Paper News and Gossip: Suarez Sees the Light, Mourinho's Mind Games and More
The title race is hotting up in the Premier League and Jose Mourinho has welcomed Liverpool to the party.
The Portuguese has also commented on his own side's chances, while there are grumblings among Arsenal supporters.
Luis Suarez has let his football do the talking this season, and it seems that is the way the Liverpool forward likes it.
All this and more feature in Friday's edition of the Paper News and Gossip Roundup.
Mourinho Says Liverpool Firmly in Title Race
Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has continually played down Liverpool’s title chances, but he has been ushered into the race by Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho.
The midweek results saw Liverpool move to within four points of top spot, and Mourinho claims the Reds are firmly in the hunt.
Mourinho has used animal references with regard to teams this season, and he has compared Liverpool to a chihuahua.
The Mail’s Simon Cass and Ray Massey have the quotes:
Brendan has a chihuahua it is one that trains a lot and rests a lot. The other dogs, they don’t train a lot because they play a lot and they don’t rest because they play every three days.
And when the Barclays Premier League goes to the crucial point, we all will have to play Champions League at the same time.
To play, for example, like we are going to do in Istanbul against Galatasaray on the Wednesday, Fulham on the Saturday.
Brendan’s chihuahua doesn’t do that. During the week it sleeps, eats and trains a little bit. So I have to say his chihuahua is a privileged one.
Jose Laments Chelsea's Lack of Goals
In what was an extensive interview with Cass and Massey, Mourinho went on to focus on his own side’s challenge.
It was felt at the time of his return to the club in the summer that Mourinho had erred by not bringing in a top-class striker.
Having allowed Romelu Lukaku to head to Everton on loan and only signed Samuel Eto’o, it looked like Chelsea were short up front.
The Blues are top of the table at present, but Mourinho has inferred that his side could well have been out of sight had they been more prolific in front of goal.
Mail writers Cass and Massey have the quotes:
The matches I have lost were matches we should have won. They were the easy ones to win. The match against Everton was so easy to win but we couldn’t score a goal out of I don’t know how many chances. But we conceded and we lost.
We went to Newcastle; it was so easy to win. In the first 30 minutes we hit the post, we had chances but we lost the game. We went to Stoke; it was so easy to win. Against West Ham we had 25 shots on goal.
We are a team that if we had that last 'click', that click is to put the ball in the net, then I would say to you that we are favourites.
Suarez Happy to Keep His Nose Clean
Luis Suarez has conducted an interview with radio station Sport 890 in his native Uruguay, which has been picked up by the Mirror’s David Maddock.
It would appear that Suarez has seen the light, as in the interview he claims that if he does not do anything wrong then the press do not pounce on him.
Wise words indeed from a man who was public enemy No. 1 for many last season on account of his various misdemeanours.
Speaking to the station, Suarez said:
I’m happy I’ve worked things out and realised certain things. If you don’t give food to the press, then there’s nothing they can say about you.
I’ve been through a lot, and there has been a storm, but I realised that I had to focus on football and less on those things.
I’ve grown up. I’ve tried hard to think more about things before doing them. The people in England don’t talk about me now because I’m not doing anything wrong. They have to talk only about me as a footballer.
Anger over Arsenal Ticket Pricing
Arsenal face Bayern Munich in the Champions League next week, but there is the prospect of empty seats being on show at the Emirates.
The Mail’s Sami Mokbel reveals there is discontent among Gunners fans at the prospect of having to fork out between £62 and £132 to attend the game, which would be on top of their season ticket.
Mokbel has quotes from Arsenal supporters who are unhappy with the pricing, with one fan describing the Gunners as “like a girlfriend who doesn’t love you back.”
Inter Milan Set Sights on Evra
Could Patrice Evra be on his way to Serie A?
That is certainly a possibility if Simon Jones of the Mail is to be believed.
Evra is out of contract at Manchester United in the summer, and Jones has revealed Inter scouts were in the crowd to watch Evra against Arsenal.
Inter could well have been watching a number of players, but Jones claims Evra was the man in their sights.
United Back in the Frame for Gundogan
Manchester United are on “red alert”, per a report from the Mail’s Kit Holden, as Ilkay Gundogan’s father and agent says everything is completely open with regard to the future of the Borussia Dortmund midfielder.
Gundogan has long been a target for United, as noted by David McDonnell of the Mirror, but there has been no prospect of a deal as the midfielder has missed the vast majority of this season on account of a back injury.
Gundogan’s focus is on returning to full fitness, but his father has claimed once that objective is met everything will be considered.
Atletico Considering Lloris Move
Atletico Madrid will turn their attentions to Tottenham’s Hugo Lloris if they fail to secure Thibaut Courtois, according to the Mirror’s John Cross.
Courtois has been on loan at Atletico for the past three seasons, but Chelsea could well recall him in the summer.
That is a prospect Atletico are braced for, and Cross suggests Lloris will come under their gaze if that happens.
Cross claims Atletico feel they could lure Lloris to Spain if Tottenham miss out on Champions League qualification.
Bits and Pieces: Cisse Eyed by China Clubs, Bayern Want Luiz and More
The Mail’s Simon Jones has been extremely busy on the transfer front, as his column has a host of players in focus.
In his column, Jones claims Newcastle forward Papiss Cisse is attracting attention from clubs in China.
Jones also suggests Bayern Munich are ready to rival Barcelona for Chelsea defender David Luiz.
The Mail writer’s transfer column also claims Chelsea have agreed a deal with Hajduk Split for teenage midfielder Mario Pasalic
Manchester City, meanwhile, have struck a deal to sign midfielder Bruno Zuculini from Argentina side Racing Club, according to the Mirror's David Anderson.
Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham are ready to head off Ajax in the chase for Dinamo Zagreb striker Robert Muric, per a report from the Express' David Wright.