Defoe to move to Toronto: Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe has agreed a £90,000 a week switch to MLS side Toronto FC, reports the Daily Mirror. The England striker has accepted a four-year offer from the Canadian club with the deal worth £6 million to Spurs. The paper reports that Defoe will discuss the implications of the move, which will leave West Ham and QPR disappointed, with England manager Roy Hodgson. He is not expected to travel across the Atlantic until just before March, when the MLS season starts.
Paper Round's view: If true, this is a great move for Defoe, who will cash in on the remainder of his career while seemingly not jeopardising his chances of playing at next summer's World Cup. And why not believe the report? The club is intent on bringing in a new striker in January and, with opportunities for Defoe likely to remain restricted at White Hart Lane, he seems certain to move on. Defoe's old Spurs team-mate Ryan Nelsen is Toronto manager and the club has made grand noises about making blockbuster signings in the past. A lot of this story adds up.
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AVB clings to job: The Guardian reports that Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas is clinging to his job after the club's hierarchy raised questions about whether he is the right man to establish them as a top-four side. The report claims that Spurs' 6-0 mauling by Manchester City at the weekend is being considered "not as an isolated blot but as the most worrying sign of a malaise".
Paper Round's view: This story is gaining pace with the Guardian now following up yesterday's piece in the Daily Mail. The facts are there for all to see, and Villas-Boas should well be worried. If not immediately, then certainly in the New Year. A telling sign is that bookies have the Portuguese at evens to become the league's next managerial casualty.
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Flamini in weird shirt row: Arsenal midfielder Mathieu Flamini has been banned from cutting his shirt sleeves after flouting a club tradition once again, reports the Daily Mail. As the paper explains: "Arsenal players are expected to wear the same length sleeve as the match-day captain, but Flamini refused to abide by the unwritten rule, cutting off his sleeves at the elbow for the clash against Marseille." Arsene Wenger said Flamini would not be allowed to do it again, while the player indicated he would continue to wear short sleeves as, "It is what I like".
Paper Round's view: Oh dear. It is these kind of stand-offs that can ruin a player's career at a club. Flamini, despite his insistence that he "has playing at the top level for 10 years and I like to wear short sleeves", should really stand down on this one. Traditionalist or not, he may just be better off sucking it up. It can't be that difficult, can it?
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West Ham draw up long list of targets: West Ham are "working furiously behind the scenes on more firepower" and have targeted 20 strikers in the January transfer window, the Daily Mirror reports. Included in Sam Allardyce's lengthy list are Lyon striker Bafetimbi Gomis and Tottenham’s Emmanuel Adebayor, and the Hammers could even end up bringing in two new forwards.
Paper Round's view: The presumption is that is Allardyce casts a wide enough net, he'll manage to snare a few players. But while Gomis and, to a lesser extent Adebayor, would be decent buys, the paper doesn't name the other 18 players. The list apparently contains star names who need regular first-team action ahead of the World Cup finals, but international caps are no guarantee of proven quality.
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Cole to force move away: Meanwhile, Joe Cole is ready to engineer a move away from West Ham following his humiliating substitution in the weekend's defeat to Chelsea, reports the Daily Mail. The paper states that Cole was furious at being taken off after just 36 minutes and he ripped off his shirt as he stormed down the tunnel without acknowledging Allardyce.
Paper Round's view: Don't managers usually love this kind of display of 'passion' and 'desire to play'? An angry show of petulance doesn't necessarily mean Cole is on his way out and it would come as no surprise to hear Allardyce say as much in the following days.
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- Sports & Recreation
- Jermain Defoe
- Toronto FC
- Mathieu Flamini
- West Ham