Paper Gossip: United's Van Gaal Warning, Huge Pogba Deal and Drog Return Talk
Manchester United continue to be headline news, but it’s not all about Louis van Gaal this time.
Wayne Rooney is the subject of an injury scare, while Ryan Giggs’ future is up for debate.
Chelsea’s attention is reported to be turning to next season, with transfer talk doing the rounds.
All this and more features in Friday’s edition of the Paper News and Gossip Roundup.
'Serious' Injury Worry for Rooney
England manager Roy Hodgson may well wake up with a headache on Friday morning, as fears are mounting as to the fitness of star striker Wayne Rooney.
The forward left training early on Thursday, per a report from The Telegraph, and was rated as doubtful for Manchester United’s clash with Sunderland.
No real problem with the World Cup over 40 days away. However, the Mail’s Chris Wheeler feels the problem could be more serious than a mere “stomach bug.”
In his piece, Wheeler wrote:
Wayne Rooney was at the centre of an injury mystery on Thursday after he left Manchester United’s training session early and was immediately sent for scans.
Sources close to the player claim that Rooney has been suffering from a stomach complaint but Sportsmail understands it could be more serious, and that explains why the club’s medical staff are so anxious to investigate further.
The problem may well be minor, but Hodgson and Rooney could well be worried as the forward has had injury problems prior to the past two World Cups.
United Handed Van Gaal Warning
Manchester United are believed to be closing in on the appointment of Louis van Gaal as the successor to David Moyes, but they have been warned they could be making a grave mistake.
Widespread reports, such as David McDonnell and Alan Nixon’s in the Mirror, claim the Dutchman is close to agreeing a deal with the Red Devils.
That would be a mistake, according to Manchester City chief executive Ferran Soriano.
The Spaniard worked with Van Gaal at Barcelona and claims he is a divisive figure who can alienate players.
The Mail’s Ian Ladyman has the quotes:
If you treat your people badly, they remember. One day you make an error and they kill you. I’ve seen this in many clubs.
Louis van Gaal has been a very good coach in many clubs but his style is very difficult. The same thing happened to him in Barcelona as in Bayern Munich.
He is very tough, people don’t like him, but he wins. And one day you don’t win—and when you don’t win, everybody that is angry with you will come back to you and try to kill you.
In the movies this works, in real life it doesn’t.
Giggs' United Role in Doubt
With Van Gaal on the brink of taking charge of United, the focus is on the future of interim boss Ryan Giggs.
Giggs was handed the reins following the dismissal of Moyes and began his tenure with victory over Norwich City.
The Welshman has given no indication as to what the future holds, but the Mail’s Matt Lawton claims Van Gaal will bring in his own backroom staff.
If that is the case, Giggs and other members of United’s coaching staff could well be marginalised.
In his piece, Lawton wrote:
The 62-year-old will be joined at United by former Holland striker Patrick Kluivert, goalkeeping coach Frans Hoek, fitness coach Jos van Dijk and analyst Max Reekers.
However, their arrival means the club’s famous Class of 92 face uncertain futures.
The roles for interim manager Ryan Giggs and coaches Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes and Phil Neville are up in the air, and they may be forced to take on junior roles or—in the worst-case scenario—move on altogether.
Chelsea Set Sights on 'Global Stars'
Chelsea look like ending the season without any silverware, but that will not prevent them from spending big in the summer—per a report from the Mail’s Sami Mokbel.
Jose Mourinho’s squad has looked short in certain areas, notably in attack, and that is set to be remedied in the summer.
Mokbel claims Mourinho will be handed a sizeable transfer war chest, and he will be targeting the cream of the crop.
In his piece, Mokbel wrote:
The Portuguese manager wants at least three ‘global stars’ to bolster his squad ahead of next season’s trophy assault.
The Blues boss wants to sign two new strikers, a central midfielder in the mould of Frank Lampard and a new left-back.
Chelsea’s interest in Atletico Madrid forward Diego Costa is well known, but Mokbel claims Mourinho is also looking at Bayern Munich’s Mario Mandzukic, Paris Saint-Germain’s Edinson Cavani, Tottenham’s Paulinho and Southampton defender Luke Shaw.
Luiz Out, Drogba in at Chelsea?
While Mokbel claims there will be big names heading to Chelsea, there could also be star figures leaving the club.
According to the report from the Mirror’s John Cross, Chelsea will sell David Luiz in the summer.
Cross also claims French giants Paris Saint-Germain could attempt to prise Eden Hazard away from the Blues.
Cross’ piece is not all doom and gloom for Chelsea fans, as he suggests Blues legend Didier Drogba could return on a free transfer.
Sagna Poised to Hold Manchester City Talks
Bacary Sagna’s future at Arsenal continues to command attention, and the signs are not good for the Gunners.
The Mail’s Simon Jones claims the full-back will enter into negotiations with Manchester City following the FA Cup final.
Jones suggests Sagna’s agents have spoken with teams on the continent but will see what City have to say at the end of the season before making a decision in the summer.
Suarez 'Going Nowhere' This Summer
The summer is not yet here, but it has started. The “it” in question is transfer speculation surrounding Luis Suarez.
Liverpool were able to fend off interest in the forward last year, but recent reports suggest he could be a target for Real Madrid this summer.
Suarez has given an interview to Uruguayan TV station Canal 10 (h/t David Maddock of the Mirror) in which he claims he will not be heading out of the Anfield exit door.
“Don’t worry, nothing is going to happen to me,” Suarez said. “I’m very happy here and my family is happy here.”
All we'll say is watch this space.
City Line Up £53 Million Pogba Deal
Paul Pogba left Manchester in 2012, but he could be heading back to the City in a £53 million deal—according to the Express’ Ben Jefferson.
According to Jefferson, Manchester City are ready to step in should talks between Pogba’s agent and current club Juventus over a new deal fail to bear fruit.
Jefferson claims Pogba’s wage demands would not be an issue for City, who he claims are ready to offer the likes of Alexander Kolarov or Edin Dzeko plus cash in a bid to smooth any deal.
Bits and Pieces: Ben Arfa Axed, Monk to Get Swans Job, Iturbe Eyed and More
Swansea will make Garry Monk their manager on a permanent basis next week following a successful spell in temporary charge, according to the Mail’s Riath Al-Samarrai.
Queens Park Rangers spent £78 million on wages last year, which was £20 million more than Champions League finalists Atletico Madrid—per a report from the Mail's Jack Gaughan.
R's boss Harry Redknapp has suggested striker Loic Remy has a buyout clause that could be triggered by Arsenal—per a report from the Star’s Jack Wilson.
Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham are keeping tabs on winger Juan Iturbe, who is on loan at Verona from Porto, according to the Mail's Simon Jones.
According to the Mirror's Liam Prenderville, the rift between Alan Pardew and Hatem Ben Arfa appears to be growing, with the Newcastle boss confirming the winger is training with the reserves.