Paper Gossip: Luke Shaw Having Doubts About Man United, Monaco After Wenger?
Saturday's newspapers and gossip columns appear to be fixated on the situation surrounding two managerial roles—the vacant one at Manchester United and Arsene Wenger's future at Arsenal.
As for stories about players, it seems to be a day for defenders, with full-backs Luke Shaw and Bacary Sagna seemingly weighing up their options ahead of the summer.
For those stories, and many more, click on for our round-up of Saturday's news.
Manchester United Uncertainty Threatens Luke Shaw Deal
Manchester United will have to wait until they have appointed a new manager before they can secure any deal for Southampton left-back Luke Shaw, according to the Daily Mail—with the youngster wanting assurances about his status at the club.
Shaw has been strongly linked with a £30 million move to Old Trafford in recent weeks, but the uncertain managerial situation could yet throw a spanner into the works—and allow other suitors back into the race.
The Mail reports:
Manchester United's top summer target Luke Shaw won't agree to a move to Old Trafford until he knows the identity of the club's next manager.
Despite the confidence of Old Trafford chief executive Ed Woodward in securing the services of 18-year-old Shaw, the player is determined he will not be railroaded into a quick decision about his future with so much uncertainty at United following this week's dramatic dismissal of David Moyes.
Shaw, who made his England debut against Denmark in March, is valued at £30million by Southampton and is at the centre of a summer tug-of-war between six of Europe's biggest clubs - Manchester United, Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.
But the youngster, who grew up a Chelsea fan, wants to be assured of a regular first-team place at his next club - which must come from the manager rather than a board of directors.
However, Southampton's executive director Les Reed has denied any negotiations for Shaw have even begun, insisting the club are determined to keep hold of all their major assets.
He said (per the Daily Express):
No club has been given permission to talk to any of our players. That will remain so.
We want to retain the players we've got. They are all contracted. They all have existing contracts and we intend for them to honour those contracts.
Any enquiries we get will probably be met with a 'no, not for sale'. Our intention is to keep this very good team together and build on it by bringing new players to improve on that.
Arsenal Increasingly Resigned to Bacary Sagna Exit
Arsenal are now fearing the worst over the future of full-back Bacary Sagna, as talks over a new contract fail to make any progress.
According to John Cross of the Daily Mirror, the club now expect the Frenchman to depart in the summer. He writes:
Bacary Sagna now seems certain to leave Arsenal this summer after contract talks again hit deadlock.
Right-back Sagna, 31, has been offered a new three-year deal to replace the one due to expire at the end of the season, but the Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger has admitted discussions are “not progressing.”
Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain, Inter Milan and Galatasaray are all interested in signing the France international as a free agent.
Arsenal have broken with their tradition of normally offering over-30s only one-year extensions, but Sagna has told pals that he has made up his mind to quit the Londoners after seven years.
Wenger said of talks with his countryman: “At the moment, they are not progressing. We know what we want from him, he knows what is on the table, and that’s where we are.
“The ball is not in our camp anymore, it is in his camp, and he needs to come back to us.”
Cross adds that Wenger is considering Southampton's 19-year-old Callum Chambers as a possible replacement.
Sir Alex Ferguson Backs Giggs for United Job on Permanent Basis
Sir Alex Ferguson has thrown his weight behind Ryan Giggs' candidacy to be the next permanent Manchester United manager, reports the Telegraph.
United fans might be understandably reticent to back the Scot's judgment, considering how his last recommendation went down, but the United legend nevertheless believes his long-serving player has the qualities to do a good job at Old Trafford.
Mark Ogden writes:
Despite anointing the doomed Moyes as his successor, Ferguson will advise Woodward and United’s owners, the Glazer family, over the new manager and the Scot insists Giggs, alongside fellow Class of ’92 members Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes and Phil and Gary Neville, should get the job.
“I think that he [Giggs] is the one man they should go to really,” Ferguson said during a fundraising dinner in Manchester earlier this week. “He’s got 20-odd years of experience at Manchester United. I signed him as a kid at 13 years of age. He’s gone through the gamut of emotions at the club – he’s experienced all the highs and lows. He knows exactly what’s needed to be a Manchester United player and I was so pleased he brought Paul Scholes back in, and Nicky Butt of course – two great professionals.
“They understand the club, they are hard workers, they are straight as a die. So you have got the right combinations there, there’s no doubt about that.”
Monaco to Tempt Wenger with Lucrative Pay Packet?
AS Monaco believe they may yet lure Arsene Wenger to the principality this summer, according to the Times (subscription required), despite the Frenchman's insistence that he will sign a new deal at Arsenal.
On Friday Wenger seemed to confirm that he would extend his stay at the Emirates Stadium beyond the summer, but the fact the contract has not been officially signed means Monaco retain hope.
The Ligue 1 side hope a contract offer in the region of £13m-a-year (his new Arsenal deal will net him £8m p.a.) may attract Wenger.
The paper reports:
[Monaco owner Dmitri] Rybolovlev is thought to be willing to commit to paying Wenger as much as £13 million a season to tempt him back to the principality where he forged his reputation as a manager almost three decades ago. That would place him in the same elite bracket as Pep Guardiola, of Bayern Munich, who is thought to be the most lavishly rewarded coach in the game. His annual salary runs to £14.8 million a year.
Wenger has said he will remain at Arsenal beyond June, insisting that he has “given his word” to the club that he will sign a new deal, but Monaco have been encouraged by the fact that those promises have not yet been fulfilled.
Wenger managed Monaco for seven years after joining the club in 1987, with it being suggested that sentimentality may also play a part in his thinking.
Bits and Pieces: Cagliari Name Astori Price, Colback to Cross the Divide?
The Daily Mail reckons Jack Colback will be the first player in 17 years to move from Sunderland to arch-rivals Newcastle. The midfielder is out of contract in the summer.
Cagliari have quoted Manchester United and Tottenham a price of £8 million to sign defender Davide Astori, according to the Daily Express.
Marc Albrighton is set to commit his long-term future to Aston Villa, reports the Birmingham Mail.