Paper Gossip: £100m Suarez, Jose Gives Up, Fergie Has No Say on Moyes and More
A turbulent Saturday in the title race has thrown up plenty of options for the papers to explore.
Manchester United may be out of the title picture, but they are still headline news.
The future of David Moyes is debated in a number of outlets, while the same applies to Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger.
There is, though, no shortage of transfer chatter involving clubs up and down the leagues.
All this and more feature in Sunday’s edition of the Paper News and Gossip Roundup.
Rodgers Talks Up '£100 Million' Suarez
Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has put Luis Suarez’s future in the spotlight by insisting the forward is worth £100 million.
The striker has fired Liverpool into a challenging position in the Premier League title race, which is a far cry from last summer when he looked to be heading out of Anfield.
The Reds were able to hold on to their top attacking talent, and they have been rewarded with consistent excellence from Suarez.
Transfer talk involving Suarez has been thin on the ground of late, but Rodgers put his striker back in the spotlight.
Responding to a question as to whether Suarez is worth £100 million, according to Derick Allsop of the Mirror, Rodgers said:
He is certainly heading towards that.
If you look at the top people in the world, the Ronaldos, the Messis, those who have been doing it for five or six years, he would be right at that level.
Luis is certainly on his way towards that. His consistency has been phenomenal and what you see now is a more mature player.
He is a world-class talent. Things evolve and times change. Time will tell.
Jose Mourinho Loses His Cool with a Ballboy
Chelsea were left reeling by a shock defeat to Crystal Palace, and it got so bad that Jose Mourinho became embroiled in a row with a ballboy.
A John Terry own goal resulted in Mourinho throwing in the towel in the title race, while during the game the Portuguese temporarily lost his cool.
An article by the Mail’s Eliott Bretland shows Mourinho wagging his finger at a ballboy.
In his piece, Bretland wrote:
Mourinho showed his frustrations in the final stages of the game by having words with a Palace ball boy.
The Chelsea boss, clearly desperate for his side to get back into the game to keep their title dream alive, spoke with the shocked youngster after feeling the ball was being returned slowly as Palace hung on to claim a famous victory.
However, the Portuguese manager seemed to clam down and was seen putting his arm around the ball boy.
The Express' Ben Jefferson carried quotes from Mourinho, who felt there could have been an issue between the ballboy and Blues defender Cesar Azpilicueta had he not stepped in.
The ballboy stays and the player in trouble stays, that pushes the kids or punches the kid or kicks the kid.
And the way Azpi was going I thought [he might] because the kids were doing that all the time.
I went to stop Azpi and after that I had a chance to get the kid and the kid was cute.
He came to me and I told him, 'You do this, one day somebody will punch you'.
Last year the same thing happened with Eden but the kids, it's not their fault.
Commenting on the title race in a press conference, Mourinho said: "Now we have lost our chance of finishing first.
"Now we depend too much on other results. Now, it is impossible to win the title."
Ferguson Has No Say on Moyes' Manchester United Future
Manchester United eased the pressure on manager David Moyes with a 4-1 win over Aston Villa, but the guillotine is still hovering over the Red Devils boss.
The "Wrong One—Moyes Out" protest was met with mixed feelings among the Old Trafford faithful, but the Scot’s future is still under scrutiny.
Will Sir Alex Ferguson have a say on whether Moyes stays or goes? That is an unequivocal no, according to the Mail’s Bob Cass.
In his piece, Cass wrote:
Sir Alex Ferguson, among David Moyes’ most fervent backers in the Old Trafford boardroom, will play no part in deciding his successor’s future as Manchester United manager.
Sources close to Sir Alex indicate he strongly believes that Moyes, who signed a six-year contract when he moved from Everton last summer, will be in the job for the long haul.
But Moyes, under enormous pressure despite Saturday’s 4-1 thumping of Aston Villa, knows his fate will lie squarely in the hands of United’s American owners the Glazer family, with Ferguson exerting minimal influence.
Ancelotti in United Mix, as Giggs Talk Swirls
Moyes may be putting on a brave front, but the papers will make grim reading for the Red Devils manager.
The Star are claiming Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti could be lined up to take over at United, if Moyes is relieved of his duties.
Star writer Harry Pratt claims the United board are “weighing up their options for the summer.”
Pratt suggests Ancelotti’s name has cropped up and even claims the Italian “could also act as the senior managerial figure while some of United’s class of ’92—Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Phil Neville—prove their worth as coaches.”
The negative coverage for Moyes does not end there, with Giggs’ name cropping up elsewhere.
The Express’ John Richardson claims Giggs, now a player-coach under Moyes, has had a falling out with the Scot.
In his piece, Richardson wrote:
There have been some heated exchanges between the pair over some of the training methods and tactics.
Giggs also believes he has been under-used, especially when the club have been up against it and in need of some uplifting results.
United Head off Chelsea in Chase for Luke Shaw
Amidst all the negativity, there is a ray of light for United boss Moyes.
The People’s Dean Jones makes the bold claim that United have beaten Chelsea in the chase for Southampton defender Luke Shaw.
Shaw is one of the brightest full-back prospects in world football, and he is expected to leave Saints in the summer.
As Jones states, Chelsea had been confident of pushing through a deal.
But he also makes the assertion that “Shaw is set to join Manchester United in a £27 million deal.”
Chelsea Want Barkley-Lukaku Swap Deal
It’s not all doom and gloom for Chelsea, with the People’s Neil Moxley suggesting Mourinho is putting a deal in place to sign Ross Barkley from Everton.
Moxley suggests Mourinho sees a lot of Frank Lampard in the way Barkley plays the game and wants him to succeed his midfield general.
Everton have no desire to sell Barkley, but Moxley claims Mourinho has a trump card in his deck in the shape of Romelu Lukaku.
Lukaku is currently on loan at Everton and Mourinho will sanction a permanent deal, per Moxley, if he can get his hands on Barkley.
Quinn Calls for Dein's Arsenal Return
Arsenal’s title dreams have disappeared in the past week and former Gunner Niall Quinn has called on the club’s board to make changes at the top.
Quinn is not asking for Arsene Wenger to go, instead he wants the manager’s former ally to ride to his rescue.
In a piece by the Star’s Tony Stenson, Quinn has made calls for the Gunners board to make a move to bring David Dein back to the club—seven years after the man who brought Wenger to the Arsenal was axed.
Per Stenson’s piece, Dein said:
I am a great admirer of Arsene Wenger and always will be.
But the day David Dein left was the day Arsenal became a commercial entity.
They should bite the bullet and get David back and give the supporters hope that Arsene will be given a fair crack of the whip.
Vieira Lined Up to Replace Wenger
Niall Quinn may have called for David Dein to return to Arsenal but will Arsene Wenger still be there?
People writers Alan Nixon and Dean Jones are claiming that the French national association want Wenger to take the helm and lead the team to Euro 2016.
Nixon and Jones claim Wenger has always had an ambition to manage his national team, which they suggest could test his resolve to remain at Arsenal.
The People writers go a step further by suggesting Arsenal already have a replacement lined up in the guise of Patrick Vieira.
Vieira is a Gunners legend who is currently cutting his managerial teeth with the Manchester City Under-21 side.
Arsenal in the Hunt for Drmic
The transfer speculation continues to swirl over Arsenal, irrespective of Wenger’s long-term future at the club.
Per a report from Nick Callow of the Mail, Arsenal are lining up a bid for Nurnberg striker Josip Drmic.
Callow claims Drmic is a “typical Wenger signing” in that he is young, at 21, and he is not a high-profile figure in the game at the moment.
Bits and Pieces: City Eye Milner Deal, Magpies Target Richards and More
Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal are keeping a close eye on Lazio midfielder Antonio Candreva, per a report from the Express' Ben Jefferson.
Newcastle United are leading the chase for Manchester City defender Micah Richards, according to the Star's Steve Morgan.
Morgan has been busy as he also claims City are ready to sit down and thrash out a new deal with England midfielder James Milner.
Arsenal are ready to break with tradition and offer 31-year-old defender Bacary Sagna a three-year deal, according to the Mirror’s John Cross.
Liverpool are in the hunt for Napoli pair Gokhan Inler and Valon Behrami, per a report from the People's Tom Hopkinson.
Everton have trained their sights on Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley, according to Steve Bates of the People.
Chelsea defender Ashley Cole has been offered a two-year deal by Real Madrid, according to Antony Kastrinakis of the Sun (subscription required).