Paper Gossip: Pochettino Double Transfer Swoop, Cristiano Beats Messi Once More
Mauricio Pochettino's appointment as Tottenham Hotspur manager dominates the back pages on Wednesday.
The former Argentina international has left Southampton to succeed Tim Sherwood at White Hart Lane, and one report claims his old club will be the subject of a double transfer raid this summer.
Elsewhere in the papers, Real Madrid will not be allowing Angel di Maria to leave the club this summer, and following on from his Ballon d'Or win earlier this year, Cristiano Ronaldo has again beaten Lionel Messi in a study into marketable footballers.
But who else is making the headlines on Wednesday? Read on to find out more.
Pochettino Eyes Double Transfer Swoop on Saints Pair Lallana and Rodriguez
Tottenham have appointed Mauricio Pochettino as their new manager on a five-year deal, and the former Southampton boss is already eyeing two of his former players for moves this summer.
Sami Mokbel of the Daily Mail claims that Saints pair Adam Lallana and Jay Rodriguez will be targeted by the former Argentina international this summer.
Meanwhile, John Cross of the Daily Mirror reports that Spurs chairman Daniel Levy has told Pochettino to ensure the team qualifies for the Champions League.
Charles Perrin of the Daily Express claims that Spurs are favourites to land Rio Ferdinand after his release by Manchester United.
Real Madrid Want Di Maria to Stay, Extra Bone Found in Cristiano Ronaldo's Ankle
Real Madrid are desperate for Angel di Maria to remain at the club beyond this summer, reports James Dickenson of the Daily Express.
The Argentina international has been linked with a move to Arsenal, PSG, Monaco and Manchester City and United, notes the article.
But the Bernebeu club and his team-mates are desperately keen to keep Di Maria, says Dickenson.
Meanwhile, Rob Beasley of The Sun (subscription required) reports that doctors discovered an additional bone in Cristiano Ronaldo's ankle.
However, the Real Madrid star overcame the problem with the help of extensive physiotherapy, adds Beasley.
Cristiano Ronaldo Named Above Lionel Messi as Most Marketable World Footballer
Cristiano Ronaldo is the most marketable footballer on the planet, ahead of second-placed Lionel Messi, reports Elliott Bretland of the Daily Mail.
Bretland cites a report by global sports market research experts Repucom for the story, with Ronaldo having 82 million followers on Facebook and 26 million on Twitter at the time of the research.
Gerard Pique is ranked third in the list, but a surprise entry in fourth spot is Chelsea striker Fernando Torres.
Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney is the best-placed English player in fifth spot, immediately above Barcelona star Andres Iniesta.
Luis Suarez Tells Liverpool Team-Mates He'll Be Fit to Face England in World Cup
The Uruguay star underwent keyhole surgery on his knee last week, leading to concern over his fitness for the finals in Brazil.
However, Cross claims that the forward has been texting his Liverpool colleagues to inform them that he will be ready for the game in Sao Paulo on June 19.
Cesc Fabregas Return to Arsenal Would Be Mistake, Says Former Gunner
The article notes that the Barcelona star has been linked with a move back to the Emirates Stadium this summer, but the former England international is not convinced it would be the right move.
Parlour is quoted as saying:
The problem with Fabregas is where do you put him in the team?
They have got very similar players to Fabregas; they have Mesut Ozil, Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshere. If you bring Fabregas back where do you fit him in?
He was great for the club but forwards should be much more of a priority.
You look at Manchester City and Liverpool and they have much better forwards.
Meanwhile, Arsenal have been linked with a £6 million move for Norwich City goalkeeper John Ruddy, according to Liam Prenderville of the Daily Mirror.
Scotland vs. Nigeria Friendly Investigated over Potential Match-Fixing
Police are investigating a potential match-fixing scam at Wednesday's international friendly between Scotland and Nigeria at Craven Cottage, reports James Dobson of the Daily Star.
The National Crime Agency, which investigates organised crime, has asked FIFA to issue an alert over possible match-fixing at the game.
The friendly has been designed to help Nigeria prepare for the World Cup finals in Brazil, but according to Dobson, the Scottish Football Association has been in touch with the NCA after being "made aware of suspicions" about the game.
Chelsea Agree Deal to Bring Tiago Back on Free Transfer from Atletico Madrid
Chelsea have agreed a free transfer to bring Tiago back to Stamford Bridge from Atletico Madrid, according to Simon Jones of the Daily Mail.
The article claims that the return of the 33-year-old is designed to help Diego Costa settle at the club once his move from the La Liga champions is confirmed.
Hazard is quoted as saying:
If you got to know me you'd know I'm not someone who is disturbed by it.
Every year they say I'm everywhere. It's part of the job.
I focus on the World Cup, which is much more important.
English Football League Clubs Offer Alternative to Greg Dyke's League 3
Football League clubs have offered an alternative to Football Association chairman Greg Dyke's plan for a League Three for Premier League B teams, reports Henry Winter of the Daily Telegraph.
Dyke had proposed a third league to include B teams from top-flight clubs and Conference clubs, but the idea did not meet approval from lower-league clubs.
Instead, the Football League will put forward an idea for an expanded Johnstone's Paint Trophy, to include Premier League B teams.
FL chief executive Shaun Harvey is quoted as saying:
At their summer meeting, clubs will discuss the Football League’s contribution to the England team and how we can enhance our already extensive contribution to the development of young players.
While the session was planned well before the findings of the FA chairman’s England Commission were made public, it does now give clubs the opportunity to have their say on these matters.
It remains our view that while the objectives of the commission are laudable, the burden it places on our clubs should not be disproportionate or unreasonable.
With this in mind, clubs will consider the merits or otherwise of inviting a number of B teams to participate in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy as a means for improving elite player development while also improving the finances of League One and League Two clubs.
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