England 'said no to Pep', preferred Hodgson: The Daily Mail claims an exclusive, revealing that the FA turned down the chance to interview Pep Guardiola for the England job last year, instead appointing Roy Hodgson because they bound themselves to only looking to hire an English manager. Guardiola is regarded as one of the world's best coaches and was apparently keen to speak to the FA about the vacancy, but his interest was snubbed.
Paper Round's view: It's a sensational headline, of course, but the fall-out that followed after Fabio Capello's disastrous and expensive reign led former chairman David Bernstein to perhaps rightly insist that the next appointment was less lavish and more British. Still, there would not have been too many England fans moaning had the 42-year-old Spaniard been given the job instead of Hodgson.
Manchester United keen to sign Rooney up 'well into his 30s': Manchester United want Wayne Rooney to sign a new contract keeping him at the club well into his thirties”. Rooney’s present deal expires in June 2015 — he will turn 30 in October that year — and United are set to propose a lengthy contract extension to ward off continuing interest from Chelsea. They will not want Rooney to go into the final year of his current deal although it is understood that Chelsea have indicated they will bid again if he does so.
Paper Round's view: It's all very well for United to make all the right noises about signing Rooney up to a new long-term deal, but if they cannot offer him the terms (okay, let's just say it - money) he is after then there will still be no stopping him from leaving. Chelsea's interest is unlikely to wane, despite the signing of veteran Samuel Eto'o, and Rooney is after another huge pay day to take him into his 30s.
- - -
Arsenal offer Wenger new £15m contract: Arsenal are reopening £15 million contract talks with manager Wenger, and hope a £40m January transfer fund will persuade the 63-year-old Frenchman to sign. Chief executive Ivan Gazidis believes that Wenger’s ability to persuade Mesut Ozil to complete a £42.5m move from Real Madrid proved why he has to remain at the Emirates.
Paper Round: It's amazing what just one big transfer can do for a manager's reputation in the short term. Wenger was persistently booed and criticised throughout the summer and for much of last season, but the signing of Ozil could see him pick up a bumper new deal. The trust is clearly back with Arsene.
- - -
United owners 'want answers' after failure in transfer market: Ed Woodward and David Moyes failed to bring a marquee signing to Old Trafford, and now the pair face a fight to repair their reputations in dealing in the transfer market. New vice-chairman Woodward was expected to deliver at least one stellar name this summer - with Cristiano Ronaldo and Cesc Fabregas at the top of his hit-list, and now the Florida-based Glazer family want explanations regarding what they see as a farce.
Paper Round's view: The failure to land a 'marquee signing' and paying over the odds for a midfielder in Fellaini who had a less-substantial buy-out clause earlier in the summer does not reflect at all well on the pair, but it should be Woodward who delivers the players that Moyes asks for, within reason. Thiago Alcantara and Ander Herrera were also realistic targets that slipped through the club's grasp.
- - -
United remain determined to land £80m Ronaldo: United had set aside all their funds this summer in the belief they could buy Ronaldo back for £80 million and with a ‘Galactico’ wage packet, part-paid by a unique commercial package with the player, part and parcel of United’s commercial expansion in the Far East, India and Africa. Over the last year or so United have spent £2m on market research of how best to ‘grow their brand’ worldwide and Ronaldo was seen as part of the project. They will not give up.
Paper Round: They won't give up, but they should give up. Ronaldo and his representatives are using United and Woodward's clumsy approaches very much to their advantage to ensure that Real Madrid have to pay exactly what they demand next summer to lock him down to a new long-term deal. United are being used, and it does not look at all good to so publicly be chasing after a player they have very little chance of getting. Have they not learned that yet?
- - -