Euro 2012 qual. - Papers: Wenger set for England job?

Sun, 09 Oct 07:13:00 2011

Pep Guardiola could replace Arsene Wenger at Arsenal with the Frenchman taking over the England job after Euro 2012, according to Sunday's papers.

Arsenal's coach Arsene Wenger (L) and Barcelona's coach Pep Guardiola watch their teams play in the Champions League second leg quarter-final soccer match at Nou Camp - 0

The Sunday Mirror reports that Wenger, who has been in charge of the Gunners for 15 years, will nominate his successor when he decides to quit.

He has a contract until 2014 - and has famously never broken one - but the paper reckons that an official approach from the FA could clear the way to Arsenal releasing him.

It adds, however: "But the feeling inside the club is that he will turn down any offer while still under contract."

Arsenal are currently enduring their worst start to a Premier League season, sitting 15th in the table, and have not won a trophy for six years.

And the Mirror claims that the man to break that run would be Guardiola, who is on a yearly rolling contract at Barcelona and so would not cost much in compensation.

The Catalan is doubtful that he can take the Blaugrana much further after winning two Champions League trophies alongside domestic silverware and thought to be considering a new challenge.

Should that prove fanciful, Arsenal are reportedly also keeping tabs on Laurent Blanc and Dennis Bergkamp.

A surprise development in the Emirates tumult is that angry Arsenal fans apparently plan to protest against Wenger when the Gunners host Sunderland next Sunday.

A new protest group, ArsenalFCnotPLC, are to use banners in the game to let the club know their feelings, reports the Mirror. It quotes season ticket holder Chris Adsett: “Put simply it is not good enough for Arsenal. We are on a downward spiral and this needs to be addressed. Arsenal fans love and admire Wenger for what he has done, but that was then, this is now. We need a new face and new impetus, and soon.”

Also in the Mirror, Arsenal and Liverpool are to go head-to-head in a battle to sign Chelsea’s Salomon Kalou in a cut-price deal when the January transfer window opens.

Across North London, Spurs boss Harry Redknapp "will fight fire with fire" - says the Daily Star on Sunday - to persuade Manchester United star Rio Ferdinand to turn his back on America and move to White Hart Lane in January.

Rio has been linked with a transfer to MLS outfit Chicago Fire.

Also reported in the Star is news that Tottenham have joined the race to sign Everton teenager Ross Barkley. Manchester United and Chelsea have previously been linked with the midfielder and the Star tenuously involves Man City in the equation: "And it would be no surprise if Manchester City showed their hand, too and joined the fight for him."

The paper also carries quotes from Toffees keeper Tim Howard, who is desperate for Barkley to sign a new deal at Goodison Park.

"Ross is a talent. He’s another in a long line and we hope he can thrive here and live out his dreams with us. He needs to be insulated with people who believe in him. The sky’s the limit for him. Now he needs people who will tell him the right things and keep his feet on the ground.”

City are hoping that the prospect of playing with Samir Nasri again is too tempting for Arsenal striker Robin van Persie to resist as they put together a 30 million swoop. Moneybags Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala are to offer Andrey Arshavin a massive deal to leave Arsenal. (Both Star)

Mexico striker Javier Hernandez is to agree a new five-year contract worth 80,000 a week with Manchester United within a month. Chicharito is currently on a paltry 25,000. (Star)

United are to secure the long-term futures of Danny Welbeck and Tom Cleverley this week (Mirror) while Valencia and Paris Saint-Germain are involved in a tug-of-war for Old Trafford misfit Dimitar Berbatov (Sunday Express).

The Express also claims that police are investigating a "second alleged Wayne Rooney betting scandal".

The brother of his United team-mate Michael Owen reportedly won 700 betting on Rooney staying at Old Trafford just an hour before he put pen to paper. The paper acknowledges that neither player knew anything about the bet.

Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich want Chelsea striker Didier Drogba, 33, when he is out of contract at the end of the season. Chelsea want him to sign a new deal, but Spurs are also waiting to see if the Ivorian fancies a new challenge. (Star)

Meanwhile Juventus will make another move for Chelsea centre-back Alex in January. (Star)

Blues fans could be set to deliver a snub to owner Roman Abramovich: the 12,000 members of the Chelsea Pitch Owners’ Association look certain to veto the sale of Stamford Bridge to the Russian billionaire at an EGM on October 27. Abramovich wants to secure the freehold in order to relocate to a new 65,000 seater stadium. (Star)

Championship Derby are trying to fend off interest in 19-year-old midfielder Jeff Hendrick from Aston Villa and West Brom by offering him a new four-year deal.

And Stan Collymore is interested in the Nottingham Forest job, saying he would make a "damn good" manager.


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