‘Van Gaal set for Spurs summer switch’ - Tottenham are set to hire Holland boss Louis van Gaal as their new manager over the summer, report the Daily Express. Tim Sherwood, who was given an 18-month contract following the dismissal of Andre Villas-Boas, is under no illusions that Champions League qualification is the prerequisite to stay in his role. However, that may not be enough. Chairman Daniel Levy is said to want a world class manager to mould Spurs into genuine title contenders, and, with Van Gaal having now declared his intention to leave his post over the summer, Levy is set to swoop.
Paper round’s view: Despite an upturn in performance since his appointment, doubts remain regarding Sherwood’s tactical nous and his appointment has always had a temporary feel to it, so it would not be a huge surprise if he was removed from his position just six months into his contract. Van Gaal is a manager of some repute so whether this Tottenham team, who, in all likelihood will struggle to reach the Champions League this season, can provide a big enough draw to the former Barcelona and Ajax manager remains to be seen.
‘Sagna looking to leave Arsenal... still’ - Having been handsomely beaten by Liverpool over the weekend, Arsenal have suffered another blow with the news that Bacary Sagna is set to leave the club having rejected a new deal, report the Daily Star. A host of clubs – including Chelsea and Manchester City – are set to be interested in the France international, who, the reports claims, has told teammates that he is set to depart the club on a free when his deal expires at the end of the season. Sagna is said to be upset that the club are not offering a pay rise on his current £60,000-a-week deal and that his contract was allowed to enter its final year.
Paper round’s view: This is a serious case of déjà vu for the London club. Time and again the club allows players to get toward the end of their contracts and, in doing so, allows the player the upper hand in negotiations. Sagna is already allowed to sign a pre-contract agreement elsewhere and it would be of little surprise if he had already done so. With no transfer fee involved the right-back can reasonably expect a better offer than the 60k that Arsenal are said to have offered so don’t be surprised to see him plying his trade elsewhere next season.
‘City to beat United and Liverpool for star’ – Manchester City are convinced that they are about to beat rivals United and Liverpool to the signing of Portuguese midfielder Fernando this summer, according to the Daily Star. Manuel Pellegrini tried to land the midfielder before the January transfer window closed – but the Portuguese outfit wanted £8million. Fernando is also reportedly wanted by Manchester United, Liverpool and Juventus but City are privately claiming he wants to join them.
Paper Round’s view: Fernando has a complicated contract and ownership agreement so the fact that City have reportedly been told he will be a free agent in the summer cannot be taken as gospel. Porto have been trying to persuade the defensive midﬁelder to sign a new £50k-a-week deal with them but he has refused to do so. This should pave the way for a move to the Premier League and City could pick up a real bargain if indeed he does prove to be a free signing.
‘Fulham to move for Schalke defender’ - Fulham will make a £2m move for Schalke's left-back Christian Fuchs in the summer, that’s according to the Daily Mirror. The 27-year-old Austrian is seen by the club as a replacement for John Arne Riise at left-back and they are confident of securing a deal for the player in the summer. The defender almost joined the Cottagers in January but will now make the move at the end of the season.
Paper Round’s view: As a long-term solution it is a good one for Fulham with Fuchs a very established international full-back with Austria, but whether he would want to commit his future to a club who could well be in the Championship next season is rather more uncertain. He is at his peak with the Bundesliga side at present with 50 international caps to his name, so why he would want to entertain the prospect of joining a second-tier club would be unclear. Still, if Fulham stay up it could be win-win.