United chase down Kroos: Woodward Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward stayed overnight in Munich in a bid to thrash out a deal for Bayern star Toni Kroos, reports the Daily Mirror. In the wake of United's 3-1 defeat to the reigning European champions, Woodward remained in Bavaria with a view to getting "straight answers" from the Germany international, who is manager David Moyes' top target at the end of the season. The United supremo is keen to know if Kroos is as committed to the potential move to Old Trafford as reports suggested earlier in the week, his acquisition key to the club's entire summer buying and selling policy.
Paper Round's view: Kroos was not at his influential best last night, but United will not be too bothered about that and should still be keen to offer big bucks for him. Reports of a £40m bid are still nothing more than speculation, but if Woodward did indeed stay in Munich to talk to Kroos, it would suggest United are deadly serious about making a move. As ever though, any stumbling block will focus on money, with Bayern likely to want to squeeze every drop of value from their player if they are to allow him to leave.
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Nani 'likely to leave' United: The agent of Nani has said the winger is "likely" to leave Manchester United this summer, reports the Daily Express. Fiorentina have been linked to the Portuguese player, who could follow fellow midfielder Anderson in swapping Old Trafford for Florence. But while Andrea Pastorello believes talks can be held about Nani when the Italian club get in touch about loanee Anderson's situation at the end of the season, he is aware Nani's wage demands could be an issue.
Paper Round's view: At last, some good news for United fans. Like Anderson, Nani has for too long failed to deliver on a consistent basis, and should be classed as dead wood which must be cast adrift sooner rather than later if United are to come good on their rebuilding plans.
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Van Gaal free to talk to Spurs: Louis van Gaal is free to hold talks with Tottenham Hotspur about becoming their next manager while he finalises Holland's World Cup squad, according to The Telegraph. Van Gaal will step down from his international role after this summer's World Cup and has his employers' blessing to negotiate his next move. But Spurs will have to move quickly and reach an agreement with the Dutchman before May 7, when training for Brazil begins.
Paper Round's view: It now seems to be taken as read now that Tim Sherwood's time is up as Spurs manager, and Van Gaal is certainly a real contender to take over. But is he going to be willing to commit to Spurs on May 7 when there is still such uncertainty over David Moyes' future at Manchester United? Van Gaal would surely be in the frame for the Old Trafford hot seat should Moyes go and it's easy to envisage the Dutchman preferring to take over at United, regardless of their current malaise.
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Arsenal players point finger at Wenger: Arsenal players have laid the blame for the Gunners' poor Premier League campaign at the door of manager Arsene Wenger, according to The Telegraph. The unnamed players believe that the Frenchman's refusal to work on the opposition has cost them a shot at the title this season, the report claims. A "section of Wenger’s squad" believes that better homework on their immediate rivals would help them start stronger in the bigger games, rather than simply relying on the Gunners' strengths and sending out a side to impose their style of play on the game, as is Wenger's want.
Paper Round's view: It would be interesting to know which players are unhappy with Wenger's philosophy, but there is no mention of them in this report. And while there is probably some substance to these grievances, it's unlikely that Wenger will ever alter the way he sends out teams, such is his obstinacy.
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Arsenal monitoring Rodriguez recovery: Arsenal will keep tabs on Jay Rodriguez's recovery from injury after joining the race to sign the sought-after Southampton star. The Daily Star reveals that the Gunners had lodged their interest by making an enquiry for the 24-year-old, only to put plans to sign him on ice after seeing him rupture his knee ligaments against Manchester City at the weekend. Liverpool and Tottenham are also thought to be interested in the striker, who has been ruled out for six months.
Paper Round's view: Rodriguez thinks he can return to action sooner than the six-month verdict delivered by his knee specialist, but whether he can reach the heights he has this season remains to be seen. Arsenal, like Liverpool and Spurs, would be prudent not to jump into anything before he can once again prove himself. Which is a real shame for Rodriguez, who is also having to deal with the fact his World Cup hopes were dashed by the injury.
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