Rooney deal done – Wayne Rooney makes the front page of the Sun on Sunday this morning, a prospect that once would have made him tremble but now is cause for celebration as it is revealed he has agreed the most lucrative contract in the history of English football. The Sun confidently declare the new deal is worth no less than £70.2m and will go a long way to keeping Rooney at Old Trafford for the rest of his career.
Paper Round’s view: Securing Rooney on such a contract will be a big coup for manager David Moyes, who needs some good news stories to alleviate the gloom around Old Trafford at the moment. Whether Rooney’s questionable loyalty and inconsistent form means he deserves such a big deal is another matter entirely, but there’s no question this is a positive move for United.
Evra could stay as well – According to The Times, United left-back Patrice Evra has earned an automatic contract extension at Old Trafford after starting in 25 of the reigning champions’ 26 league games this season. Evra earns £6m a season at United, writes Duncan Castles, but he still retains the right to leave the club on a free transfer should he wish to do so. Paris Saint-Germain are believed to be interested.
Paper Round’s view: This could be a fresh headache for Moyes. He tried to sign Leighton Baines last summer and has made no secret of his desire to sign a new left-back. If Evra takes up the option to stay at the club then Moyes will be stuck with a player he has tried to replace, and will be paying £6m for the privilege. The United boss will just have to hope a return to France is too tempting, both personally and financially, for Evra to turn down.
Chelsea to seal double deal BEFORE World Cup – The Sunday Mirror reports Jose Mourinho is confident of securing the signing of Napoli striker Edinson Cavani and Southampton left-back Luke Shaw prior to the start of the World Cup in Brazil in June. Funds will be raised via the sales of Demba Ba and Romelu Lukaku, while Cavani is expected to cost a British record fee in excess of the £50m paid by Chelsea for Fernando Torres.
Paper Round’s view: The most efficient clubs always get their business done early and if Chelsea are able to wrap up these two deals then expect them to look like title favourites next season. Left-back and up front are two obvious places they need to strengthen.
Gundogan heading to United – According to the Sunday Mirror, Manchester United look ever more likely to sign Borussia Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Gundogan, with the German club showing renewed interest in their former player, Shinji Kagawa, who has become a fringe player at Old Trafford. United are also interested in Gundogan’s team-mate Marco Reus and Bayern Munich star Toni Kroos.
Paper Round’s view: The signing of Juan Mata surely meant the end of Kagawa as a player of relevance at United and if they can use the Japan star as leverage to sign the excellent Gundogan it will be a fantastic piece of business.
Pardew on the brink – The ever-prolific Sunday Mirror reports the whispers that Alan Pardew may have lost the dressing room at Newcastle United, with a ‘Toon insider’ telling the paper: “It’s clear there is unrest in the dressing room. There is a lack of confidence throughout the club." Apparently the sale of Yohan Cabaye caused widespread discontent. The Express also claim that Pardew will be sacked if Newcastle fail to beat Aston Villa in their next game.
Paper Round’s view: Pardew really is on to a loser at Newcastle with Mike Ashley selling the club’s best player and Joe Kinnear failing to sign a replacement before his recent departure. It’s hardly Pardew’s fault, and for him to lose his job would seem rather unfair. But when has fairness ever stopped a manager from getting the bullet?