Paper Gossip: Yaya One of Best, Shinji Tipped to Shine and England Under Threat
The transfer speculation stops for no man, and there’s plenty to chew on in the papers.
Yaya Toure inspired Manchester City to victory in the Capital One Cup, with his performance prompting Jamie Redknapp to revisit his best foreign imports.
Let’s not forget it is international friendly week, and there’s talk of spying on England.
All this and more feature in Tuesday’s iteration of the Paper News and Gossip Roundup.
Yaya Toure Climbs into Redknapp's Imports List
Yaya Toure came in for a bit of stick for his first-half performance against Sunderland, so what a difference 45 minutes make.
The midfield powerhouse scored a stunning equaliser and was a colossus in the second half as Manchester City went on to win the Capital One Cup.
His display has prompted Jamie Redknapp to base his column in the Mail on the best foreign players to have played in the Premier League.
And Redknapp has admitted Toure has forced his way into a list he last produced in 2008.
In his column, Redknapp wrote:
Yaya Toure is a freak of nature. It feels wrong that he is so big and yet he can have such nimble, happy feet. He has the skill of Iniesta and Xavi, but the force and power of a racehorse.
I don’t think I have ever seen another player like him. He is such a wonderful talent. He can bulldoze his way through an opponent or pass and move around him.
These days, he is stronger going forward, scores goals (17 in all competitions for his club this season and 13 in the Barclays Premier League) and glides past midfielders and defenders. He looks like he is loving his advanced role and relishing his football.
After his game-changing goal at Wembley, I was asked to re-examine my list of the best foreign imports in the Premier League era - and to see if big Yaya could force his way in.
Toure made it in at No. 8, and you can view the rest of Redknapp’s list here.
Ginter 'Excited' by United Talk
Matthias Ginter has admitted to being excited by reported interest in him from Manchester United.
A report from the Mirror’s David McDonnell stated United had posted scouts to watch the Freiburg defender in action.
That news has filtered through to Ginter, and the Daily Star’s Gary Jones has picked up on the quotes.
In Jones’ piece, Ginter said: “If it is true, I am of course honoured and excited. On the other hand, there is still a long way to the summer.”
Chelsea Face PSG Fight for Branislav Ivanovic
Branislav Ivanovic’s Chelsea future is up for debate in Simon Jones’ transfer column in the Mail.
Jones claims Ivanovic is keen to enter into contract talks with the Blues, and he would do well to take the Mail writer’s column with him.
In it, Jones claims Paris Saint-Germain continue to monitor the defender’s situation, as manager Laurent Blanc wants “players with European competition experience to fit in alongside Thiago Silva.”
Kagawa Tipped to Hit Form for United
Shinji Kagawa is being tipped to bounce back to form for Manchester United.
The Star’s Gary Jones caught up with former Manchester United forward Andy Cole, and Kagawa was a topic of debate.
The Japan international has struggled to impose himself at Old Trafford, but Cole believes he will come good.
In Jones’ piece, Cole said:
He is a quality player but he is not the only one who is finding it hard to get regular football.
There are many top players in the squad and there is plenty of competition.
But having seen Shinji play at Dortmund, I know for sure how good he is. He was the best player in Germany for two years.
I believe he’ll come back with some good displays.
England 'Under Threat' from World Cup Spies
England are in danger of being spied on at the World Cup, according to the Mirror’s Simon Bird.
The astute Bird has just worked out that England’s base in a Rio suburb is overlooked by Sugarloaf Mountain, and pictures in his piece prove that it is possible to scale the tourist attraction and peer down on the training pitch.
As Bird states, England’s World Cup Group D rivals Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica could ascend the mountain for the cost of a £16 cable-car ride and set up camp.
Well, that’s it. England are obviously done for. The opposition will now be able to work out exactly what plans Roy Hodgson has for World Cup domination.
Tottenham Closing in on Teen Star Azzaoui
Tottenham Hotspur are closing in on a deal for Anderlecht midfielder Ismail Azzaoui, according to Simon Jones of the Mail.
Jones has picked up on an interview Anderlecht youth officer Jean Kindermans gave to Het Laatste Nieuws, in which he confirmed Spurs’ interest but played down similarities with the deal that took Adnan Januzaj to Manchester United.
We have heard that Spurs are interested in Azzaoui and it is the player’s right to make a choice.
We regret that he will leave us, but you cannot compare this loss with Adnan Januzaj’s move to Manchester United a few years ago.
Tan in Cardiff-Bonus-Offer Storm
Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan just can’t stay out of the headlines.
He’s had a controversial time in Cardiff, what with his move to change their kit from blue to red, the sacking of Malky Mackay and various other off-field dramas.
And he’s headline news in the Mail this Tuesday, with Neil Ashton claiming that the club’s owner broke Premier League rules by offering a bonus to his players if they avoid relegation.
In his piece, Ashton wrote:
Cardiff City face a Premier League investigation after owner Vincent Tan offered his players a £3.7 million bonus before Sunday’s defeat by Tottenham.
Sportsmail can reveal Tan broke Premier League rules, which state every team must lodge their bonus schedule before the start of the season, when he gave his players a financial incentive to avoid relegation.
It is understood Tan did not offer the Cardiff squad a bonus to avoid the drop before the campaign began because he did not believe they would be in a relegation fight after his significant investment.
Instead, the controversial owner walked into Saturday evening’s team meeting at the Hilton Hotel on London’s Park Lane and stunned the players with his extraordinary offer.
Pardew Facing Up to 10-Game Ban
Alan Pardew is set to be exiled from Newcastle United’s remaining games this season, according to the Mirror’s Martin Lipton.
The FA charged Pardew with improper conduct on Monday evening, following his clash with David Meyler that saw the Newcastle boss lean his head into the Hull player.
Lipton is of the opinion that the FA’s punishment will be a 10-game stadium ban, which would leave Pardew having no input between now and the end of the season.
Bits and Pieces: Inter Eye Dzeko, Chelsea Snub Ake Interest and More
Chelsea are set to rebuff loan offers from Leeds United and Bolton Wanderers for Nathan Ake, according to Simon Jones of the Mail.
Mail writer Jones also claims Everton posted scouts at Sevilla's clash with Maribor last week, with Federico Fazio the man in their sights.
Arsenal have invited Canadian teenager Caniggia Elva to London for a trial, also according to Mail writer Jones.
Inter Milan are lining up a £15 million bid for Manchester City forward Edin Dzeko, according to the Mirror's John Cross.