Cole interests Liverpool: Brendan Rodgers is ready to make a shock move for Chelsea left-back Ashley Cole, according to the Daily Star. The England star is most likely going to be available this summer after having been marginalised by Jose Mourinho, who prefers to play right-back Cesar Azpilicueta out of position. The paper reports that Rodgers has been a big fan of Cole since their days together at Stamford Bridge and that Cole is "understood to be interested in the move to Anfield". Liverpool could face competition from New York Red Bulls though.
Paper Round's view: Cole will pack his bags for pastures new this summer, that much is almost 100 per cent certain, and Anfield could well be a fine option for him. Competition at left-back would come from Jon Flanagan but Cole would surely fancy his chances of keeping the 21-year-old out of the side for at least a season, while Liverpool would benefit from Cole's vast experience in both the Premier League and the Champions League. The only downside to this transfer would be from Chelsea's point of view, who would be selling to a direct rival - but even that should not hamper a move, given Mourinho's clear lack of faith in the player anyway. This appears to be a very plausible story.
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PSG try to woo Oscar: Paris Saint-Germain have risked angering Chelsea by trying to entice Brazilian midfielder Oscar to the French capital, according to the Daily Telegraph. The paper claims that the Ligue 1 champions are considering a £41.5 million offer for Oscar before the World Cup and PSG midfielder Lucas Moura has implored his fellow Brazilian to join him at the Parc des Princes. "We need someone like him at PSG," said Moura. "I would be very happy if he came to PSG, the club too.”
Paper Round's view: Considering these comments come hot on the heels of Yohan Cabaye's claim that Eden Hazard would be the perfect signing for PSG, it's easy to see why Chelsea would be a little miffed at the French club's attempts to unsettle their best players. It may just be a ruse ahead of the two clubs' Champions League clash, or there may be a little more weight behind it. Either way, the players' comments could backfire on PSG if the stories help fire Chelsea up for the upcoming quarter-final.
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QPR turned down chance to sign Zlatan: Queens Park Rangers had the chance to sign Zlatan Ibrahimovic when he was a teenager, but the London club turned it down according to the Daily Mail. The paper gets its information from a new book on the PSG striker (titled 'Once, I Was Bigger Than Zlatan') by his childhood friend Tony Flygare, who grew up with him in Rosengard, Sweden. Flygare played with Zlatan in Malmo's youth team and they were sent together to Loftus Road for a trial as 16-year-olds when Gerry Francis was manager in 1998. But Ibrahimovic ended up telling one of the trainers in a trial match to “**** off” and the pair never heard back from the club.
Paper Round's view: Classic Zlatan. Even as a boy, his ego knew no bounds. Still, it's a shame that his arrogance prevented him from plying his trade on these shores. And how must Francis feel? Forever to be known now as the man who denied England the chance to revel in the talent of Zlatan Ibrahimovic. (Along with Arsene Wenger, of course.)
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United fans to protest at Moyes with plane banner: A group of disgruntled Manchester United fans have clubbed together to hire a plane to fly around Old Trafford this weekend with a banner demanding David Moyes is sacked. The Daily Mirror is among the papers to report that the supporters have chipped in to raise £840 to pay for a light aircraft to circle the ground before kick-off of the struggling champions' Saturday's lunchtime fixture against Aston Villa with a banner with the words ‘Wrong One - Moyes Out’. The move is a reaction to the banner which hangs in the Stretford End and declares Moyes 'The Chosen One', which had to be guarded by stewards from fans wanting to take it down following the 3-0 defeat to Manchester City on Tuesday.
Paper Round's view: It's understandable some fans want to feel they are doing something proactive to influence those in power at the club, but someone should really tell them that a plane dragging a banner behind through the skies above Old Trafford at the weekend isn't going to make the slightest bit of difference. Not until 70,000 people are chanting for Moyes' head will the Glazers consider sanctioning his dismissal and even then, it's far from a certainty - the family have hardly listened to fans in the past, so why should they start now? Moyes will go when the Americans are ready to sack him, not when a light aircraft tells them to.
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Everton prepare summer war chest: Everton manager Roberto Martinez will be given a transfer kitty of more than £20m this summer in preparation for a campaign that should see the Toffees return to Europe. The Daily Mail reports that Martinez feels he needs six signings to cope with Europe; Jack Rodwell, Gareth Barry and Romelu Lukaku are two names mentioned for starters as possible summer arrivals.
Paper Round's view: Depending on the quality of player Martinez is looking at, he may need slightly more than £20m to add six new faces to his squad. The danger is that Martinez is happy to bring up the numbers - to 27 in his squad - to cope with more fixtures, but with just £20m to play with, he may be forced to compromise on quality. That said, Rodwell, Barry and Lukaku would all be excellent signings. It's the identities of the other three that will be interesting to see.
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- Sports & Recreation
- Ashley Cole
- Zlatan Ibrahimovic
- Jose Mourinho