Players' revolt threatening Moyes' future: Most of today's papers report that Manchester United's board will continue to back beleaguered manager David Moyes, but the Daily Telegraph claims his future is still in doubt because of a player revolt. The paper reports that squad misgivings over the manager’s tactical approach and training methods are threatening to undermine the ongoing backing from the club’s owners. Telegraph Sport is "aware of the concern of squad members over the inability of the manager to arrest the slump", although no players are mentioned by name.
Paper Round's view: It's no secret that Moyes' training methods are different to his predecessor and it would be unreasonable to expect everyone to agree with them, most players having become accustomed to training under Alex Ferguson for so long. However it is only United's poor form that has allowed everyday disagreements to be portrayed as a 'revolt' - after all, things weren't always sweetness and light but the winning made this friction irrelevant. Quite how this discontent will manifest itself is yet to be seen, and short of a coup by the players, Moyes will remain in employment at Old Trafford as long as the powers-that-be are willing to give him a chance to prove himself.
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Chelsea lead Costa chase: Chelsea are in pole position to land Diego Costa in the summer, according to the Daily Mail. The paper reports that the striker, whose goal last night kept Atletico Madrid top of La Liga last night, will set the Blues back £40 million in a deal that the Spanish club want to include Thibaut Courtois. Belgian keeper Courtois is currently on loan at Atletico, but he is wanted to stay on a permanent basis. Chelsea see him as an ideal long-term replacement for Petr Cech and will be unwilling to let him go, however, meaning any deal for Costa could get complicated.
Paper Round's view: If Chelsea are in pole position to sign Costa, it is because they have Courtois to use as bait. But it's widely accepted that Jose Mourinho does not want to let the highly-rated keeper leave - this report repeats that view - so how exactly are Chelsea leading the race? We're no more savvy after reading the article, but it could have something to do with the money Chelsea are willing to spend on bringing in a world class goalscorer. Surely Atletico could not refuse a £40m bid, even without Courtois involved?
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City keen on Sagna: Manchester City are interested in signing Arsenal contract rebel Bacary Sagna this summer, reports the Daily Mirror. The right-back will be a free agent at the end of the season and with negotiations over a new deal with the Gunners apparently having broken down, a move elsewhere is becoming increasingly likely. City are ready to swoop for the France international, who could join the likes of Samir Nasri, Gael Clichy, Kolo Toure and Emmanuel Adebayor in making the switch from the Emirates to Eastlands. The paper adds that Sagna, 31, would expect wages of around £100,000-a-week and a big signing-on fee.
Paper Round's view: It may seem that Sagna is being rather mercenary about all this, and his unhappiness at not being offered more than a two-year extension to stay at Arsenal goes some way to highlighting that point. Can he really expect to be handed a deal until he is 33, given that some clubs have policies of not offering more than one-year deals for players over 30? However, City should be able to remunerate him handsomely, and if it is one final big pay day he is after, perhaps he has found it in Manchester. That said, he may find it difficult to dislodge Pablo Zabaleta from the right-back position though - but nevermind, he can always console himself with his big pay packet.
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Chelsea to battle it out for Lallana: Chelsea are prepared to battle it out with Manchester United for Southampton and England midfielder Adam Lallana this summer, reports the Daily Star. The 25-year-old is rated at £25m-plus, but convincing the club to part with their star asset will still be a difficult task for United and Chelsea. If the Saints could be tempted though, a decisive factor in where Lallana ends up could be Champions League football. And with United struggling on that front, Chelsea could well hold a distinct advantage.
Paper Round's view: It's difficult to imagine any player preferring to go to United over Chelsea at the moment, and failure to qualify for the Champions League would only hamper United's movements in the transfer market further. Yet it will all boil down to whether Southampton will want to cash in on their star player. And given that the future of Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino apparently rests on whether he is able to keep his best players for next season, Lallana could well remain at St Mary's next season.
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