Ancelotti to rival Van Gaal: Carlo Ancelotti is set to rival Louis van Gaal for the vacant Manchester United manager's position, according to an exclusive in today's Sun. The paper reports that the Old Trafford board know Ancelotti could be on his way out of Real Madrid as his relationship with the club's board has become "strained". Holland coach Van Gaal has made it clear he is interested in the job, but United will not rush into a decision if there is a chance Ancelotti could become available.
Paper Round's view: The Italian is an entirely plausible candidate for the position and certainly a strong one. He is a proven winner with a wealth of experience across the continent, including a double-winning stint in the Premier League with Chelsea. He may command a salary of £6 million a year at Real, but United should have no problem matching that. And Van Gaal's maverick streak (dressing room pants dropping and all) might well give Ancelotti the edge.
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Ferguson backed Moyes sacking: The Times reports that Sir Alex Ferguson supported the decision to sack David Moyes, less than 10 months after he had personally recommended him for the job. Support for his fellow Scot had "waned considerably" in recent months, leaving him with no other option but to back the club's actions when it was decided that Moyes must go.
Paper Round's view: Ferguson never likes to admit he was wrong, but results on the pitch and public opinion of Moyes really left him with no choice - there was no way he could have stood by Moyes any more. It is tantamount to an admission that he made an error of judgement in the first place and it's all a bit embarrassing for Fergie - but as the next story shows, his mistake has apparently not diminished the club's faith in him...
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Fergie to be consulted again: United will again seek Ferguson's advice over the next incumbent of the Old Trafford hotseat, reports The Telegraph. Under the headline 'Kingmaker Ferguson', the article claims that despite criticism from supporters over the appointment of Moyes last May, Fergie will play a central role in helping executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward identify the new manager this summer.
Paper Round's view: Hiring Moyes was no doubt a mistake, but Ferguson was not alone in thinking it was a good idea at the time. Ferguson will have learnt from that and another calamitous appointment is unlikely. Continuity will be thrown out of the window, and a foreign manager capable of delivering instant success will be the order of the day. And considering Ferguson's ties with Ancelotti - the two are firm friends, and have often spoken warmly about each other in public - the Italian could well be heading to Manchester before too long.
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True cost of hiring Moyes to top £200m: The Guardian reports that hiring Moyes last summer will end up costing United over £200m. The two main costs United face are the slump in revenue caused by the club's failure to reach next season's Champions League - estimated to be around £50m - and the £15m-plus that a new manager will demand to rebuild the squad in the summer's transfer market. The candidates who are in the running to replace Moyes will command salaries of between £4m and £5m, while the outgoing manager will pocket £4.5m in compensation for having his six-year contract terminated early.
Paper Round's view: The hiring of Moyes is no doubt proving expensive, but to claim he alone is costing the club over £200m is slightly misleading. The squad was and still is in need of a serious overhaul, regardless of who is in charge, and it had already been widely reported that Moyes was to be given a war chest of £100m to that end. So he's only costing the club £150m, which isn't so bad, is it?
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Liverpool to spend big in summer: The Daily Mirror identifies who is on Liverpool's shopping list this summer, after manager director Ian Ayre confirmed Brendan Rodgers would be given at least £60m to spend on new players - a reward for qualifying for the Champions League way ahead of schedule. Yevhen Konoplyanka, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Marcos Rojo, Kyriakos Papadopoulos, Will Hughes and Tom Ince are the names suggested as potential signings that money could be spent on, while the report also identifies some players who could be on their way out of Anfield: Daniel Agger, Jose Enrique, Iago Aspas, Pepe Reina, Sebastian Coates, Oussama Assaidi and Krisztian Adorjan.
Paper Round's view: These are exciting times for Liverpool, who are about to reap the rewards of becoming Premier League champions. But the attractiveness of a move to Anfield is set to skyrocket, so while the names mentioned above are decent enough perhaps it's time for the Reds to aim a little higher - especially with so much cash to splash.
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