Paper News and Gossip: Wayne Rooney on Suarez, Giroud's Arsenal Future in Doubt
The Liverpool forward has been in sensational form ahead of the Premier League trip to Old Trafford on Sunday, and his United counterpart has not been slow to notice.
Meanwhile, the future of striker Olivier Giroud at Arsenal is open to question, according to another article on Saturday.
But who else is making the headlines on Saturday? Read on to find out more.
Suarez Is Best in the World, Says Rooney, as United Line Up New De Gea Deal
Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney believes Luis Suarez ranks alongside Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in world football at the moment, reports Neil Custis of The Sun (subscription required).
The Uruguay international has been in fine form for the Reds this season, and Rooney will get a closer view of the forward when Liverpool travel to Old Trafford on Sunday.
Rooney is quoted as saying: "Suarez, for me, is up there with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as one of the best players in the world. He has been that good."
Meanwhile, United manager David Moyes is set to offer goalkeeper David De Gea a new deal at the club, reports David McDonnell of the Daily Mirror.
Brendan Rodgers Warns Man Utd of European Exile If Liverpool Win on Sunday
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has warned Manchester United of the dangers of European exile, reports David Maddock of the Daily Mirror.
The Anfield boss believes victory at Old Trafford on Sunday will snuff out any lingering United hopes of playing in the Champions League next season.
But Rodgers recognises the pitfalls of not playing among Europe's elite, and he is quoted as saying:
We still have a lot of work to get into the Champions League, but when you’re not in it, it’s so difficult.
This club is a worldwide club, monumental, but we found it difficult because the best players want to play in the best competitions.
This was Liverpool and we weren’t in the Champions League and to get in the type of players we want, that’s where we need to be and trying to be.
Any club will suffer the same when they’re not in there. There is no doubt it will hurt you but they will know that.
Future of Olivier Giroud at Arsenal Questioned After Agent Meeting
The future of Olivier Giroud at Arsenal has been questioned as Sami Mokbel of the Daily Mail reported that the striker met with a leading agent in Hampstead, London.
The France international was pictured with Muzzi Ozcan at a restaurant in the article, prompting Mokbel to question whether the meeting was linked to a potential move.
According to the report, Giroud's agent Mickael Manuello, who was not at the meeting, claims the pair were there for "commercial purposes."
Meanwhile, Nicklas Bendtner has been fined £104,000 by the club after allegations of an altercation with a Copenhagen taxi driver during the week, reports Mark Irwin of The Sun (subscription required).
Gunners manager Arsene Wenger is quoted as saying:
I honestly don’t know what happened in Copenhagen because I haven’t spoken to him yet.
The only thing for sure is that he had no right to be in Copenhagen.
Nobody gave him any permission to go to Denmark and he will be fined for that.
Chelsea Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois Wants to Extend Atletico Madrid Loan
Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois wants to extend his loan spell with Atletico Madrid to a fourth season, reports John Cross of the Daily Mirror.
The article notes that the Belgium international does not want to return to Stamford Bridge to play under current Blues No. 1 Petr Cech, sparking speculation that he could join Real Madrid or Atletico on a permanent basis.
But Cross believes allowing Courtois to remain with Atletico on a further short-term deal is an ideal compromise to see off interest from Real.
Manuel Pellegrini Signs 'New Vieira' with Man City Arrival of Rodney Kongolo
Manchester City have won the race to sign Feyenoord midfielder Rodney Kongolo, reports Alan Wilson of the Daily Mirror.
According to the report, the 16-year-old Dutch youngster has been dubbed the "new Patrick Vieira" and will now link up with the former Arsenal and France star, who is the head of the elite development squad at the Etihad Stadium.
Wilson also claims City manager Manuel Pellegrini saw off interest from Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea to land the teenager, who will move to the club in the summer.
Nicolas Anelka Sacked by West Bromwich Albion
Nicolas Anelka was sacked by West Bromwich Albion on Friday night after a day of controversy involving the French striker, reports John Percy of the Daily Telegraph.
Earlier in the day, Anelka had used social media to announce his decision to quit The Hawthorns after being given conditions about his return to the squad following his suspension over the 'quenelle' goal celebration, reports Percy.
Anelka is quoted as saying:
Following discussions between the club and myself, proposals have been made to me that I rejoined the group under certain conditions that I cannot accept.
Wishing to preserve my integrity, I decided to free myself and to terminate the contract binding me with West Bromwich Albion until 2014, and now.
But the former Arsenal and Liverpool forward was later axed by Albion and a club statement referred to Anelka's behaviour as "unprofessional", as Percy reported.
Bits and Pieces: Alan Pardew, Adriano, Luuk De Jong, Tottenham Hotspur
Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew will be allowed to phone instructions to his coaching staff during games after his stadium ban, reports Simon Bird of the Daily Mirror.
The Magpies boss will watch the Premier League game against Fulham in a hotel room after receiving a seven-match suspension for an altercation with Hull midfielder David Meyler two weeks ago.
Meanwhile, on-loan Borussia Monchengladbach striker Luuk de Jong wants to make his loan move to Newcastle permanent, reports Gary Jones of the Daily Star.
Liverpool have been linked with a move for Barcelona defender Adriano, reports The Metro.
Tottenham Hotspur will target just three key signings in the summer in a bid for quality over quantity, reports Matt Law of the Daily Telegraph.
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