It's all Fergie's fault: Former Manchester United skipper Roy Keane has blamed the club's decline this season on Sir Alex Ferguson's policy of “cutting corners” in the transfer market. The story appears in several papers, but the Daily Express goes big on it with a stark headline plastered across its back page. The paper reports: "Keane says the failure to bring in enough top quality players in recent years has finally caught up with the club and has left Ferguson’s successor David Moyes with a huge re-building job".
Paper Round's view: It's a great headline from the Express, although at no point in his musings does Keane actually name Ferguson. Instead the Irishman refers only to the club - “United need five or six players. They’ve kind of cut corners in terms of transfers in the last few years, they’ve not gone out and got the big players and it has just caught up with them this year." The "cut corners" he refers to could just as easily be a jibe at those who hold the purse strings at the club, rather than an another (albeit entirely plausible) direct attack on his former manager.
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Arsenal eye up new Ozil: Arsenal scouts are running the rule over a potential successor to Mesut Ozil, according to the Daily Mirror. The Gunners, along with Italian champions Juventus, are keeping tabs on Wolfsburg's highly promising young attacking midfielder Maximilian Arnold. The 19-year-old Germany U21 international is under contract until 2015 and has a buy-out clause of around £8 million.
Paper Round's view: Now Ozil is officially rubbish (really?), it's entirely understandable that Arsenal are already thinking of a possible successor in his position (really?). And considering Arsene Wenger's current penchant for German players (Podolski, Mertesacker, Gnabry etc), it's easy to see the attraction of Arnold. But really? A new Ozil already? He's had a couple of games in which he's been off the boil, that's all. It's not yet time to hit the panic button and discard him as an expensive flop.
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Hazard happy to stay at Chelsea: Eden Hazard has refuted any suggestions he is interested in a move to moneybags Paris Saint-Germain in the summer, reports the Daily Star. The Belgium ace has reportedly been the subject of some attention from the Ligue 1 champions, with manager Laurent Blanc keen to take Hazard back to France to link up in his midfield with Yohan Cabaye next season. But the playmaker has said he "does not care" about PSG's interest and that he has "never thought of leaving Chelsea".
Paper Round's view: The quotes in the Star report come from French paper l'Equipe, often the source of many a 'lost in translation' moment. But in this case it seems pretty black and white: Hazard is happy where he is and has no intention of moving to Paris or anywhere else, certainly not at the end of the current season.
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Hodgson to decide on Terry today: The Daily Telegraph reports that England manager Roy Hodgson will clarify whether John Terry has a future with the national side today. There has been a public clamour to recall the centre-back, given his excellent recent form. But the report says it would still be a "huge surprise" if he were to reverse his decision to retire from international football, taken in September 2012, after he fell out badly with the FA over the Anton Ferdinand racial abuse case.
Paper Round's view: Is there any way this can possibly happen? So acrimonious was Terry's initial exit from the England set-up, it seems impossible he can now perform a volte face and return. And let's not forget that Terry's current form might well have something to do with the fact he has been able to rest during international weeks. How will his 33-year-old body handle an international tournament at the end of a long, hard season with Chelsea, which could conceivably run beyond the conclusion of the Premier League campaign?
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Everton need top-four finish to keep Lukaku: Romelu Lukaku has hinted that he will go elsewhere next season unless Everton can secure a top-four finish this campaign. The Daily Mirror reports that the Belgium striker, on loan at Goodison Park from Chelsea, has demanded Champions League football next season and wants to be at a club that will challenge for trophies. And that has cast a dark cloud over his future at Everton, who want to make his loan deal permanent.
Paper Round's view: Lukaku has a great deal to thank Everton and Roberto Martinez for, but that does not mean he should hold his career back by staying with them beyond his current loan deal. He is now good enough to expect to be playing at the highest level and there will surely be plenty of Champions League clubs willing to take him on - not only in England - should Everton fail to finish in the top four. At the very least though, this story could inspire his Everton team-mates onto greater things.
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