Paper News and Gossip: Mourinho Rues '1 Mad Minute', Van Gaal Closes on Man Utd

Ian Rodgers@irodgers66World Football Staff WriterMay 1, 2014

Paper News and Gossip: Mourinho Rues '1 Mad Minute', Van Gaal Closes on Man Utd

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    The Champions League was again at the forefront of the news agenda in Thursday's newspapers.

    Atletico Madrid set up a derby final against Real in Lisbon later this month after they beat Chelsea 3-1 at Stamford Bridge.

    And Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho was left to regret "one mad minute" as his team slipped to defeat.

    Elsewhere in Thursday's papers, Louis van Gaal is closing in on the Manchester United job and has already made his transfer wish-list for the summer, claim reports.

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

Jose Mourinho Rues 'Mad Minute' as Chelsea Fall to Atletico in Champions League

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    Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho believes his team's Champions League fate rested on "one mad minute" against Atletico Madrid, reports John Cross of the Daily Mirror.

    With the score at 1-1 on Wednesday night, Chelsea captain John Terry saw his second-half header saved by team-mate Thibaut Courtois, who is on loan at the La Liga club, before Atletico raced to the other end and were awarded a penalty after a Samuel Eto'o foul.

    Mourinho believes that slender period of the match defined the outcome, and is quoted as saying:

    I think the difference was one minute in the second half, where the Atletico goalkeeper makes an impossible save from John Terry’s header.

    And instead of 2-1 to Chelsea a few seconds later a penalty, which I’m happy people tell me was a penalty. And they scored to go 2-1 up.

    In one minute, two actions decided the game. After that, there was only one team on the pitch.

    My team with pride, honour and professionalism, but after that moment the game was controlled by Atletico, very mature and professional in the way they controlled the game. Complete control.

    That minute was crucial. We had immediately the feeling the game was lost. They had the feeling the game was in their hands, and, after that they were very solid, very mature, a real team. A real team. I knew that before, and I congratulate them now.

    Meanwhile, John Edwards of the Daily Mail claims Chelsea will make a move for Tottenham midfielder Paulinho in the summer.

Louis Van Gaal Closes in on Manchester United, as Hummels, Kroos, Reus Linked

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    Manchester United are closing in on the appointment of Louis van Gaal as their new manager, with the Dutchman already preparing a list of transfer targets, reports Matt Lawton of the Daily Mail.

    According to the article, the Netherlands head coach wants his Old Trafford role confirmed before the World Cup finals.

    And Lawton claims transfer moves for Bayern Munich midfielder Toni Kroos, Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels and team-mate Marco Reus are high on Van Gaal's agenda.

    Meanwhile, Ben Jefferson of the Daily Express claims AC Milan are set to offer Mario Balotelli to United as part of a deal for Robin van Persie.

Andros Townsend out of World Cup for England, but Jack Wilshere Still Hopeful

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    England manager Roy Hodgson has received disappointing injury news as he prepares to announce his World Cup squad on May 12, according to reports.

    Tottenham winger Andros Townsend has been ruled out of the finals in Brazil due to an ankle injury, while his Spurs team-mate Kyle Walker could also miss out due to a pelvic problem, writes Sam Wallace of The Independent.

    However, Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere is determined to prove his fitness before the end of the Premier League season, reports John Cross of the Daily Mirror.

Conflicting Statements over Tottenham Hotspur Interest in Frank De Boer

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    Ajax director of football Marc Overmars has joined Frank de Boer in confirming Tottenham's interest in the Dutch coach, reports Darren Lewis of the Daily Mirror.

    But Lewis notes that the confirmation from former Arsenal star Overmars conflicts with the official statement made by the White Hart Lane club on Wednesday.

    Overmars is quoted as saying: "Spurs have informally enquired about De Boer and confirmed he's one of their candidates."

    However, Spurs released a statement which said:

    Reports that we have made approaches to other clubs regarding coaching staff are wholly inaccurate.

    We have not contacted any club regarding coaching appointments.

    We regret that a statement is necessary, however we feel it is important to clarify matters.

    Meanwhile, current Spurs head coach Tim Sherwood believes "someone is telling porkies" over the chase for de Boer, reports Rhys Turrell of the Daily Star.

    Sherwood is quoted as saying:

    When clubs are coming out and saying Tottenham have actually spoken to them and managers are coming out and saying they've spoken to them too, it's disappointing.

    Somewhere along the line someone is telling porkies, I don't know for sure.

    Tottenham are not making any comment on that until the season finishes. So I'm just carrying on as I normally do, being as professional as I can and preparing the team.

Raheem Sterling Consulted Psychiatrist to Rejuvenate Liverpool Career

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    Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling has revealed that he consulted a psychiatrist in a bid to rediscover his confidence, reports David McDonnell of the Daily Mirror.

    The Anfield star had been concerned at his lack of self-belief, but working with Dr Steve Peters has helped the player rejuvenate his Anfield career, claims the article.

    Sterling is quoted as saying:

    Maybe on the outside people had the impression I've always been really confident.

    But after a good start [to last season] I started looking for easy options rather than taking a chance myself, beating a man, taking a shot on myself.

    I'd stopped being natural, [and doing] all the things that I'd done which got me into the first team in the first place.

    The way he (Peters) works is brilliant. At first I thought it wasn't for me. On the outside you might think it's complicated, but all the messages are very straightforward.

    He understands the players and the emotional side of the game. What he says really helps you. We use a motto: Focus on the ball, focus on the team.

    I had a meeting with him before the Manchester City game. I thought it was going to last 20-25 minutes. So I walked in, sat down and he just said, 'Focus on the ball, focus on the team'.

    'Is that it?' I asked him. But it was really important.

Belgium Coach Wilmots Blasts Man Utd for Playing Fellaini out of Position

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    Belgium head coach Marc Wilmots has hit out at Manchester United for playing Marouane Fellaini out of position, reports Charles Perrin of the Daily Star.

    Fellaini has failed to make an impact on the Old Trafford first team since making his £27 million move from Everton last summer.

    And Wilmots is quoted as saying:

    I don't understand why Manchester United bought him to play him in a system of two No. 6s. Marouane is a box-to-box player.

    I have no doubts about Marouane. The World Cup is a good chance for him to take revenge.

Arsenal Linked with Lars Bender, While Romelu Lukaku Interests Roma

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    Michael Probst/Associated Press

    Arsenal will make Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Lars Bender their priority transfer target in the summer, reports John Cross of the Daily Mirror.

    The Germany international has emerged as the leading addition Arsene Wenger wants to make, with the Gunners seeking a midfield general for next season.

    Meanwhile, Roma will join Everton and Tottenham Hotspur in the summer chase to sign Romelu Lukaku, Cross also claims for the Mirror.

    The Chelsea striker is currently on a season-long loan at Goodison Park, but Roma sporting director Walter Sabatini has been in London with a view to discussing Lukaku and a possible return deal with Spurs for Erik Lamela, claims the article.

    Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert is considering moves for Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez and Spurs midfielder Lewis Holtby, reports Laurie Whitwell of the Daily Mail.