Premier League - Paper Round: Magath set for axe already, new boss lined up

Fulham are set to sack recently-appointed manager Felix Magath for one good reason; Manchester United hope a £40m offer for Bayern Munich’s Toni Kroos will be enough; and Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois will announce his future next week – the top stories from the morning’s papers.

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Premier League - Magath blasts Fulham players after relegation
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Felix Magath was tasked with saving Fulham from relegation

Fulham ready to sack Magath already’ - Fulham are ready to sack boss Felix Magath, just six weeks after he was appointed, according to an ‘exclusive’ in the Daily Star. Magath is likely to be dumped if it proves that the club, as expected, become certain to be relegated from the Premier League. He is understood to have alienated many of his first team squad with a strict training and coaching regime - to the point where officials now fear a player revolt. And the paper goes one step further in reporting that the London club are ready to ask Alan Curbishley back to Craven Cottage as boss next season with under-21 coach Kit Symons promoted to work alongside him.

Paper Round’s view: Former Bayern Munich boss Magath has collected just four points from his six games, since succeeding Rene Meulensteen in charge on February 14. When he was brought in by American owner Shahid Khan the belief was that Magath would be the ideal man to inspire a successful survival bid - or at the worst regroup over the summer to mount a challenge for instant promotion back to the top flight. To be fair to the new boss, it’s incredibly difficult to turn a club’s fortunes around so dramatically at the end of a wretched campaign and the last thing Fulham need is further upheaval in what has been a comically farcical game of musical chairs.

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‘United hope £40m will get Kroos’ - Manchester United will make a staggering club-record £40 million bid for Toni Kroos to try to tempt Bayern Munich into selling the midfielder, according to the Daily Mirror. United boss David Moyes reportedly wants the Germany international to be his key signing of the summer - and the Old Trafford money men are ready to back the project. The Reds hope to turn Bayern’s head with the sky-high figure for a player who will be entering the final year of his contract. United now think they can persuade Kroos to walk away with a huge offer.

Paper Round’s view: Moyes apparently wants Kroos so badly United will commit to the offer, although the numbers being reported seem much higher than they should be for the player. Kroos could quit Bayern for nothing in the summer of 2015, so a mega-bid would give the Bavarian giants a real dilemma, particularly if Pep Guardiola does not believe that he is central to his plans going forward with a squad brimming with talent. This would mean Kroos could be the third midfielder Moyes has bought after Marouane Fellaini last summer and Juan Mata in January. A good potential signing, no question, but is it another sign of desperation?

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Chelsea’s Courtois to announce his future’ – Thibaut Courtois will announce whether his future lies at Chelsea or Atletico Madrid next week, according to the Daily Express. Question marks surround the Belgium international's future at Stamford Bridge, having never featured for his parent club since joining from Genk in 2011, and he is set to make an announcement next week either pledging his future to Chelsea and battling for top spot at the London club or revealing that he wishes to stay in Spain and seek a permanent move to the Liga challengers.

Paper Round’s view: We all know that we are observing a crazy era of player power, but since when does a young talent get to smugly hype up their own decision regarding their future, seemingly without the consent of either club involved in the process? The 21-year-old stopper is currently on his third successive loan spell at the La Liga leaders, who can boast the best defensive record out of the 20 sides. His talent and ability are not in question and Petr Cech’s mistakes of late for Chelsea have only heightened the speculation that he could be replaced by the Belgian. But is this the kind of talk Jose Mourinho will welcome? This really could go one of two ways.

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‘This is where Lescott will be headed’ - Manchester City defender Joleon Lescott will be offered a deal to join Turkish side Besiktas when his current deal expires at the end of the season, according to a report in The Sun. The 31-year-old England player has a crucial career decision to make in the summer and he must choose whether to stay in the Premier League – with three clubs interested in keeping him in the country – or to head abroad and seek an entirely fresh challenge. Besiktas are keen to secure his services and City are not prepared to offer him a contract to keep him at the Etihad Stadium.

Paper Round’s view: It’s clear that Lescott will be leaving City at the end of the current campaign, but one can’t help feel that he would be better suited staying in the Premier League, albeit with a smaller club. The defender has always relied on his physicality and was a tremendous success at Everton before falling out of favour under Roberto Mancini and not being given a real opportunity by Manuel Pellegrini to stake a genuine claim for a regular starting spot. West Ham have been repeatedly linked with a move for him, as have Newcastle, while a return to Goodison Park would appear to make a lot of sense if he lowers his expectations in terms of wages. Who knows, Champions League football may even be on offer?

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