Paper News and Gossip: Class of '92 to Front Man Utd Takeover, Ronaldo-Bale Row
Manchester United legends Paul Scholes, Gary Neville and David Beckham are to be included in a multi-billion takeover of the club by Middle-East oil tycoons, claims one report on Thursday.
The article claims that the Class of '92 will front the takeover move to buy the Old Trafford club from the Glazer family after a season of turmoil for United under manager David Moyes.
But who else is making the headlines on Thursday? Read on to find out more.
Scholes, Giggs, Neville Pushed as Front Men in United Takevover, Says Report
Manchester United legends Paul Scholes, Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs and David Beckham will be asked to front a multi-billion takeover of the Old Trafford club, report Guy Patrick and Simon English of The Sun (subscription required).
A source in the article claims United owners, the Glazer family, have "lost interest" in the club, and the Class of '92 are being pushed as front men for a bid bankrolled by Middle-East oil money.
Meanwhile, United will be standing by beleaguered manager David Moyes after the 3-0 home defeat by Manchester City on Tuesday, reports David Anderson of the Daily Mirror.
However, Mark Ogden of the Daily Telegraph claims a dressing-room revolt over tactics and training is threatening to undermine Moyes' future at Old Trafford.
Manchester City Striker Edin Dzeko Taunts United as Bacary Sagna Move Lined Up
Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko has taunted Manchester United by claiming his team are the "boss" in the city, reports David Anderson of the Daily Mirror.
The Bosnia international scored twice at Old Trafford as City outclassed their neighbours in the Manchester derby.
Dzeko is quoted as saying:
I'm happy for the fans, because for them it is something special. We showed them again who is boss in the city.
We knew before the game that this was an important game, especially because we had three games less than Chelsea.
We knew this game was crucial to get another three points and now we are only three points behind them (Chelsea), still with two games to play more.
It is a big result, but it's finished and now we need to concentrate on Arsenal [who City visit on Saturday], which is another big game.
Meanwhile, City are monitoring developments over the future of Arsenal defender Bacary Sagna, report John Cross and David Anderson of the Daily Mirror.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale in Free-Kick Row as Real Madrid Lose Again
Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale were involved in a row during Real Madrid's defeat at Sevilla on Wednesday night, reports Pete Jenson of the Daily Mail.
With Real trailing 2-1, Ronaldo was caught on camera berating Bale for sending a free-kick over the crossbar instead of leaving it for him, claims the article.
But Bale was also off the field changing his boots when Sevilla scored their winning goal, as Real suffered their second defeat in four days.
Carlo Ancelotti's team, who have slipped to third, have now fallen three points behind league leaders Atletico Madrid and two off second-placed Barcelona.
Meanwhile, Real have been linked with a move for Southampton defender Luke Shaw, claims Darren Lewis of the Daily Mirror.
Liverpool Manager Brendan Rodgers Urges Calm in Premier League Title Race
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has urged his side to remain calm after the 2-1 win over Sunderland left them two points behind Chelsea in the Premier League title race, reports David Maddock of the Daily Mirror.
Goals from Steven Gerrard and Daniel Sturridge claimed the three points for the Reds, but it was a hard-fought victory over the Black Cats, who pulled a goal back to ensure a nervy finish.
Rodgers is quoted as saying:
It's about calmness now; we need to reinforce the calmness. There is still a way to go and the message to the supporters is to keep believing in what we are doing.
We are developing, the players have to stay calm under pressure, and the fans have to stay calm under pressure too, though I know it can be hard at times.
The pressure will be there, because of the nature of the football club. As the season goes on we will embrace that pressure and enjoy it.
Meanwhile, Liverpool have been encouraged to make a move for Sevilla defender Alberto Moreno, claims Charles Perrin of the Daily Express.
Mathieu Flamini Insists Arsenal Must Maintain Focus for Top-4 Spot
Arsenal midfielder Mathieu Flamini has said the club must maintain their focus in the chase for a top-four finish in the Premier League, reports John Cross of the Daily Mirror.
Flamini scored an own goal as the Gunners dropped points in the 2-2 draw with Swansea on Tuesday night, while Everton closed the gap on Arsene Wenger's team to six points with a 3-0 win at Newcastle at the same time.
The Goodison Park club have a game in hand on Arsenal, and they play host to the North London club on April 6.
Now Flamini is calling for concentration from Arsenal and is quoted as saying:
When you play a big game, you cannot lose it in the first 10 or 15 minutes because it is not good afterwards for the rest of the game.
So we have to be focused, be ready for this kind of game because at the end of the day, these kind of games are battles. You have to win the duels, win the fight and then play your football.
We have to be strong defensively first of all because that is very important when you play against a big team like that who are very offensive team. After, we have enough quality in this team to find a goal.
Jose Mourinho Begins Moves to Land Atletico Striker Diego Costa for Chelsea
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has begun preparing the ground work for a summer move for Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa, reports Andrew Dillon of The Sun (subscription required).
According to the article, the Stamford Bridge boss has made it clear to those close to Costa that he is interested in signing the forward and wants "first refusal" in any transfer move.
In the same report, Chelsea defender Ryan Bertrand, who is on loan at Aston Villa, says he will not return unless he is guaranteed to be the club's No. 1 left-back.
Bits and Pieces: Allardyce Slams Booing West Ham Fans, Nations League, Celtic
West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce has criticised supporters who booed after the team defeated Hull City at Upton Park on Wednesday, reports Darren Lewis of the Daily Mirror.
A Mark Noble penalty and a James Chester own goal eased the Hammers towards Premier League safety, but the manager was left stunned to hear some fans jeering after the half-time and final whistles.
Allardyce is quoted as saying:
At half-time, players were talking more about fans booing them than the game.
Fans affect players. We don’t need them on the players’ backs when we are coming off three defeats. They have to stay and help them win.
I started at 16, got into the first team at 18 and I’m 59 now and I have never been in a place where we have won and got booed.
Qualification spots for the World Cup and European Championships could be on offer in the proposed UEFA Nations League to replace international friendlies, reports Martyn Ziegler for the Daily Mail.
Celtic manager Neil Lennon can now be considered among the club's greats after winning a third successive league title with the 5-1 win at Partick on Wednesday, claims Alan Pattullo of The Scotsman.