De Gea a new deal to keep him at the club until 2018, reports David McDonnell of the Daily Mirror.
According to the article, the Spaniard's current contract ends in two years and the club will offer him £90,000 a week to remain at Old Trafford.
McDonnell claims Barcelona have been monitoring De Gea, 23, as they seek to replace Victor Valdes, and the new offer is designed to stave off that interest.
Meanwhile, former Arsenal defender Martin Keown has used his Daily Mail column to criticise Nemanja Vidic for leaving the club at a crucial time for the Old Trafford side.
Martin Blackburn of The Sun (subscription required) claims that Patrice Evra and Rio Ferdinand are set to follow Vidic out of Old Trafford in the summer.
'No Problem Between David Moyes and Me' Says Rene Meulensteen
Fulham head coach Rene Meulensteen insists there is no issue between Manchester United manager David Moyes and him after the ex-Everton boss released him from his Old Trafford role in the summer, reports Henry Winter of the Daily Telegraph.
Meulensteen will return to Old Trafford with Fulham on Sunday for the first time since Moyes released him as part of a shake-up in the coaching team.
But the Craven Cottage boss is adamant there is no lingering bitterness on his part, according to the article:
People start to think things but there’s no animosity between us at all.
I’ve been in touch with David, spoken to him on numerous occasions.
He was one of the first to ring me and congratulate me on this job. We’ve exchanged texts.
Listen, I have the utmost respect for David. Just the fact that people get into positions where maybe they are not so sure this will work (as part of the new regime’s coaching staff) doesn’t mean there should be animosity, not at all.
I’m the first one to wish David well. I’m sure it will work for him there.
Arsene Wenger Fears Bacary Sagna Could Leave Arsenal for Nothing in Summer
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has voiced his concern that Bacary Sagna could leave the club for nothing in the summer, reports John Cross of the Daily Mirror.
The right-back, who will be 31 next week, has yet to sign a new contract with the Gunners and his current deal runs out at the end of the season.
According to Cross, Sagna has been offered a two-year contract worth £70,000 a week by the Emirates Stadium club.
Wenger has previously claimed he expected Sagna to stay with Arsenal but is now "hoping" he will re-sign, according to the article:
When I say I expect, it's more that I want (him to stay). I hope that in the end I am right. We are not close at the moment.
He wants to keep his options open, because he is at the end of a contract. It is an important contract for him. He is 31 years old. I can understand.
Because he is a defender we are ready to give him more than one year.
I’m not alright with that (Sagna keeping his options open) because I would like him to sign just now but I have to accept it. It is his freedom, the decision belongs to him.
We are always in negotiations with him and we try always to be fair with him. I believe his future is here and any other decision would be wrong.
Arjen Robben Set for New Deal with Bayern Munich
Bayern Munich star Arjen Robben is set for a new deal with the German and European champions, claims Antony Kastrinakis of The Sun (subscription required).
The Holland international could sign the contract before Bayern line up against Arsenal in the Champions League last-16 first leg on Feb. 19.
Kastrinakis reports that the new extension to his deal will be for two years.
Meanwhile, Franck Ribery is a doubt for the game at the Emirates Stadium due to a burst blood vessel in his buttock, reports the Daily Telegraph.
Spurs Head Coach Tim Sherwood Backs Andros Townsend to Emulate Gareth Bale
The England international is set to make his return from injury in the Premier League match against Everton on Sunday, and the Spurs boss is predicting a similar trajectory to Bale for Townsend:
I think whenever you've got a player like Andros, he can change a game in an instant.
He gets you off your seat and is exciting to watch. He had a great start to the season. We're just hoping he can pick up that tempo again and drive on.
Andros can do something different. He can go past people, turn a bad performance into a fantastic result like Gareth Bale did last year.
Bits and Pieces: Cristiano Ronaldo Referee, Radamel Falcao, Michael Laudrup
The referee who dismissed Cristiano Ronaldo during the game against Athletic Club Bilbao last weekend has been suspended and banned from taking charge of Real Madrid matches for the rest of the season, reports the Daily Telegraph.
The article cites reports in Spain as claiming match official Miguel Angel Ayza Gamez has been dropped for a month after his performance in the match.
Monaco boss Claudio Ranieri has backed striker Radamel Falcao to be fit in time for the World Cup finals, reports John Drayton of the Daily Mail.
The Colombia international suffered a knee ligament injury last month and is expected to miss the rest of the Ligue 1 season.
But Ranieri believes Falcao will feature in Brazil, according to the report.
Michael Laudrup was sacked as Swansea manager over his attitude towards three potential loan signings at the close of the transfer window, claims Charles Sale of the Daily Mail.
The report says Laudrup's "negative attitude" towards proposed loan deals for Tottenham pair Nacer Chadli and Lewis Holtby, and Tom Ince of Blackpool helped cost him his job.