Paper News and Gossip: Rooney World Cup Injury Scare, Giggs Backs van Gaal
Manchester United are once again at the top of the back-page agenda as the search for a new manager continues.
Interim Old Trafford boss Ryan Giggs has backed Louis van Gaal to become a success at the club if he replaces David Moyes.
United and England striker Wayne Rooney is at the centre of a World Cup injury scare ahead of the finals in Brazil next month.
But who else is making the headlines on Saturday? Read on to find out more.
Manchester United Interim Manager Giggs Backs Van Gaal as "Brilliant Boss"
Interim Manchester United manager Ryan Giggs believes the club will be landing a "brilliant boss" in the shape of Louis van Gaal, reports Neil Custis of The Sun (subscription required).
The Netherlands head coach is considered the strong favourite to succeed David Moyes at Old Trafford this summer when he steps down following the World Cup finals in Brazil.
Giggs has also been linked with the role on a permanent basis, but is quoted as saying:
He [van Gaal] has got a brilliant reputation and has been a successful manager in different countries.
He’s got a fantastic pedigree.
Meanwhile, James Nursey of the Daily Mirror reports that Van Gaal will be looking for £200 million to rebuild United this summer.
Manchester United Striker Wayne Rooney Hands England a World Cup Injury Scare
England striker Wayne Rooney is at the centre of a World Cup injury scare, reports Neil Custis of The Sun (subscription required).
The Manchester United forward will miss the Premier League match against Sunderland due to a groin problem.
But interim Old Trafford boss Ryan Giggs has played down fears that Rooney's injury could affect his participation in Brazil.
Giggs is quoted as saying:
A few of the lads have had a bug. Wayne’s also got a tight groin.
Wayne being Wayne, he wants to play, so we’ll just monitor him over the next 24 hours.
England manager Roy Hodgson is also closely monitoring the fitness of Tottenham defender Kyle Walker ahead of the finals, reports Paul Jiggins of The Sun.
Chelsea Manager Jose Mourinho Claims Eden Hazard Does 'Not Sacrifice' for Team
The Belgium international appeared to criticise the Blues' tactics after the midweek Champions League defeat to Atletico Madrid, but the player claimed his words were taken out of context, notes Lipton.
Mourinho played down Hazard's words, but he is looking for the midfielder to battle more for his team-mates.
The Stamford Bridge boss is quoted as saying:
As far as I am concerned, he was reported as being critical, but there was nothing critical in what he said. It's the same type of words he said in relation to the Belgium side a few weeks ago. There is nothing there.
But normally you get this kind of comment from players like him: from players who can't resolve a problem like we had with the first goal.
Against Atletico in Madrid, Willian played on the left side and Ashley Cole was protected all game. Against Liverpool, Schurrle played on the left and a dangerous player like Glen Johnson was completely under control.
Eden is the kind of player who is not so mentally ready to look back at his left-back and lay down his life for him.
If you see Atletico's first goal, you understand where the mistake was and why we conceded that goal.
That doesn't mean I want him to change. I just say the perfect team at the top level cannot make this kind of mistake.
When the comments come from a player like Eden, it's normal. He's not the kind of player who is ready to sacrifice himself 100 per cent for the team and his mates.
But at the same time, the comments were not critical. I'm not happy when a player doesn't sacrifice himself and I've spoken all season and I've tried to improve him.
Arsenal Manager Arsene Wenger Fears World Cup Impact on Summer Transfers
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes the World Cup could turn the summer transfer market into a trolley dash, reports John Cross of the Daily Mirror.
With the finals in Brazil due to finish on July 13, the summer transfer window will effectively be cut short in the chase for a number of international players.
And Wenger is quoted as saying:
It will be busy, but the main thing for us will be to keep the stability because we feel we are close.
We want to add something that makes us even stronger, but, number wise, it will not be massive.
From my experience, the World Cup years have always been very quiet until the end of the World Cup, with no players reachable.
Everybody is focused in the country on their national team and there’s not a lot happening. People are away.
I believe this year again you will have to wait until July 15 to start going.
You are not the only one who decides when the business is done because it’s down to availability of players and the clubs who sell decide that.
Steven Gerrard Poised for New Liverpool Contract as Micah Richards Linked
The England international has been at the heart of the Reds' success this season, but was left devastated after his slip allowed Chelsea to reopen the Premier League title race last weekend.
However, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is keen to maintain Gerrard's place in the team beyond the current campaign.
Rodgers is quoted as saying:
Steven will be one we look to get a contract to in the summer. With a year to go, it’s something we will address.
I believe Steven will play beyond 2015. He is a player who has really shown his qualities this season.
Come the summer, he will still only be 34. Looking towards the future, I still think he’s going to be a key part of our squad.
Meanwhile, Liverpool have been linked with a summer move for Manchester City defender Micah Richards, reports David Kent of the Daily Mail.
Leighton Baines 'Stressed' by Manchester United's Summer Transfer Pursuit
The England international was a transfer target for former Old Trafford boss David Moyes, but only Marouane Fellaini eventually followed the Scot out of Goodison Park to Old Trafford.
Baines is quoted as saying:
I guess you never know if you’re doing the right thing or not, but at the time it’s not your decision as a player to make those calls.
I wanted to be kept informed. I spoke to the manager privately on numerous occasions, I spoke with the chairman.
It was a bit of a stressful time because you’re not sure what way it’s going to go.
You just try to conduct yourself in the proper manner as much as you can. I had those conversations myself. I didn’t have someone in there for me feeding back.
I spoke with the manager, the chairman and we had private conversations. They kept me in the loop all along.
From this end you might get credit for turning someone down that you probably don’t deserve because you didn’t, I sat on the fence and saw how the thing played out.
Pep Guardiola Calls on Bayern Munich to Make Decision on His Future
Bayern Munich head coach Pep Guardiola has urged the club to make a decision on his future, reports Ashley Clements of the Daily Mail.
The former Barcelona boss and his tactics have been the subject of some criticism in recent weeks, culminating in the Champions League defeat to Real Madrid in midweek, notes the article.
But Guardiola is quoted as saying:
The club must decide if the coach is the right one for the club.
I have my ideas as a coach. I must convince the players and coach them that way.
Next season, we will play 100 per cent with my ideas. I can’t coach this club or players without believing in my ideas.
If you lose 4-0, something is wrong. I realised after 5/10 minutes we had a problem against Real Madrid.
When you lose, I always look at myself to see what I did wrong and look to the future.