Paper News and Gossip: Moyes Says Man Utd Can Win Champions League

Ian Rodgers@irodgers66World Football Staff WriterFebruary 23, 2014

Paper News and Gossip: Moyes Says Man Utd Can Win Champions League

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    Manchester United are the dominant force on the back pages of the Sunday newspapers following the win at Crystal Palace.

    Manager David Moyes is turning his attentions to the Champions League with the last 16 first leg against Olympiakos on the horizon.

    Moyes has also defended striker Wayne Rooney's new bumper deal at the club, despite some Palace fans making their views known at Selhurst Park on Saturday.

    Elsewhere, Everton manager Roberto Martinez was unhappy at the manner of the defeat at Chelsea on Saturday, while Jose Mourinho could bring a club legend back to Stamford Bridge.

    But who else is making the headlines on Sunday? Read on to find out more.

Manchester United Can Follow Liverpool 2005 Example, Says David Moyes

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    Manchester United manager David Moyes believes his team can follow the path of Liverpool in 2005 by qualifying for the Champions League next season by winning the tournament this year, reports Simon Mullock of the Sunday Mirror.

    Moyes guided Everton into the Champions League in 2005 after they finished above Liverpool in the Premier League, but Rafael Benitez ensured the Reds would compete in the tournament when he oversaw the final triumph over AC Milan in Istanbul.

    Moyes, whose team will face Olympiakos in Greece on Tuesday, is quoted as saying:

    It isn’t always the best teams that get to the final in Europe. Liverpool in 2005 gives us hope, but in any cup competition you always have a chance.

    I knew it was going to be a hard competition before it started. Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Real Madrid and PSG are all top clubs.

    You see some of the games, where teams have hung on and hung on and somehow nicked a goal.

    Moyes also defended the multi-million pound contract for Wayne Rooney, after the United striker reportedly had a coin and other objects thrown at him during the win at Crystal Palace, according to Mike McGrath of The Sun on Sunday (subscription required).

    Meanwhile, Paul Hetherington of the Daily Star Sunday says United are confident they have won the chase to sign Borussia Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Gundogan in the summer.

Roberto Martinez Accuses Chelsea of Using 'Every Trick in Book' for Late Win

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    Everton manager Roberto Martinez was disappointed by the tactics employed by Chelsea during the late defeat at Stamford Bridge, reports Dave Kidd of the Sunday People.

    The Goodison Park club were beaten in the 93rd-minute on Saturday after Ramires won a controversial free-kick following a Phil Jagielka challenge.

    Frank Lampard took the subsequent set-piece, and John Terry bundled the winning goal over the line.

    But Martinez is quoted as saying:

    Chelsea have an incredible know-how of how to win dead-ball situations. They use every trick in the book.

    Ramires was looking for contact when he won the free-kick and it was very soft. The same sort of thing happened four or five times in the second half.

    It was impossible for the referee. I can’t blame (him) because would he have needed magic to know whether to award free-kicks or not?

    It is no coincidence that they have been unbeaten (under Jose Mourinho) for 74 League matches at home. It can’t just be that they have played well at home every single match.

    I couldn’t see Chelsea scoring from open play, but they kept winning free-kicks.

Chelsea Looking to Bring Didier Drogba Back to Stamford Bridge in Coaching Role

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    Chelsea want to bring club legend Didier Drogba back to the club in the summer in a coaching role, according to Dean Jones of the Sunday People.

    The Ivory Coast international signed off his Stamford Bridge career with the winning penalty in the 2012 Champions League triumph over Bayern Munich before joining Galatasaray.

    Drogba is set for a reunion with his old Chelsea team-mates when he lines up for the Turkish club in the last 16 first leg on Wednesday.

    But Jones claims there could be a more permanent link-up this summer when the forward's contract with Galatasaray ends.

    Meanwhile, Chelsea striker Fernando Torres has been targeted by billionaire Peter Lim as he attempts to buy Valencia, claims Dave Kidd of the Sunday People.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic Claims He Would Have 'Destroyed' Premier League

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    Paris Saint-Germain striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic claims he would have "destroyed" the Premier League if he had joined Arsenal and played in the English top flight, reports Dave Kidd of the Sunday People.

    The Sweden international says he could have signed for the Gunners, but manager Arsene Wenger wanted him to undergo a trial at the club, according to the report.

    Ibrahimovic is quoted as saying:

    England is a very strong league, with three or four of the best teams in Europe, but, if I had played there, I would have destroyed it, like I have everywhere else.

    Arsenal could have happened, as everybody knows, but I would not do a trial.

    Who do you think regrets that more, Arsene Wenger or Zlatan?

    I’m always amused when I am asked about not having tested myself in England.

Tottenham Confident Yevhen Konoplyanka Will Join Them, Not Liverpool

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    Tottenham Hotspur are confident they will land Dnipro winger Yevhen Konoplyanka ahead of Liverpool in the summer, claims Dave Kidd of the Sunday People.

    The Ukraine international was the main story of the January transfer deadline day as the Reds chased his signature before missing out.

    Meanwhile, former Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp could retire at the end of the season with Queens Park Rangers due to health issues, reports Alan Nixon of the Sunday People.

    The Loftus Road boss may require further surgery on a knee problem, and he will review his position in the summer as he continues to suffer pain, claims Nixon.

Real Madrid to Continue Sergio Aguero Chase as Lescott Prepares Man City Exit

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    Real Madrid will move for Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero if they sell Karim Benzema to Paris Saint-Germain, reports Tom Hopkinson of the Sunday People.

    The French club are preparing a £40 million move for Benzema, according to the article, which will trigger Bernabeu interest in Aguero.

    Rob Shepherd of the Mail On Sunday claims Manchester City will sign FC Porto defender Eliaquim Mangala ahead of neighbours United in the summer.

    Meanwhile, City defender Joleon Lescott insists he has no hard feelings over his impending exit from the club, reports John Richardson of the Sunday Express.

Bits and Pieces: Michu, Michael Laudrup, Michel Platini, Chris Hughton

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    Swansea City striker Michu is poised to join Anzhi Mahkachkala this week, reports Alan Nixon of the Sunday People.

    The Spanish forward is on the verge of a return to action after injury, and he is viewed by the Russian club as an answer to their faltering league form, claims Nixon.

    The Russian transfer window shuts on Monday night, notes the article.

    Former Swansea manager Michael Laudrup will demand an extra £1 million in compensation if the club avoids relegation this season, reports Charlie Wyett of The Sun on Sunday (subscription required).

    UEFA president Michel Platini is demanding an end to the ruling which sees a player sent off, banned and concede a penalty at the same time in matches, reports David Hyde of the Daily Star Sunday.

    Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny and Manchester City defender Martin Demichelis both fell victim to the ruling in the Champions League this week, but Platini is quoted as saying:

    All the technical committees of UEFA and FIFA are against this but when it has gone to the International Board it doesn’t change.

    Arsene Wenger said the referee killed the game but the referee has to respect this stupid rule.

    Norwich City will sack manager Chris Hughton if they lose to Tottenham on Sunday and turn their attention to Celtic boss Neil Lennon, reports Dave Kidd of the Sunday People.