Ancelotti to replace Moyes at Manchester United: David Moyes might have been expecting some good headlines on Sunday after enjoying one of his biggest wins of the season against Aston Villa on Saturday. No such luck: instead, he gets to sit over his cornflakes reading about who will succeed him in the dugout at Old Trafford. The Daily Star Sunday reports that "Carlo Ancelotti will be offered the job if David Moyes gets the sack," with the Real Madrid manager "set for the Bernabeu axe". The paper says that the United board haven't decided for 100% certain to fire Moyes - though rumours have been flying about player revolts and all sorts if he doesn’t go - but that they are "currently weighing up their options for the summer should they decide current boss Moyes has to go."
Paper Round says: Ancelotti is one of the coaches that United should have gone for in the first place - unlike Moyes, he would come to the job already well used to dealing with the big budgets and bigger egos of a top club. The Villa victory might have kept the wolves from Moyes's door for now, but only an amazing run of wins between now and the end of the season can see him keep his job permanently.
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Manchester United plan £200m summer overhaul - with Giggs among those on way out: The Sunday Telegraph reports a very different United-based story - claiming that "Manchester United could spend £200 million on new players while several established players will be shown the door at Old Trafford this summer." United are apparently gambling on the idea that not being distracted by Europe next season will give them a brilliant chance of winning the league - and given Liverpool's run at the title this year, who's to say they're wrong? Luke Shaw, Toni Kroos, William Carvalho and Ilkay Gundogan are the names set to join, while Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand, Shinji Kagawa, Javier Hernández, Wilfried Zaha, Nani and Anderson are on their way out. Robin van Persie, the report adds, will not be sold.
In the Sunday Express there is another twist, incidentally: Ryan Giggs, a player-coach at United, is set to quit after a falling-out with Moyes. "There have been some heated exchanges between the pair over some of the training methods and tactics," the paper claims. "Giggs also believes he has been under-used, especially when the club have been up against it and in need of some uplifting results." Phil Neville's head is also on the block, the same report adds.
Paper Round says: A summer clear out and spending spree will happen whether Moyes stays in the job or not - and the four names mentioned would be fabulous additions if they can be persuaded to join a rescue mission to save Old Trafford from sinking further into the mire. The big question remains whether United would trust such a major rebuilding project to a man who utterly failed to realise that such an overhaul was necessary when he took over last summer. As for Giggs and Neville? It's no wonder there's friction after such a poor season - if Moyes goes, Neville will certainly leave too, while Giggs should probably have headed off elsewhere last summer in any case.
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Cole offered Real deal: The Sun on Sunday reports that Ashley Cole has been offered an £8 million pay deal to join Real Madrid in the summer. The 33-year-old is considered too old to keep toiling at Chelsea, but Real boss Carlo Ancelotti reckons that he has two years at the top level left in the tank.
Paper Round says: Cole has been largely frozen out at Chelsea this season, but few would doubt that he could still do a good job even at the very top level with a club such as Real. The Spanish giants won't baulk at signing a player in his mid-thirties - and nor should they.
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Manchester United to win race to sign Shaw: The Sunday People reports that United are now in the frame to sign Southampton's teenage defender Luke Shaw, with a £27m offer set to upset Jose Mourinho's plans to sign the England star. "Mourinho believed he was was in pole position to land 18-year-old Chelsea fan Shaw," the paper claims. "But speculation is mounting that United have put in place a big-money deal to sign Shaw at the end of the season."
Paper Round says: Would Shaw want to go to United and miss out on European football? It would seem a big come-down for a player who is likely to experience the biggest stage in world football at the World Cup this summer. Having tasted that, would he really reject a chance of Champions League action? (We're suggesting that he would not, in case you didn't pick up on that.)
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Wenger on a knife edge at Arsenal: The Sunday Telegraph reports that the Gunners boss has "left everyone guessing" about his future. Amusingly, the paper mixes its metaphors by claiming that the manager "hangs on a knife edge", but putting that aside the story is a good one. "After almost 18 years and 1,002 games, could it really all come down to the next seven weeks and eight matches?... There is a growing belief that the Frenchman may walk away at the end of the season if his club fails to finish fourth and win the FA Cup," the paper claims. "There is no particular appetite to accept that Wenger’s past record and commitment are simply sufficient to merit the benefit of the doubt. Supporters are variously bored, angry – and just occasionally appreciative – amid a succession of seasons that are in danger of fusing into one long frustrating memory."
Paper Round says: This story adds little new information, referring to "seasoned Wenger watchers" who we strongly suspect are nothing more than old blokes propping up the bar in the journalists' local pub. But it's a nicely put piece which aptly summarises the situation at The Emirates; the gut-wrenching defeat by Chelsea last week said it all even more eloquently, however.
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Chelsea will let Lukaku go - but only for Barkley: Jose Mourinho will allow Romelu Lukaku to join Everton on a perment basis this summer following a brilliant loan stint at Goodison Park - but he's exacting the highest possible price, since he wants one of the Toffees crown jewels in return. The Sunday People claims that Mourinho wants Barkley at Stamford Bridge - as do almost every other big club in Europe, of course.
Paper Round says: Assuming that Chelsea sign a Cavani, or an Ibrahimovic, or a Falcao or something similar in the summer, then they'd be glad to let Lukaku go. But would Everton let go of a player who is probably the future of the club? It's a tough choice for Roberto Martinez. Neutrals and Blues fans alike, however, would relish the idea of seeing Hazard and Barkley lining up side-by-side. What a midfield pairing that would be…
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- Manchester United
- David Moyes
- Ryan Giggs
- Old Trafford
- Luke Shaw
- Real Madrid