Van Persie may make shock Arsenal return: With David Moyes poised to initiate a mass makeover of his squad at the end of the season Robin van Persie could be set to make a sensational return to Arsenal, report the Daily Mail. The sale of Van Persie is dependent on Wayne Rooney’s future at the club; if Rooney signs a new contract then Moyes may cash in on Van Persie – a player with whom he is said to have an “uneasy relationship”. In addition Van Persie and his family have failed to settle in Cheshire and would welcome a move back to London. The 30-year-old could be available for as little as £15 million.
Paper round’s view: There have been rumblings for quite some time that there is an uneasy relationship between Moyes and Van Persie with the Dutchman said to be unhappy with Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure and Moyes’ training methods. Therefore if RVP was sold come the summer then it would not be a huge surprise but the chances of him going to Arsenal seem remote. The Arsenal fans have not forgiven him for leaving for United in the first place and the vigour with which he celebrated his goal against Arsenal this season will have done little to thaw relations.
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Barcelona target David Silva: Barcelona are looking to buy David Silva as a replacement for Xavi, report the Sunday People. With Xavi said to be considering moves to China or the USA, Barcelona have started the search for his replacement. The report puts Silva’s value at £50 million and claims that Silva is seen as the ideal man to “slot into midfield at the Nou Camp if and when Xavi moves on.”
Paper round’s view: While David Silva is an exceptional player whose footballing philosophy would suit a move to the Nou Camp, Barcelona already have the heir apparent to Xavi in their ranks – one Cesc Fabregas. With wealth of midfield talent already at their disposal, Barcelona are likely to focus on shoring up their defence, which is over-reliant on an ageing Carles Puyol.
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Napoli tried to sign Cattermole: Former Chelsea boss Rafa Benitez failed in a last-ditch bid to sign Lee Cattermole, report the Daily Mirror. Benitez is said to have been a long term admirer of Cattermole having made an enquiry about him when in charge of Liverpool and the Napoli boss enquired again about the former Wigan man after a proposed move to Stoke fell through on transfer deadline day.
Paper round’s view: Napoli, who sit third in Serie A, are a fine side with a host of midfield talent, including the exceptional Gokhan Inler. They are, with all due respect to Cattermole, a level above his skill set. This would go down as one of the most unlikely transfers since Gary Breen agreed terms with Inter Milan in 2002 before ultimately ending up at West Ham. The fact that the report gives no reason as to why the move fell through only serves to further undermine a wholly unlikely transfer rumour.
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Levy 'to replace Sherwood with Van Gaal': Daniel Levy has not been impressed with Tim Sherwood’s endeavours as Tottenham boss, according to a report in Sunday Mirror. Sherwood’s “confident and abrasive” managerial style has left some players upset and Levy wondering about his long-term suitability for the role. Holland manager Van Gaal was Levy’s preferred target for the Tottenham job after Andre Villas-Boas was sacked but would not consider a job share in a World Cup year but has put on record his interest in managing in the Premier League once he leaves his post after the World Cup.
Paper round’s view: This story definitely has legs. Sherwood has always felt like a stop-gap – so much so that there was considerable surprise when Levy gave him an 18-month contract. And, while there has been an improvement in results suspicions remain that said improvement was due to a favourable fixture list. Games against other top four contenders – most notably Arsenal in the FA Cup and Manchester City in the league – have seen disappointing losses. Furthermore, with Manchester United set to keep faith with David Moyes, the Tottenham job appears to be the most high profile available for the Dutchman who has been forthcoming about his desire to manage in the league next season.