German star to snub United
Kroos to reject United advances: Manchester United are set to miss out on the signing of German international Toni Kroos, according to The Guardian. David Moyes had pinned his hopes on the Bayern Munich midfielder joining the Red Devils, and had earmarked that signing to ignite a squad overhaul in the summer following a miserable campaign. Reports in the press had suggested that United officials had stayed in Munich following Wednesday’s night’s Champions League quarter-final defeat to the reigning European champions to thrash out a deal, but it is now believed that chances of signing the 24-year-old are “remote”. Volker Struth, Kroos’ agent, told German newspaper Bild that he believes his client would remain with the Bundesliga outfit beyond the current season. "We are confronted with a variety of rumours for months but at the moment I believe that Toni plays in Bavaria until 2015 at least."
Paper round’s view: Reports on Thursday morning that Old Trafford suits had hung around in Munich long after their team’s thrashing in order to try and tie up a deal for Kroos were laughable. Despite David Moyes’ insistence that United can “still sign top names”, it is hard to believe that the Germany star, who has helped knock both Manchester United and Arsenal out of the Champions League this term, would swap the current German and European champions for a season of uncertainty in the red half of Manchester. If Bayern are foolish enough not to offer Kroos a new contract then he may well leave, but there will surely be a queue of top European sides vying for his signature.
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Lukaku could make Everton move permanent: Everton boss Roberto Martinez has admitted that Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku, who has spent the season on loan with The Toffees, could move to Merseyside on a permanent basis, a report in the Mirror states. The Belgian international has netted on 13 occasions in the Premier League this season, and looks set to surpass his tally of 17 during the last campaign in which he spent on loan with West Brom. Speculation surrounds the 20-year-old’s future at parent club Chelsea, with reports suggesting that Blues boss Jose Mourinho is keen on offloading him in the summer – something Martinez will be keen on taking advantage of.
Paper round’s view: Any manager that has ever seen Lukaku play would surely be keen on acquiring the Belgian striker’s signature. However, it appears that Mourinho is, for some unknown reason, not too keen on him. The former Anderlecht striker has been overlooked by Chelsea during the last two seasons and has subsequently been sent out on loan, while the likes of Fernando Torres and Demba Ba continue to struggle at Stamford Bridge. Lukaku is obviously very happy playing his football at Goodison Park and especially under Martinez – his celebration following a goal in the 3-0 win over Arsenal, in which he sprinted to hug the Everton boss, proof of that. Chelsea would be foolish to let Lukaku leave in the summer, but it would be a terrific bit of business for the Toffees is they are able to seal the deal.
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Atletico target United’s Hernandez: According to a report in the Metro, Atletico Madrid are lining up a summer move for Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez. Speculation surrounds current Atletico striker Diego Costa’s future in the Spanish capital, with many reports suggesting that Atleti boss Diego Simeone is resigned to losing his most prized possession. If that is the case then Simeone will need to bolster his ranks if he is to attempt to replicate Los Rojiblancos’ success beyond this season, and Hernandez is believed to be one of many targets. The Mexican international has been out of favour with United boss David Moyes this season – making just 11 starts in all competitions. ‘Chicharito’ could be one of a number of players exiting the Old Trafford doors in the summer, and reports in Spanish newspaper El Mundo Deportivo state that Atleti are leading the chase for the 25-year-old’s signature.
Paper round’s view: In what has become a rotten season for the reigning Premier League champions, Hernandez has found games hard to come by under the much-scrutinised management of David Moyes. The Mexican netted on 18 occasions in all competitions during last season, but, due to a lack of time on the pitch, has scored just half that tally with only five games of the season remaining. Atleti’s Costa has become one of the most coveted strikers in European football following a stellar season in the Spanish capital, so it is no surprise to see him linked with a move to some of the world’s biggest and best teams. However, with Simeone’s men still fighting it out on domestic and European fronts – and they’re in with a good shout of winning both La Liga and the Champions League, too – they could easily keep hold of the Brazilian-born Spaniard. If the likes of Barca, Real, Bayern or even Man City come calling and he does leave, though, then Atleti will need a replacement. And although Hernandez isn’t quite on the same level as Costa, he will surely get them goals should he decide to make the switch.
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Arsenal target Remy to leave QPR: Queens Park Rangers boss Harry Redknapp has hinted that Loic Remy will leave the club in the summer, according to the Metro. French international Remy has spent the season on loan at Newcastle following QPR’s relegation to the Championship at the end of the last campaign. The news that Remy will leave Loftus Road has put Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger on alert, though the striker’s current club Newcastle are keen on making the move permanent. “Remy wants to play Champions League football next season, so they tell me. The chances of us keeping him are not great if he’s got a buy-out clause,” said Redknapp.
Paper round’s view: It was always likely that Remy would be leaving Loftus Road in the summer, even if Redknapp does manage to steer Rangers back into the Premier League. Just as ‘Arry says, Remy, a full French international, will want to be playing at the very highest level – something of which QPR cannot provide. Newcastle manager Alan Pardew will certainly try his all to make Remy’s deal permanent, but if the 27-year-old insists on playing for a side that can offer European football then there is very little the Magpies boss can do about it. Arsenal’s season looks set to tail off and finish with a whimper, and they could do with added firepower for next season. The only danger for the Gunners now is that they may still not qualify for the Champions League themselves, which would dent their chances of signing the QPR man.
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- Manchester United
- David Moyes
- Premier League
- Romelu Lukaku
- Bayern Munich