Kroos up for United move: Bayern Munich superstar Toni Kroos is ready to join Manchester United, according to a Daily Mirror exclusive. The paper claims that the Germany international has told team-mates he is determined to make a summer switch to Old Trafford - and that United are prepared to break the bank with a £40 million bid and £200,000-a-week wages to get their man. Bayern are unwilling to sell up, but the report states that such a figure may test their resolve, after the player informed his current colleagues that he would rather be first choice than play second fiddle to Bastian Schweinsteiger in Munich.
Paper Round's view: Stories about players telling their mates about their plans should always be taken with a pinch of salt, especially since in this case neither Kroos nor any of said team-mates have gone on the record to confirm his intentions. Yet this story, regardless of authenticity, could well play into the hands of United, who are clearly desperate for an acquisition like Kroos. How will Bayern players react now they suspect one of their own wants out? It could be the first step towards "an untenable situation", and a scenario which might yet see Bayern relent and allow him to leave.
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Pochettino appears on Spurs radar with Sherwood's time up: Tim Sherwood's reign as Tottenham manager will still end in the summer, despite last night's 5-1 thumping of Sunderland. Both the Daily Mail and The Telegraph run with the line that Sherwood will leave White Hart Lane at the end of the current campaign, with the latter claiming that Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino is emerging as an increasingly serious candidate to replace him. Netherlands boss Louis van Gaal remains the favourite to succeed Sherwood, but The Telegraph's report states that Spurs chairman Daniel Levy has been impressed by Pochettino's brand of football - and that the Argentine may bring Saints midfielder Adam Lallana with him to north London. The Daily Mirror, meanwhile, says that Sherwood could quit as Tottenham manager before the end of the season after finally accepting his fate.
Paper Round's view: You'd think that a five-goal mauling would ease the pressure on Sherwood somewhat, but there was never any chance of that and the club could well have already made up their mind about his future. Certainly their statement in the wake of yesterday's initial sacking reports lacked any of the assurances normally reserved for a man they really wanted to stay. They will review the situation at the end of the season, but short of a string of incredible results in the run-in and Champions League qualification, the team's progress may not be sufficient to persuade Levy to keep him in a job.
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Doubts over Wenger future: The Daily Mail reports that cracks are beginning to emerge in Arsenal's cast-iron belief that Arsene Wenger will sign a new deal in the summer. It has emerged that members of the Frenchman's backroom staff are being kept in the dark over his future, leading to fears that he may not put pen to paper on the new £8million-per-season contract that has been on the table for months. Wenger has the backing of majority shareholder Stan Kroenke but recent results and the lack of concrete information have added to a growing feeling of uncertainty.
Paper Round's view: Wenger must be wondering what he has to do before people understand that he will not discuss renewing his contract until the season is over. One can now assume that moratorium includes his backroom staff, who must just have to suck it up until the current campaign is over. With so much to gain still this season - and so much to lose - Wenger is simply being prudent in not talking things through with anyone. The next few weeks will shape any decision he makes, as he has always said, and to make promises before then, which he may have to later break, would clearly be unwise.
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Newcastle's French revolution to end: Newcastle are bracing themselves for a mass exodus of French players this summer, reports the Daily Star. Hatem Ben Arfa is certain to leave, while Sylvain Marveau and Garbriel Obertan will also be shipped out. Loic Remy has given no indication he wants to prolong his loan stay from QPR and there are also question marks over Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa's long-term future. And while Mathieu Debuchy is in manager Alan Pardew's plans, he is being watched closely by Paris St German, who signed Yohan Cabaye from Newcastle in January. That would leave just Moussa Sissoko, Yoan Gouffran and Massadio Haidara to make up the Magpies' Gallic contingent.
Paper Round's view: Newcastle fans should not be too concerned by this story - none of the permanently signed players mentioned have lived up to expectations, with the exception of Ben Arfa on occasion, and a summer clear-out could be what is needed at St. James'. Whether that includes the manager is open to debate, but at least the sale of some of these players should finance some new blood. Just Remy and his goals will be missed, but his desire to go elsewhere - reportedly Arsenal - would be entirely understandable.
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- Sports & Recreation
- Manchester United
- Tim Sherwood
- Mauricio Pochettino
- Bayern Munich
- Daily Mirror
- Arsene Wenger