Premier League - Paper round: Spurs eye Martinez
Wigan manager Roberto Martinez has shot to the top of Tottenham Hotspur’s list of potential replacements should current boss Harry Redknapp leave for the England national team.
Martinez looks to be leading Wigan to safety, helped in no small part by a 4-0 thrashing of Newcastle on Saturday, and Spurs are said to be impressed by his passing style and confidence under pressure (The Sun).
“There is no doubt that Martinez is heading for the top and he has been impressive again this season,” a Spurs insider said.
Meanwhile, Wigan chairman Dave Whelan will not stand in Martinez's way if the manager is offered a bigger job this summer.
"He's doing a magnificent job," Whelan told Radio Five Live's Sportsweek. "I've always said Roberto will go to one of the top clubs in Europe and when that time comes he will leave Wigan with my blessing."
Fresh from the news that Gareth Bale may quit Spurs if the club fail to secure Champions League football next season, Redknapp has been forced to admit that Luka Modric’s exit could be inevitable (The Sun).
Manchester City and Chelsea are both showing an interest in the Croatian and, with only four English teams allowed to compete in the Champions League, holding on to both Modric and Bale could be tricky.
Even if Spurs finish fourth in the Premier League, Chelsea could qualify ahead of them for the Champions League if they beat Bayern Munich in the final on May 19.
“I would be lying if I said I was sure Luka will stay,” Redknapp said. “You don’t know. It was vital we kept him last summer. But I don’t think that we will have to do the same as we did then with Gareth Bale.
“It’s different with Luka. But I certainly would not see Gareth Bale wanting to leave. At this moment he is happy, a big fish here. He is still learning the game, a young boy, and this is where he needs to be. You would like to think Luka will still be here, though you never know.”
Bale, however, seems to have different ideas; claiming just yesterday that he could leave if the club fail to earn a place in Europe’s biggest competition.
Manchester United are planning a £10 million deal for Iceland’s Gylfi Sigurdsson after monitoring the Swansea loanee carefully in recent weeks.
Sigurdsson has been on loan at Swansea from German club Hoffenheim since January and has reportedly impressed United enough to entice Sir Alex Ferguson into making a play for the 22-year-old (Sunday Mirror).
Chief United scout Martin Ferguson and United assistant boss Mike Phelan were at the Reebok Stadium to watch Sigurdsson when Swansea took on Bolton, as the Red Devils continue their desperate search for midfielders after being forced to bring Paul Scholes out of retirement in January.
The Icelander has scored seven goals in 14 appearances for Swansea, and enjoyed 18 goals in 42 appearances during his previous two-year stint in England with Reading.
Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard has said he is keen to stay at Stamford Bridge for the rest of his career (Sunday Mirror).
The 33-year-old has one year left on his current contract and will open talks at the end of the season.
“I love Chelsea and, ideally, I will be here longer than just one more season,” the England midfielder said.
“I look at people like Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs at Manchester United and see what they are still doing and I would love to do the same for Chelsea. I want to emulate them.”