Paper Round: Chelsea offer Pep 'total control'

Chelsea will approach Pep Guardiola in the next few days in a bid to persuade the soon-to-be-ex Barcelona coach to join the club.


The Daily Telegraph reports that Blues owner Roman Abramovich has already promised Guardiola 'carte blanche' at Stamford Bridge in terms of how the club is run and structured and which players are bought and sold.

The report also claims that, despite Guardiola's denials, he did meet with Abramovich in Paris and that Guardiola has discussed the matter with former Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti, who is now the head coach of Paris St-Germain.

The Spaniard will leave Barca at the end of this season and wants to take a break from football, which could amount to a year's sabbatical.

"If that happens," the report says, "it raises the possibility of Chelsea considering offering interim head coach Roberto Di Matteo the job on a shorter term contract for next season."

Abramovich is not putting all his eggs in one Guardiola-shaped basket though, and the Russian is continuing to consider other candidates for the job. Those men are Real Madrid’s Jose Mourinho, Marseille coach Didier Deschamps and France coach Laurent Blanc, the Telegraph claims.

Meanwhile, the Blues are closing in on a £35 million deal for Brazilian striker Hulk after the Porto ace's agent revealed he has been in talks with four Premier League clubs.

The Daily Mail reports: "Tottenham were the only club named by agent Theodoro Fonseca, but Chelsea and Manchester City are known to have registered an interest and Liverpool are also thought to be in the hunt for the 25-year old."

An attention-grabbing headline appears on the back page of the Daily Star: 'Claptrap - Hughes rubbishes guard of honour plan for Terry and co'.

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With the pre-match handshake between Chelsea and QPR players causing concern after it emerged Rangers players were considering snubbing John Terry, the Premier League proposed a guard of honour for Champions League finalists Chelsea instead.

The handshakes have since been scrapped but Mark Hughes was still irked by the bizarre proposal, the QPR manager saying there was "absolutely no chance of that" happening.

The Mail claims Arsenal have taken significant steps towards a summer move for Athletic Bilbao's Javi Martinez.

But Arsene Wenger will face stiff competition for the 23-year-old's signature from Barcelona and Manchester United.

The Gunners are also confident of sealing a deal for Rennes midfielder Yann M'Vila - after moving to beat off Manchester United, according to the Daily Mirror.

The same paper chooses to focus on some comments made by Roberto Mancini with a back page headline that reads 'Manc robber'.

The Manchester City boss has vowed to demonstrate his financial firepower in the summer transfer market by pursuing Lille’s £35million-rated winger Eden Hazard.

The Italian also has Napoli striker Edinson Cavani and Spurs winger Luka Modric, who would each cost £35m, in his sights and is interested in a move for Robin van Persie, for whom Arsenal would demand at least £25m.

But top of his wishlist, the paper says, is Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney, while he would also take Ryan Giggs if he was a little younger.

Not even that kind of crazy talk is likely to see Mancini booted out of the club though, with a report in the Guardian by the highly-respected David Conn saying the Italian's job is safe - regardless of what happens in the big derby clash at Eastlands on Monday.

And finally for today, the Daily Mail claims David Moyes will make another attempt to lure Fulham striker Clint Dempsey to Everton this summer.

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