Jones to be offered Swansea job: The Daily Telegraph reports Swansea are to offer Graeme Jones the chance to take charge of the Welsh club, once they can work out how to solve their Catch-22 situation regarding Michael Laudrup - namely, that it'll cost them a fortune to sack him, but cost them even more if he takes them down.
Jones, currently assistant manager at Everton, worked under Toffees boss Roberto Martinez at the Liberty Stadium before following the Spaniard to Wigan and then Everton. Laudrup's position is under threat after the Dane saw his side slip to defeat at West Ham at the weekend, leaving the Swans two points off the relegation zone. Swansea would face a large compensation claim if they were to sack Laudrup, but there are growing fears they could be relegated if he remains in charge, costing the club millions in revenue.
Paper Round's view: Unfortunately, Swansea are damned if they do and damned if they don't, in financial terms. The club need to do their sums and work out which course of action will cost them less. That, however, assumes the manager's time is up, which it might not be: Huw Jenkins, the chairman, has insisted that the board have not discussed the possibility of dismissing Laudrup. What Swansea can always hope for is that another club comes in for Laudrup and makes an offer to trigger his £10 million release clause. All they need is for it to somehow be leaked to the press that they'd be willing to accept offers for him, in the hope of prompting some interest... oh, already done. So the waiting game begins.
- - -
Rodwell's future at City unclear: Jack Rodwell's future at Manchester City has been thrown into doubt after it emerged that Manuel Pellegrini was ready to allow the midfielder to return to Everton on loan last month, The Times reveals. The move did not go through as City's bid for Fernando fell through, but a complex double deal was in place between City and Everton that would have seen Gareth Barry sign permanently at Everton and Rodwell arrive on loan until the end of the season. The report adds that while Barry's future at Everton seems assured, Rodwell finds himself in limbo but is likely to be made available for a permanent move in the summer.
Paper Round's view: What a shame that Rodwell's career has stalled at the Etihad, although it should come as no surprise. This is what happens when mega-rich clubs buy up young talent willy-nilly, without thinking that other expensive signings will play ahead of them. Still, there could be a chance Rodwell will remain in Manchester - doesn't his old boss from Everton David Moyes need some midfield reinforcements at Old Trafford? You heard it here first.
- - -
Cardiff to pay Getafe for Cala: Cardiff City will have to pay Getafe £1m after signing Spanish defender Cala even though he has never played for the Liga side, according to the Daily Mirror. Cala penned a deal with the Welsh side on Saturday, joining as a free agent after having had his contract with Sevilla terminated. But Cardiff will have to pay up for his services after it emerged he had previously reached an agreement with Getafe and was poised to join them.
Paper Round's view: Given that Cardiff had agreed to pay Getafe the money to ensure Cala remained a free agent and available to move to south Wales, this could prove to be shrewd business. Had he signed for Getafe, it would have cost them a great deal more to sign him. Getafe, for their part, have just made a cool million for not doing much.
- - -
Lambert set for new deal: Aston Villa have opened negotiations with Paul Lambert over a new contract, reports the Daily Telegraph. The club are "confident" of reaching an agreement before the end of the season, with owner Randy Lerner reluctant to see any further upheaval after having appointed three different managers since Martin O'Neill left the club in August 2010.
Paper Round's view: A shocking turn of events at Villa Park, given previous form, but one that can only be welcomed. Hats off to Lerner for realising that stability is key to the progress of his team, and that in Lambert, they have the right man.
- - -
Konoplyanka's move to Liverpool in doubt: The Daily Star reports that Liverpool's failed transfer target Yevhen Konoplyanka wanted to sign for the Reds on deadline day and is still keen to go - but the Reds may now miss out on him completely. The player's agent admitted that the Ukraine star "wants Liverpool", but may move to Italy, Spain, France or Germany once the transfer window re-opens in the summer. Cabrera added: "Happiness is a very complex thing. During the summer we will all again (consider) offers."
Paper Round's view: Typical football agents, always wanting to get more from their player. Having realised he's sitting on a diamond following Liverpool's interest last month, Cabrera has clearly sensed an opportunity to rake in more cash when his client does eventually move on from Dnipro. Cue the 'come-and-get-my-player' plea to pretty much the rest of the world, in the hope that a bit of competition will hike up his earnings.
- - -