Pochettino targets Southampton players: Tottenham are to make a stunning £25 million move for Southampton's Adam Lallana after Mauricio Pochettino became the London club's new manager. The Daily Express reports that the Argentine boss wants to capitalise on Liverpool's cooling interest in the England midfielder and Lallana's reluctance to move his young family too far away from the South Coast. The paper claims that Pochettino and Lallana have a close relationship and that Spurs chairman Daniel Levy will back the new manager in the transfer market. The Daily Mail adds that Pochettino will also try to raid his former club for Jay Rodriguez, while Dejan Lovren, Callum Chambers, Nathaniel Clyne, Morgan Schneiderlin and James Ward-Prowse could all be on his radar too.
Paper Round's view: Southampton have been resigned to losing Lallana for some time, but the list of other players they stand to lose as Pochettino looks to stick with what he knows will be concerning for the South Coast club. Having lost their manager and his backroom staff, and with their best player about to leave, their task now will be damage limitation - and that means stopping as many other players as possible from making it into an exodus. Installing a new manager as quickly as possible is the first step to doing that.
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Pochettino given top-four ultimatum: The Daily Mirror reports that Pochettino's five-year contract at White Hart Lane contains certain clauses in case he does not lead them into the top four of the Premier League. The Argentine has been told by Spurs chairman Daniel Levy to get the club into the Champions League at all costs.
Paper Round's view: These are unconfirmed reports, but it would not be a surprise if Levy had insisted on certain clauses in case of what he deems as failure. Levy is a ruthless character, perhaps even more so now given Spurs' enormous expenditure - and subsequent failure - last season. With more spending on the horizon this summer, nothing but qualification for the Champions League will do now.
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Ferdinand tempted by QPR offer: Rio Ferdinand is weighing up "the biggest decision of his career" after having been offered a deal by Queens Park Rangers, according to the Daily Mirror. The paper reports that QPR boss Harry Redknapp is hoping his close relationship with the former Manchester United defender will lure him to Loftus Road. Moving to the capital, the report claims, could be a factor for the London-born Ferdinand.
Paper Round's view: Hull City, QPR... Rio certainly isn't short of tempting offers so far. In all seriousness though, surely there will be big offers to come for a player who is still capable of playing at the very highest level. If not, QPR could be onto a short-term winner - Ferdinand was often criticised during his time at United for spending too much time in London and he clearly enjoys life in the capital. With Redknapp pulling the strings, a move to Loftus Road may not be pie in the sky.
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Chelsea to bring back Tiago: Chelsea have agreed a deal to bring back Portuguese midfielder Tiago, reports the Daily Mail. The 33-year-old has starred in Atletico Madrid's stunning season but is out of contract at the Vicente Calderon this summer. Jose Mourinho has moved to secure his compatriot's signature with a deal that should help his club-mate Diego Costa - whose signing is imminent - settle into life in London.
Paper Round's view: Tiago at Chelsea would be so much more than just a buddy for Costa - his performances for Atleti this season have been impressive and he can offer much to Mourinho, the man who signed him for Chelsea back in 2004. At the age of 33, Tiago can only expect to be offered a one-year deal, but still, as a short-term investment, this seems like good business.
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Arsenal gunning for Ruddy: Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy has appeared on Arsenal's radar, reports the Daily Mail. Gunners boss Arsene Wenger wants a new keeper to push current number one Wojciech Szczesny all the way next season and the paper understands that there is a strong willingness from the Emirates Stadium to pursue a move for the England international.
Paper Round's view: Ruddy has become a hot property since Norwich were relegated, but surely a move to a club where he will be number one will suit him and his country better. He was perhaps unlucky not to have been selected in Roy Hodgson's World Cup squad, but becoming an understudy at another club will not do his international prospects any good at all. If he does decide to plump for such a move, there is of course the hope the challenge would spur him on to greater things and that he would displace the incumbent number one, but there is always an element of luck involved in getting the chance in the first place in that scenario. Far better he moves somewhere where he is guaranteed first-team action from the outset.
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- Sports & Recreation
- Adam Lallana
- Rio Ferdinand