Terry's Chelsea days are numbered: The Daily Mirror's back page today informs us that John Terry will leave Chelsea at the end of the season. The Blues captain, who is yet to be offered a extension to his contract which expires in the summer, is "being eased towards the exit door", the paper claims. The club have given only vague indications they are willing to discuss new terms in the next few months, and the paper reports that their plan is to offer Terry only a one-year deal - and attempt to slash his current wages. "Sources close to Terry" say he is now becoming resigned to leaving the club he has been with his entire career.
Paper Round's view: Terry, 33, is unlikely to be offered anything over a one-year deal by Chelsea, assuming he's offered anything at all, and that could well be too little for a man who wants one final big deal. Interest has already been pricked in Turkey with Galatasaray willing to table something a bit more substantial, and if that's what Terry wants, then a summer move is definitely on the cards. Of course, he may prove his loyalty to his beloved club and accept whatever terms they are offering, but you shouldn't bet your house that will happen.
- - -
Carrick injury means more business to come for United: Michael Carrick's injury lay-off could prompt Manchester United to bring in another midfielder during this transfer window, reports The Times. Carrick has been ruled out for up to a month with an ankle problem and the report claims that David Moyes has stepped up his efforts to recruit a midfielder before the closing of the window next Friday. Ilkay Gundogan, of Borussia Dortmund, Paul Pogba and Arturo Vidal, both at Juventus, William Carvalho, of Sporting Lisbon, and Marek Hamsik, the Napoli midfielder, had all previously been ruled out as unattainable, but Moyes is now rethinking his strategy in a bid to add to the signing of Juan Mata. The report adds that Fredy Guarín, Inter Milan’s Colombia midfielder, may be a more realistic target, with a swap deal involving Javier Hernandez a possibility.
Paper Round's view: Even before the injury the Carrick, United desperately needed to reinforce their midfield, so perhaps the England international's unfortunate injury will prove to be a blessing in disguise, should the club bring in a player up to the job of replacing him short-term - and into the future. What United need to do now though is something they spectacularly failed to do last summer - act quickly. If they can, perhaps their season won't prove quite so disastrous.
- - -
Moyes gets backing from owners: Despite United's woes so far this season, the club's owners are backing Moyes and the manager's future is not in doubt, according to both the Daily Star and the Daily Mirror. The Star reports that while the Glazers are "less than impressed" with developments this season and are struggling to come to terms with the lack of success, Moyes's position is not even on the boardroom agenda. A well placed club source told the Star: “The future of the manager is not even worthy of a debate.”
Paper Round's view: At least somebody's thinking straight, with the Star's report claiming that Moyes will be judged by the club's hierarchy on what happens during the close season and how the team performs after that. If that's true, then sense has finally prevailed in football - not such a common occurrence these days. Moyes was always going to need time to get into the job, and that's what he should be given, not just six months at the helm. What many people are overlooking too is that his players have let him down on numerous occasions this season, not least during the Capital One Cup semi-final against Sunderland. With signings such as Mata and possibly one or two more, either in January or the summer, Moyes and his team will be in a far better position to be judged, but not before.
- - -
Wenger accuses Chelsea: Arsene Wenger has gone on the attack over what he believes to be the bending of transfer rules by Chelsea to gain an advantage in the Premier League, reports the Daily Telegraph. The Arsenal manager has accused Chelsea of "playing" with regulations and claimed the timing of the Blues sale of Mata to United is designed specifically to help Jose Mourinho’s team, given that Mata will be free to face Chelsea's title rivals, including the Gunners, Manchester City and Liverpool. Chelsea have already played United twice this season.
Paper Round's view: It's difficult to sympathise with Wenger's view of this - it requires a huge leap of faith to believe that Chelsea's sale of Mata to United, or the loan of Romelu Lukaku to Everton for that matter, was conducted with the aim of weakening title rivals. Still, with Machiavellian manager Jose Mourinho in charge at Stamford Bridge, anything's possible.
- - -
Osvaldo transfer-listed: Dani Osvaldo's training ground headbutt on team-mate Jose Fonte has prompted Southampton to put him on the transfer list, reports the Daily Mirror. One source said there was “blood everywhere” as other members of the squad piled in to separate the pair. The Italian striker was immediately suspended after the amazing bust-up and now the paper claims that Saints are desperate to off-load their bad-boy record signing. Inter Milan and Fiorentina could be interested.
Paper Round's view: If you headbutt someone on the training ground, you can't really expect to remain at the club, it's as simple as that. The shame is that Osvaldo is a decent player, albeit a clearly combustible one, and the club will be worse off without him on the pitch. Even more regretful is that the incident pretty much encapsulates Saints' recent implosion.
- - -