Premier League - Paper Round: Wenger to take Jose's job

Arsene Wenger is being lined up to take over as manager of Real Madrid if Jose Mourinho is sacked, according to Sunday's papers.

The Sunday People reports that the Arsenal boss is the number one choice of Bernabeu chiefs should they part company with their Portuguese coach.

And with Saturday's Daily Telegraph claiming that the axe will fall if Real lose to Manchester United in the Champions League, that opening might come sooner rather than later.

The People reports that Mourinho's exit in the summer is a "near certainty" regardless, and adds that Real Madrid president Florentino Perez believes he will finally get Wenger - who has twice turned the job down in the past.

The Sun on Sunday also leads its back page with news of the managerial merry-go-round, with Rafa Benitez begging Roman Abramovich to let him stay on as Chelsea boss.

Benitez revealed that he has had "private conversations" with the owner and other Chelsea chiefs about getting the job on a permanent basis. But the very fact that he then felt the need to explain away Chelsea's poor results in the last few months suggests that he has a long, long way to go before he'll convince anyone of anything at Stamford Bridge.

The Daily Star reports that Mario Balotelli is still in line for a move to AC Milan this month, despite the Italian side distancing themselves from a deal in recent days.

The paper reports that Balotelli will be offloaded if Napoli's Edinson Cavani moves to Manchester City.

Aston Villa's Christian Benteke is to spark a four-way battle in the final few days of the transfer window, according to the Sunday Mirror.

Tottenham, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City are all keen on signing the 22-year-old, whose recent red-hot form has seen his value double to £15m since he signed for Villa in the summer.

The Sunday Mirror claims that Robin van Persie only moved to Manchester United because of advice given by Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes to Sir Alex Ferguson. The Old Trafford veterans apparently assured Fergie that there would be no problems having another big ego in the dressing room.

Speaking of egos, David Beckham is apparently to do LA Galaxy a favour by using his to influence a host of Premier League stars to head for the MLS. The Sunday People reports that Becks will use his sway over the likes of Steven Gerrard, Ashley Cole and Peter Crouch to head for America once they're at the end of their contracts.

Michael Carrick is also among the players mentioned for a potential move to the US, though that may not happen if the Star on Sunday is to be believed since the Manchester United star is set to get a new, long-term extension to his deal worth £80,000-a-week.

And finally, in The Sun Harry Redknapp writes that he couldn't manage Manchester City because there are "too many egos" at Eastlands. Harry criticising another club less than 12 hours after his side were knocked out of the FA Cup by League One's MK Dons? No doubt the column was penned before yesterday's games, but Harry will not doubt be choking on his cornflakes this morning.