Jose Mourinho can’t seem to stay out of the headlines – and you will struggle to believe the link thrown up by one of the red tops this weekend.
The Sunday Mirror reports that the Manchester United boss has demanded a £3m-a-year pay rise to sign a new contract at Old Trafford. Jose is already on £12m a year (Moyesy was on £3.5m a year, by the way) but having seen the United “money-making machine” at close quarters, he “wants his slice”.
And if he doesn’t get it, he might replace Antonio Conte at Chelsea. No, really. The Sun on Sunday says the Special One has been “invited out to dinner” by his old chum Roman Abramovich after today’s match between the two side as “pressure on Conte mounts”.
The tabloid adds that “it is not known if the Manchester United manager has accepted”. He has that leftover Bolognese in the fridge that needs to be finished off tonight, you see.
West Ham turn to Moyes
In hindsight, it’s quite amusing to think that Manchester United appointed David Moyes as their manager in the summer of 2013 when Mourinho was also available. (To be fair, it’s amusing to think that Manchester United appointed David Moyes as their manager in any context.)
These contrasting characters – Jose with his dark, smouldering Latin charm; Dave with his wild, pallid, groundskeeper Willy vibe – have enjoyed contrasting fortunes ever since. But today, they share the back pages of the Sunday papers.
According to the Sunday Telegraph, Moyes is the man West Ham will turn to – essentially in desperation – if they sack Slaven Bilic. Which they surely will?
Reports suggest Slaven Bilic will be sacked and replaced by David Moyes.
— Match of the Day (@BBCMOTD) November 4, 2017
Not necessarily, because the Hammers board have been reluctant to dispense with the Croatian – despite a seemingly endless string of humiliating defeats – mainly because Moyes is the only man willing and able to step in and replace him at the London Stadium.
In other words, the Hammers have the option to keep a manager they don’t want, or bring in a manager they also don’t want. The Telegraph adds that any deal for the ex-Sunderland boss would be “until the end of the season” so they might just about be able to stomach that.
As for Moyesy himself, the stoic Scot claims, “I’m a better coach and better all-round manager. I think in football you have to go through difficulties.”
Then, literally in the next breath, he states, “I’m amazed (about Everton’s struggles) because I had them down to be top six.”
Manchester City spending spree continues
In non-manager transfer gossip, ESPN says United are battling Manchester City to sign the Espanyol left-back Aaron Martin, who sounds like he should be English but is actually Spanish, and is regarded as “one of the best young full-backs in Europe”.
In another local transfer rivalry, the Sunday Mirror says Tottenham and Arsenal will go head-to-head to sign the Schalke midfielder Leon Goretzka. Spurs scouts have reportedly attended all of Schalke’s recent matches, and Daniel Levy is especially excited about the deal because the 22-year-old’s contract is up in the summer.
Elsewhere, Man Utd have been “put off” signing Mesut Ozil from Arsenal due to the German’s exorbitant salary demands (Daily Star Sunday), Real Betis will try to buy Gunners midfielder Jack Wilshere in January (Sun on Sunday) and Peter Reid is interested in returning as manager of struggling Sunderland, 15 years after leaving Wearside (Daily Star Sunday). We’re not saying his career has tailed off since then, but his last three jobs were: Thailand, Plymouth Argyle and Mumbai City.