Paper News and Gossip: Mourinho Baffled by Ref, Hart Diffuses Boyd Row

Ian Rodgers@irodgers66World Football Staff WriterMarch 16, 2014

Paper News and Gossip: Mourinho Baffled by Ref, Hart Diffuses Boyd Row

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    The fall-out from Saturday's two key Premier League title matches dominates the agenda in the newspapers on Sunday.

    Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho was sent to the stands during the 1-0 defeat at Aston Villa, while both Willian and Ramires also saw red at Villa Park.

    Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart has played down his altercation with Hull City striker George Boyd during the Etihad Stadium side's win which closed the gap on leaders Chelsea.

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

Jose Mourinho Bemused by Referee Chris Foy After Aston Villa Defeat

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    Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho was left baffled by the performance of referee Chris Foy during the 1-0 defeat at Aston Villa, reports Dave Kidd of the Sunday People.

    The Stamford Bridge boss was sent off in the closing moments of the game to follow Willian and Ramires, who were also dismissed by the match official.

    But Mourinho was left stunned by the decision, and he is quoted as saying:

    I don’t know why I was sent off. I asked, but the referee refused to speak to me. One player made an aggressive move towards one of my players.

    Gabriel Agbonlahor was on the bench, he jumped on to the pitch, he was aggressive, everyone jumps onto the pitch, me and my assistants, lots of people there.

    Maybe Mr Foy thought I was aggressive, I don’t know. There are no statues in a football match, so everyone should have been sent off.

    We must be very, very unlucky to have another refereeing performance like this one. This was not about one mistake a referee can make, a penalty or not giving a penalty, but this is about a 94-minute performance.

    In Chelsea transfer news, Ashley Cole is a target for Real Madrid, claims Tom Hopkinson of the Sunday People, while Frank Lampard is wanted by LA Galaxy in MLS, according to Charlie Wyett of the Sun on Sunday (subscription required).

    Rob Shepherd of the Mail on Sunday claims Mourinho wants to sell Romelu Lukaku to fund a deal to bring Diego Costa or Radamel Falcao to Stamford Bridge.

Manchester City Play Down Joe Hart Spat with Hull Striker George Boyd

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    Manchester City have attempted to play down the row between goalkeeper Joe Hart and Hull City striker George Boyd, reports Simon Mullock of the Sunday Mirror.

    The England international reacted angrily after Boyd's perceived dive during City's 2-0 win at the KC Stadium and television replays appeared to show the Hull player had spat at Hart.

    But an Etihad Stadium source is quoted as saying:

    We saw the television pictures and spoke to Joe for clarification.

    Joe said that he hadn’t touched Boyd, and was equally adamant that he wasn’t spat at.

    According to John Drayton of the Mail on Sunday, Manchester City are still interested in bringing Victor Valdes to the club from Barcelona.

    Rob Shepherd of the same newspaper claims Camp Nou defender Dani Alves is the summer target for both Manuel Pellegrini and Manchester United.

Liverpool Manager Brendan Rodgers Eyed by Barcelona and Manchester City

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    Depending on your choice of Sunday newspaper, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is wanted by two major clubs across Europe.

    According to Steve Bates of the Sunday People, Barcelona are weighing up a move for the Anfield boss to replace Gerardo Martino in the summer.

    However, Mike McGrath and Shaun Custis of the Sun on Sunday claim that a delay in a new deal for Rodgers has alerted Manchester City.

    Rodgers is in no rush for the club to discuss his position, and he is quoted as saying:

    We have done a good job, the owners are happy with how it’s gone.

    We will sit and talk and take it from there but I would never want the club to be distracted by worrying about me.

    It is something I don’t think the club should look at until the end of the season.

    Meanwhile, Liverpool have been linked with a move for Levante goalkeeper Keylor Navas, according to Paul Brown of the Daily Star Sunday.

Manchester United Linked with Transfer Moves for Draxler, Reus, Lescott

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    Manchester United need new players, newspapers need transfer speculation stories and the two have collided spectacularly on Sunday.

    Old Trafford manager David Moyes has been linked with a number of major players in the Sunday gossip columns.

    According to Neil Moxley of the Sunday People, Borussia Dortmund midfielder Marco Reus will be the subject of a deal in the summer with Shinji Kagawa acting as part of the deal.

    Paul Hetherington of the Daily Star Sunday claims Schalke midfielder and Arsenal target Julian Draxler is in Moyes' sights for the summer.

    Hetherington also reports in the same newspaper that Manchester City defender Joleon Lescott is being eyed for a move across the city in the summer.

    However, any plans for a possible return of Paul Pogba to Old Trafford are over with the Juventus star intent on a move to Real Madrid, reports Simon Mullock of the Sunday People.

Olivier Giroud's Wife Wants Arsenal Striker to 'Leave London and England'

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    The wife of Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud wants the player to return to France in the summer, reports Tom Morgan of the Sun on Sunday (subscription required).

    The France international apologised to his wife and Arsenal after being pictured in a London hotel room with a model the day before a Premier League match last month, according to the article.

    Giroud's wife, Jennifer, has accepted that apology but only on the condition that he leaves London and England, claims Morgan.

Robin Van Persie (Junior) Signs for Manchester City

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    The son of Manchester United striker Robin van Persie has joined the academy of neighbours and rivals Manchester City, reports Sam Adams of the Sunday Mirror.

    According to the article, Shaqueel van Persie will join the sons of United midfielder Darren Fletcher and first-team coach Phil Nevile at City's academy.

    Meanwhile, United manager David Moyes believes van Persie (senior) deserves a new contract at the club, reports Paul Hetherington of the Daily Star Sunday.

Bits and Pieces: Christian Eriksen, Asmir Begovic, Manchester City

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    Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Christian Eriksen admits the club are still searching for their best team after the summer spending spree under former head coach Andre Villas-Boas, reports Justin Allen of the Sun on Sunday.

    The former Ajax star was one of the summer newcomers brought to White Hart Lane on the back of Gareth Bale's world-record move to Real Madrid.

    But Eriksen is quoted as saying:

    It’s time to show what we’re made of.

    We know it’s getting close to the end of the season and we still have important games. We play Arsenal and Liverpool in the next few weeks.

    The club signed seven new players — I was one — and we had to get used to everything. We have to find the right team to play.

    Real Madrid are considering a summer transfer move for Stoke City goalkeeper Asmir Begovic, reports John Richardson of the Sunday Express.

    Manchester City have targeted Red Bull Salzburg winger Sadio Mane for a summer move, reports Alan Nixon of the Sunday People.