Paper Round: Carroll 'to start at Euros'

The press pack got their first taste of Roy Hodgson's coaching methods on Thursday, and it seems the new England manager has little time for subtlety.


Thursday's session saw hulking striker Andy Carroll in fine form - marked by Gary Neville - and the rest of the England side playing accordingly.

The Guardian reports Hodgson as yelling at one point: "You don't have to use short passes. Not if you want to use your big man up front."

Carroll has endured a tough time since his £35m switch from Newcastle to Liverpool, but finished the season encouragingly and has emerged as the favourite to start up front in England's first two Euro 2012 games, when Wayne Rooney is suspended.

So you can forget about England adopting Spain's mesmerising one-touch 'tiki-taka' style - if we are to crash and burn, we seem destined to do so in classically English fashion.

Tottenham are set to indulge in some retail therapy after the disappointment of missing out on Champions League football, as they close on the £9.6m capture of Ajax defender Jan Vertonghen.

Spurs' back line was disrupted by a string of injuries last season, and they are keen to flex their muscles in the transfer market as they bid to convince Gareth Bale and Luka Modric of their ambition.

Vertonghen said: "I have a preference for Spurs. I've got the best feeling for that club and I'm a 'feeling person'. They already invited me and want to handle it quickly. They say I'm their only option, which I take as a compliment."

Pep Guardiola's phone could be about to melt after he hinted he would be open to coaching next season.

The outgoing Barcelona coach had suggested he would take a year's sabbatical, but said before tonight's Copa del Rey final: "I will receive all calls with pleasure ... I will be ready (to return) if one club wants me and seduces me."

Well, Pep can be sure more than one club wants him, but Chelsea stand at the head of the queue, with Roman Abramovich desperate for Guardiola to bring his gloriously attacking style to Stamford Bridge.

Porto forward Hulk is ready to hand in a transfer request to engineer a £35m move to Chelsea. The Times claims he has already agreed personal terms in principle.

Also from The Times, QPR want Tottenham outcast Jermaine Jenas to replace Joey Barton, who is banned for the first 12 matches of the 2012/13 season.

Manchester United's pursuit of Borussia Dortmund's attacking midfielder Shinji Kagawa continues, with the Reds making an improved offer of £13m for the Japanese star, according to the Daily Mail.

Everton boss David Moyes is preparing a £6m bid for FC Copenhagen striker Dame N'Doye, but the cash-strapped Toffees may have to sell first - the Daily Mirror tips Tim Cahill as the most likely candidate to leave Goodison Park.

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