Paper Gossip: No Fergie Return, United Eye 'New Ronaldo' and Sol's Race Claim

Alex LivieFeatured ColumnistMarch 2, 2014

Paper Gossip: No Fergie Return, United Eye 'New Ronaldo' and Sol's Race Claim

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    There are managers aplenty in focus on Sunday, for good and bad reasons.

    Alan Pardew is clinging to his job at Newcastle, while the same comment applies to David Moyes at Manchester United.

    If Moyes does leave Old Trafford, Sir Alex Ferguson will not be returning. But a Dutchman fancies the job.

    It is a Sunday, so there's the usual raft of transfer gossip as well to get to grips with in the Paper News and Gossip Roundup.

Pardew 'Clinging to Job' After Meyler Clash

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    Alan Pardew is the talk of the media after appearing to aim a headbutt at David Meyler during Newcastle’s win over Hull, and the Mail's Bob Cass feels the manager is on thin ice at St James' Park.

    Newcastle were in cruise control at the KC Stadium midway through the second half, when Pardew and Meyler became involved in an altercation on the touchline.

    Pardew appeared to lean his head towards Meyler, with both sets of players piling in before order was restored.

    Pardew, who was sent to the stands, has denied throwing a head, claiming in the heat of the moment he leaned forward.

    I don't accept it was a headbutt as it was not a quick movement but I did move my head in a forward direction and you can't do that.

    I was simply trying to get the lad out of my way but it simply all flared up around me. I've apologised to the player and to Hull.

    Despite the denial of a headbutt, Newcastle acted swiftly and meted out a £100,000 fine and a formal warning.

    Cass makes it clear in his piece that the matter will not end there. He claims the Football Association will likely hand out a ban until the end of the season.

Sol Campbell in England Race Claim

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    Sol Campbell had a distinguished career at club and international level.

    The former Arsenal and Tottenham defender made 73 appearances for his country, but he has made the explosive claim that he would have been England captain for more than 10 years if he had been white.

    Campbell makes the claim in his autobiography, which is being serialised by the Sunday Times (subscription required).

    I believe if I was white, I would have been England captain for more than 10 years—it's as simple as that.

    I think the FA wished I was white. I had the credibility, performance-wise to be captain. I was consistently in the heart of the defence and I was a club captain early in my career.

    It's alright to have black captains and mixed race in the Under-18s and Under-21s but not for the full national side—there is a ceiling and although no one has ever said it, I believe it's made of glass.

Van Gaal Linked with United Role

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    Louis van Gaal and Tottenham have featured together in a fair few reports in recent weeks, but there’s now a new team being connected with the Dutchman.

    That team is Manchester United, with the Sunday Mirror's Dave Kidd suggesting the Dutchman is keen to replace David Moyes at Old Trafford.

    With the headline on the back page of “Van United” (we saw what they did there), Kidd is suggesting Van Gaal is ready to take the reins at United if the club dispense with the services of Moyes.

    A stint in the Premier League appeals to Van Gaal, who will step down from his role as Netherlands coach at the end of the World Cup this summer, and Kidd claims the top job at Old Trafford is in his sights.

Ferguson Won't Make United Return

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    Sir Alex Ferguson will not be making a return to the managerial hotseat at Manchester United, according to Simon Mullock of the Sunday Mirror.

    United have suffered an alarming dip following Ferguson’s retirement, with David Moyes now under huge pressure.

    The midweek defeat at Olympiakos increased the pressure on Moyes. But even if the manager is axed, Mullock claims Ferguson will not be returning.

    In his piece, Mullock wrote:

    Sir Alex Ferguson will reject any attempt by Manchester United to lure him out of retirement.

    Sunday Mirror Sport understands that the most successful manager in Old Trafford history has no intention of returning to the dug-out even if the mounting pressure on David Moyes finally takes it’s toll.

    Even though many United fans would relish his return, Ferguson, who celebrated his 72nd birthday on New Year’s Eve, has made it clear in private conversations with friends that he will not go back on his decision to retire at the end of last season.

United Set Sights on 'New Ronaldo'

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    Rob Shepherd’s Football Grapevine Column in the Mail is always filled with a transfer snippet or two and Sunday’s iteration is no different.

    The focus this week is on Manchester United, with Shepherd suggesting David Moyes will have £200 million available to overhaul his squad.

    So, who will Moyes be targeting? The new Cristiano Ronaldo, according to Shepherd.

    In his piece, Shepherd wrote:

    Manchester United have identified the new Cristiano Ronaldo—Sporting Lisbon’s 19-year-old Carlos Mane as a prime target in the club’s £200 million makeover planned this summer.

    Mane who can play on either flank and through the middle, is regarded as the Portuguese club’s best natural talent since Ronaldo, who was signed by United from Sporting for £12m in 2003.

    Sporting would want at least £20m for Mane and about the same for another United target, midfielder William Carvalho.

PSV Defender Arias on Moyes' Radar

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    Another player on Moyes’ radar is PSV Eindhoven defender Santiago Arias, according to the Sunday People’s Steve Bates.

    Bates claims Moyes has posted scouts at PSV games, with Arias catching the eye in the Eredivisie this season.

    The People writer also claims any move for Arias would put Rafael’s position at United under threat.

    The Arias line has also been picked up by the Star's Paul Hetherington, who claims that, at £8 million, the defender would be a cheaper option than Everton's Seamus Coleman.

Reds and City in Fight for 'New Vieira'

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    Liverpool and Manchester City are ready to do battle for Feyenoord midfielder Rodney Kongolo.

    Kongolo is only 16, but he has been dubbed “the new Patrick Vieira”.

    The Sunday Mirror’s Jim Hughes claims City and Liverpool are locked in a transfer battle, with Anfield officials meeting the player’s mother to talk up a move to Merseyside.

    Hughes writes that Kongolo has rejected three contract offers from Feyenoord, which indicates the player could be on the move.

Atletico Ready to Fight for Costa

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    Atletico Madrid are attempting to ward off Premier League interest in Diego Costa by increasing his release clause, according to the Sunday Mirror’s Dean Jones.

    Costa is one of Europe’s hottest striking prospects, and there has been plenty of talk with regard to a summer move to the Premier League.

    Chelsea are said to hold a strong interest, per Ben Jefferson of the Express, while there has also been talk of potential moves to Arsenal and Liverpool, per Jack Wilson of the Daily Star.

    But in a bid to fend off the interest, Jones claims Atletico are looking to strike a new deal with the forward, which would ramp up his buyout clause to £41 million.

Adel Taarabt Wants to Be the New Messi

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    Adel Taarabt has never lacked confidence and making the move to AC Milan seems to have only fuelled his own fire.

    The forward is currently on loan at Milan, but he has designs on making it a long-term stay—and is predicting big things for himself with the Rossoneri.

    The Mail’s John Drayton has picked up on an interview the forward gave to Italian daily Gazzetta dello Sport.

    In the piece, Taarabt said:

    I am not surprised with my performances at Milan so far. I know what I can do and I feel like an important player at Milan.

    I want to become the Messi of Milan. Players like Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are an inspiration. I am not at their level yet, but it's my objective to get there.

Bits and Pieces: Hull Eye Djourou, Everton Target Barry Deal

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    Stoke midfielder Charlie Adam could be hauled before the FA for an apparent stamp on Arsenal's Olivier Giroud, according to the Mirror.

    Everton are ready to shell out £8 million to turn Gareth Barry's loan move from Manchester City into a permanent arrangement, per a report from the Mirror's Alan Nixon.

    Hull boss Steve Bruce is plotting a summer raid on Arsenal for defender Johan Djourou, according to the Mirror's Michael Morgan.