Paper News and Gossip: David Moyes on the Brink, Mourinho on Drogba

Ian Rodgers@irodgers66World Football Staff WriterMarch 18, 2014

Paper News and Gossip: David Moyes on the Brink, Mourinho on Drogba

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    The future of Manchester United manager David Moyes dominates the back-page headlines on Tuesday after the 3-0 home defeat to Liverpool on Sunday.

    United are looking to overturn a two-goal deficit against Olympiakos in the Champions League last 16 on Wednesday, but preparations are overshadowed by question marks over the former Everton manager.

    Elsewhere, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is convinced Didier Drogba must return to Stamford Bridge, while Steven Gerrard has urged the Liverpool hierarchy to ensure the future of manager Brendan Rodgers quickly.

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

Ryan Giggs Denies Rift with David Moyes as Everton Youth Chief Twists the Knife

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    Things are looking pretty grim at Manchester United at the moment, and Tuesday's newspapers reflect the pressure manager David Moyes is under ahead of the Champions League last-16 second leg against Olympiakos.

    Neil Custis of The Sun (subscription required) claims that the Old Trafford boss has three matches to prove he can turn around the fortunes of the team.

    United player/coach Ryan Giggs has been forced to dismiss reports that he and Moyes were at loggerheads over the training methods at the club, reports Jeremy Cross of the Daily Star.

    But Everton academy coach and former Goodison Park winger Kevin Sheedy says Moyes took no interest in youth players while he was in charge of the Blues, as Joe Strange and Dominic King of the Daily Mail reported.

    The Daily Telegraph has produced a list of potential successors to replace Moyes if the United hierarchy remove the current manager.

Didier Drogba Is Destined to Return to Chelsea, Says Jose Mourinho

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    Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho believes Didier Drogba is destined for a return to Stamford Bridge, reports Gary Jones of the Daily Star.

    The Ivory Coast international will return to his spiritual home in West London with Galatasaray in the Champions League on Tuesday night.

    But Mourinho insists a more permanent return to the Blues is on the cards, and he is quoted as saying:

    He is one of the most important players in the history of this club. All we Chelsea supporters agree with that.

    We don't say he is the most important because it's not fair for other people who were at the same level and were of the same generation.

    His return has to happen one day, when I don't know. As a player, as a coach, as an ambassador, next year, in four or five years, 10 years, I don't know.

    But when a person gives so much to a club and a club represents so much to a person, as in this case, I think he has to be back one day.

    But Mourinho will not be taking up long-term rival Galatasaray boss Roberto Mancini on his tongue-in-cheek offer of a meal after the game, claims Martin Lipton of the Daily Mirror.

Steven Gerrard Urges Liverpool to Ensure the Future of Manager Brendan Rodgers

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    Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has warned the club not to risk losing Brendan Rodgers by delaying a new deal for the Anfield manager, reports David Maddock of the Daily Mirror.

    Rodgers has overseen a tremendous season for the Reds so far, with Liverpool challenging for the Premier League title alongside Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal.

    But Gerrard insists the Liverpool board must act quickly to ensure the manager stays at the club, and is quoted as saying:

    I am absolutely delighted he is here and I just hope that there is a lot of movement in Boston now, because they have got to get him signed up as soon as possible.

    When players are in this situation with a year to go and you want to keep hold of them so desperately, then the club reacts really quickly and gets it sorted. 

    For me, I think he deserves a very long contract here and he is perfect for this club.

    Meanwhile, Liverpool are planning a £25 million move for Benfica striker Rodrigo, claims James Nursey of the Daily Mirror.

Barcelona Star Lionel Messi Dismisses Manchester City Link

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    Barcelona star Lionel Messi has dismissed thoughts of a move to Manchester City by insisting he wants to finish his career at the Camp Nou, reports David Wright of the Daily Express.

    The Argentina international became the club's all-time leading goalscorer on Sunday, and maintains he wants to stay with Barcelona despite possible interest from the Etihad Stadium, as Jose Felix Dias of El Confidencial (in Spanish) reported last week.

    Messi is quoted as saying:

    I intend to retire here at Barcelona. As long as people want me, I will stay, I am happy here.

    I am very proud at being in the history of such an important and big club.

    The important thing is that this team keeps on making history, this group has been doing wonderful things, winning everything, and deserves to keep on doing important things.

Defender Bacary Sagna Looking for £20M to Remain at Arsenal

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    Arsenal defender Bacary Sagna is looking for a three-year deal worth £20 million to remain at the Emirates Stadium, reports Sami Mokbel of the Daily Mail.

    The deal would cover £90,000 per week in wages, plus a £6 million signing-on fee, according to the article, while Inter Milan and Galatasaray are monitoring the situation.

    Arsenal fear they have missed out on Schalke midfielder Julian Draxler to Bayern Munich, claims Ben Jefferson of the Daily Express.

    But Jefferson also claims the Gunners have joined Chelsea and Manchester United in the race for Inter midfielder Mateo Kovacic.

    Meanwhile, Ross Dunbar of the Daily Mirror has provided an insight into Freiburg midfielder Matthias Ginter, who has been linked with Gunners.

Timing of 2022 World Cup Will Not Be Decided Before 2015, Says FIFA Executive

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    There will be no decision on the timing of the 2022 World Cup finals in Qatar until next year, says Asian Football Confederation president and Fifa executive committee member Sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa, reports Simon Austin of the Daily Mirror.

    The dates for the tournament in 2022 have been the subject of debate with summer temperatures capable of reaching 50 degrees centigrade in the Middle East country.

    But Bahraini Salman is quoted as saying:

    There are a lot of partners that we need to sit and talk with and find the best solution and I am sure this decision will not be taken before the first quarter of 2015.

    The decision is to look at the possibilities of the timing, as we speak now it is still June/July but the aim of this task force is to look at the other options and the concerns that some will have.

Tottenham Consider Luciano Spalletti as Head Coach, Diego Maradona, Anelka

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    Tottenham Hotspur are weighing up a move for former Zenit St Petersburg head coach Luciano Spalletti to replace Tim Sherwood next season, reports Ben Jefferson of the Daily Express.

    According to the article, Spalletti has already made contact with Spurs technical director Franco Baldini to indicate his interest in the role.

    But Tottenham defender Danny Rose has called on the club to keep faith in Sherwood, reports Adrian Kajumba of the Daily Star.

    Tottenham are close to agreement for the transfer of Dnipro winger Yevhen Konoplyanka, reports Darren Lewis of the Daily Mirror.

    Argentina legend Diego Maradona was denied the chance to congratulate Liverpool striker Luis Suarez on his display in the win at Manchester United on Sunday, reports Richard Tanner of the Daily Express.

    The Football Association has urged FIFA to ensure the five-match ban on Nicolas Anelka for his controversial "quenelle" gesture covers world football following his sacking by West Brom, reports Brendan McLoughlin of the Daily Express.