Giggs to take over in three years: Louis van Gaal has only just taken over at Manchester United, but the Dutchman will hand the reins to assistant Ryan Giggs in three years. The Sun reports that the plan is to promote Giggs into the hotseat after Van Gaal has put the club back on track following the disastrous 10-month tenure of David Moyes. It has been made clear to Giggs that there will be no barriers to him getting the job by staying as an assistant, the report claims.
Paper Round's view: Three years is a long time in football - anything can happen between now and 2017 - and it seems a little premature to be suggesting Giggs will be United's new manager three years down the track. Who knows how he will develop as a coach? Who knows whether Van Gaal will be able to steady the ship? There are too many unknowns at the moment to say with any certainty that Giggs will be given the job and that is most likely why United have not said anything of the sort yet.
Toure wants to quit City: Yaya Toure is "bitterly upset" at Manchester City and wants to leave the club, according to an exclusive in today's Sun. The influential midfielder is so disillusioned at the Etihad that he would even take a pay cut to rejoin Barcelona. His agent Dimitry Seluk said: “Yaya is so upset he’s thinking of leaving City. There are a number of things that have happened that have left Yaya feeling bitterly upset. He must concentrate on the World Cup now. But City have treated him with disrespect and have really hurt him.”
Paper Round's view: Wow. What a bombshell. The mind boggles as to exactly how City have disrespected him, but clearly it's something serious enough for his agent to make these statements. The pay cut line - plus the fact City and Toure are coming off the back of a title-winning season - suggests that for once money isn't the issue and this could prove to be a real problem for City this summer. Toure's stock has never been higher and there will be no shortage of clubs willing to free him from his recently-signed contract with the Premier League champions.
- - -
No LvG banner in Stretford End: Manchester United fans have confirmed Van Gaal will not be honoured with a banner in the Stretford End. His predecessor David Moyes' 'Chosen One' banner proved an unmitigated disaster and has been taken down following his departure
but Van Gaal will not see his name in the stands next season. Instead, tenders are being asked for to fill the space with a message that is unrelated to the new manager, reports the Daily Mail.
Paper Round's view: Of course United fans would not go down the same route again, considering how badly the previous banner went down in the end. The irony is, of course, that Van Gaal cannot possibly do any worse than Moyes (can he?) and is will most likely be more deserving of acclaim from the stands. Still, they can always just sing their approval, can't they?
- - -
- - -
Cole to quit Chelsea: Ashley Cole will leave Chelsea this summer, reports The Sun. The left-back is out of contract in July and a "top Chelsea source" told the newspaper: “Ashley has played his last game for us. He is leaving for sure.” Liverpool and Inter Milan are two suggested possible destinations for the former England international. Jose Mourinho wants him to stay and the player has been offered a one-year extension but the defender has failed to agree terms with the club. Cole himself later tweeted that that Chelsea is not one of his options for next season.
Paper Round's view: This is inevitable, although it is interesting that he has been offered a new deal - one year, in accordance with the club's policy on older players. Clearly playing second fiddle to a right-back doesn't suit Cole and he feels he still has something to offer on the pitch. And it would be difficult to disagree with that. Chelsea's loss could well be Liverpool's gain.
- - -
Mangala doesn't like the sound of Manchester: Eliaquim Mangala would prefer a move to Chelsea over Manchester City because the Blues are based in London. The Porto defender has been heavily linked with a move to the Etihad, but he said Chelsea are leading the race for his signature due to the club's location. He also said, according to the Daily Mail, that he wants to move to a club that would offer him the best chances of winning silverware.
Paper Round's view: Mangala hails from just outside Paris, so perhaps being close to the St Pancras Eurostar terminus is an important factor for him, but if that is the case, perhaps someone should tell him that Manchester is just two hours on the train from London. It's hardly a big schlep. As for his comments about winning pots ("I am an ambitious player and the team that can help me win titles is the one that interests me") don't quite add up, given that City are the Premier League champions and Chelsea have just come off the back of a trophyless season.
- - -
Sagna to sign for City: Arsenal defender Bacary Sagna will put pen to paper on a £140,000-a-week deal with Manchester City after completing a medical with the new champions. The Daily Star reports that the France international has agreed a three-year deal with the Premier League champions and will sign before heading to Brazil for the World Cup. City's neighbours United offered Sagna £1m more, but the free agent wanted Champions League football. City's offer represents a fair amount more than Arsenal's final offer of £80,000-a-week for two years.
Paper Round's view: No surprises here. This move has been rumoured for weeks. Sagna seems to have played it beautifully - he'll rake in the cash at the Etihad until he is 33 years of age - but can he expect regular football at City? Pablo Zabaleta has been one of City's best players this season and would, on the face of it, seem to be difficult to dislodge from the right-back position. Unless the Argentine is to be shipped out, which would likely anger City fans - given Zabaleta's status among City supporters - and be highly unfair on him.
- - -
- Sports & Recreation
- Manchester United
- Manchester City
- Louis van Gaal
- David Moyes
- Yaya Toure
- Ashley Cole
- Paper Round