Paper News and Gossip: Kroos 'Wants' Move, Mourinho's Rallying Call

Ian Rodgers@irodgers66World Football Staff WriterApril 8, 2014

Paper News and Gossip: Kroos 'Wants' Move, Mourinho's Rallying Call

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    The focus of the newspapers has been turned to the Champions League quarter-finals this week with Toni Kroos, Wayne Rooney and Jose Mourinho setting the back-page agenda.

    One report claims Bayern Munich midfielder and reported Manchester United target Kroos has told team-mates he wants to leave the Allianz Arena.

    United striker Rooney will play through the pain barrier in a bid to help the Old Trafford club overcome Bayern on Wednesday.

    Chelsea manager Mourinho has issued a rallying call to the fans ahead of the return leg against Paris Saint-Germain.

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

Toni Kroos 'Wants to Leave Bayern' as Rooney Plays Through the Pain Barrier

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    Bayern Munich midfielder Toni Kroos has told team-mates he wants to leave the Bundesliga champions, claims John Cross of the Daily Mirror.

    The Germany international has been linked with a £40 million move to Manchester United, and he has told colleagues that he does not want to play second fiddle at Bayern, reports the article.

    Meanwhile, United striker Wayne Rooney is preparing to play through the pain barrier to help his team on Wednesday, reports David Maddock of the Daily Mirror.

    The England international missed the 4-0 Premier League win at Newcastle on Saturday with a toe injury, but United boss David Moyes is hoping the forward will be available.

    Meanwhile, United winger Nani is expected to leave the club in the summer, according to his agent, reports Maddock in the Mirror.

Jose Mourinho Issues Rallying Call to Chelsea Fans Ahead of PSG Tie

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    Matt Dunham

    Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has urged the fans to help his team's attempt to overturn the 3-1 deficit against Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday night, reports Martin Lipton of the Daily Mirror.

    Mourinho is confident the Blues will succeed in their mission to reach the Champions League last four, and he has called on the Stamford Bridge crowd to play their part.

    Mourinho is quoted as saying:

    We need the supporters but without us performing for them it's very difficult for them to support us and get behind us.

    We know that, normally at home, we play well and that they are hoping we can do it.

    I think they understand that, if they can push us a little, that push is welcome. But I think everything starts with us. Everything starts with us.

    If we can show that we can do it, I think they [the fans] will come with us and that can help make the difference.

    Dominic Fifield of The Guardian reports that Mourinho will risk striker Samuel Eto'o after a hamstring injury in Tuesday's second leg.

Arsene Wenger Future in Doubt as Arsenal Staff Reportedly Kept in the Dark

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    The future of Arsene Wenger at Arsenal is shrouded in doubt with the Gunners coaching staff and players unaware of what the Frenchman is planning, reports John Cross of the Daily Mirror.

    Wenger has said recently that he expects to sign a new contract with the Emirates Stadium club when his current deal ends in the summer, noted the article.

    But assistant manager Steve Bould, coach Neil Banfield and other staff are in the dark over Wenger's future plans, claims Cross.

    Jeremy Wilson of the Daily Telegraph reports that the Arsenal hierarchy will not consider sacking Wenger if they miss out on both the FA Cup and Champions League qualification this season.

    But Wilson believes that the mood of the Arsenal supporters will influence Wenger's decision on his future.

    Meanwhile, the Gunners have been linked with a move for PSG star Marco Verratti, reports the Metro, while Gary Jones of the Daily Star claims Rubin Kazan striker Sardar Azmoun is a target for Arsenal.

Tim Sherwood Set to Quit Tottenham Hotspur Before He Is Sacked

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    Kirsty Wigglesworth

    Tottenham Hotspur head coach Tim Sherwood could quit the club before being removed from his post at the end of the season, reports Darren Lewis of the Daily Mirror.

    The White Hart Lane boss oversaw a 5-1 win over Sunderland in the Premier League, hours after speculation emerged that he would leave his position at the close of the campaign.

    Lewis claims Sherwood has been unhappy at a lack of support from the club's hierarchy after reports of his removal surfaced on Monday.

    James Riach of The Guardian reported that Sherwood is planning for life at Spurs beyond the current season.

    Sherwood is quoted as saying:

    We had a chat about next season, there are players I've identified and we've talked about pre-season.

    Nothing has changed. It [the speculation] doesn't affect me. I've got an opportunity to manage this club and I owe it to the players and fans to do the job professionally.

    I don't think it does anyone any favours, but you just get on with it.

    All I was focused on was winning the game tonight, preparing the boys correctly and being professional.

    It has been an opportunity to manage this great club and I'm relishing it.

    My record has been very good; in the Premier League it has been second to none. In the Premier League, of any manager that has been here, my win percentage is higher than anyone.

Steven Gerrard Refusing to Get Carried Away with Liverpool Title Dream

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    Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard is steadfastly refusing to get carried away with his team's Premier League hopes, reports John Cross of the Daily Mirror.

    The Reds are top of the table after the 2-1 win at West Ham, which was earned with two penalties from the Anfield captain.

    But victory over Manchester City on Sunday will put Liverpool in pole position for their first title in 24 years, and Gerrard is quoted as saying:

    If you say to me now, 'Beat Man City and you will win the title,' I think the answer would be 'Yes.'

    But all it will give us is three more points and that is what we plan to do. There will be four huge games after that.

    I'm not convinced just yet; we've got a very hard game next week. I think the message is to stay calm.

    We will give everything we can now and every time we go on the pitch we have to leave every ounce of energy and determination out there and that's what we are planning on doing.

    We want this really bad. The team keeps on showing our character and determination and how much we want it.

    Meanwhile, Everton defender Sylvain Distin admits some Goodison Park fans will gladly lose the penultimate game of the season against Manchester City to deny Liverpool the title, reports Andy Hunter of The Guardian.

    Distin is quoted as saying:

    We've spoken about it with some of the staff and said 'What if we have to beat City to be in the Champions League but by doing that Liverpool win the league?'

    The funny thing is some people would rather we don't get Champions League as long as they don't win the league. It's mad!

    Personally I'd rather be in the Champions League. You can't miss a chance for that. It would be amazing for the city if both clubs made it.

    I think deep down both sets of fans would like it if both clubs were in it.

Southampton Striker Jay Rodriguez Ruled out of World Cup with England

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    The worst fears of Southampton striker Jay Rodriguez were confirmed as the player was ruled out of the World Cup finals by injury, reports Tom Barclay of The Sun (subscription required).

    The former Burnley man was carried from the field during the defeat at Manchester City after falling awkwardly on the turf.

    Now Rodriguez has been ruled out of action for six months with a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament, and Southampton director of football Les Reed is quoted as saying:

    Jay is naturally disappointed but is determined to get back playing for Saints as soon as possible.

    Everything will be done to return him to full fitness and deliver a speedy recovery.

    Jay has asked us to pass on his gratitude to everybody who has shown him their concern and sympathy during the 48-or-so hours since his injury.

    Everyone at the club now wishes Jay well and we will support him, along with his family, to ensure that an international career plays a big part in his future.

Former Fulham Manager Martin Jol Fails in Bid for Michael Jackson Statue

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    Former Fulham manager Martin Jol has missed out on purchasing the controversial Michael Jackson statue which once stood at Craven Cottage, reports Charles Sale of the Daily Mail.

    The statue was commissioned by former Fulham chairman Mohammed Al-Fayed following the singer's death in 2009 and was situated in a corner of the ground before being taken down by the club's new owners.

    According to the report, Jol was in talks to buy the statue for £20,000 before his dismissal earlier in the season.

    The statue, which divided opinion among Fulham fans, is now set to be loaned to the National Football Museum.