Premier League - Paper Round: Di Matteo to be replaced by Mourinho

Monday's papers claim there will soon be two managerial vacancies in West London as both QPR's Mark Hughes and Chelsea's Roberto di Matteo are apparently in line for imminent sackings.


Hughes's departure has been on the cards for some while given his side's abysmal start to the season, but Di Matteo seemed untouchable given his side's Champions League victory last year and their barnstorming start to the current campaign.

So despite the Blues suffering poor results in the last few weeks, the Daily Mail's report that the Italian's job is in "serious jeopardy" comes as something of a surprise. The recent poor results "have caused owner Roman Abramovich to lose his patience", the paper claims.

The report adds that Di Matteo apparently had a furious post-match row with some of his players, among them Petr Cech and David Luiz, with screams overhead from the changing room apparently including epithets such as "rubbish, and you all know it" and "call yourself Champions League winners?"

It is not just the Mail claiming that Di Matteo is very possibly on his way: the Daily Telegraph and Daily Star follow suit, and the Star even adds that Jose Mourinho will be the man to replace him.

The tabloid claims it has "the picture that proves Jose Mourinho could soon be back at Chelsea" - but rather than showing Mourinho splitting a bottle of Veuve Clicquot with Abramovich, it shows Mourinho's 16-year-old daughter enrolling at an art college in London that is "just six miles" from Stamford Bridge.

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If proximity is an important factor in all this, however, Chelsea may not be Mourinho's destination: the college in question is actually in Camberwell, which would be perfect for the Portuguese boss if he decided to take over at Millwall or Crystal Palace.

As for Hughes, the Daily Mirror reports that QPR chief Tony Fernandes is flying in from the USA to deliver the termination in person following yet another home defeat against distinctly beatable opposition.

The Sun carries a similar report, though adding that it's a dressing room rift that is to blame for the team's woes and suggesting that he could yet survive to lose another day. The Telegraph also has hope for Hughes, reporting that shareholder talks are set to take place this week and that Hughes will remain in post until after next weekend's match against Manchester United.

In the day's transfer news, Mario Balotelli is set to be the subject of bids from AC Milan, Inter Milan and Paris St Germain in January, according to The Sun.

The Daily Mail claims that Arsenal's Theo Walcott will not be allowed to leave the Emirates in January, even if he continues to refuse a new deal and therefore engineers a free transfer in the summer.

The Daily Mirror reports that Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers is considering moves for Reading defender Alex Pearce and Villarreal striker Giuseppe Rossi - a former Manchester United player.

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