United to go all out to land Shaw: Manchester United are prepared to break the bank to land 18-year-old Southampton defender Luke Shaw in the summer by offering the England international a staggering £75,000-a-week deal. And, despite interest from Chelsea, the Daily Star claims David Moyes believes that United are in pole position to land him. If Shaw, who made his England debut during the week against Denmark, were to sign terms at Old Trafford, it would make him the highest paid teenager in English football history, ahead of United’s Adnan Januzaj and Arsenal’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. The paper adds that Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is currently reluctant to match Saints’ £30 million valuation but Moyes is willing to stump up the cash for one of the hottest prospects in English football.
Paper Round's view: Moyes may be backed to the hilt by United's owners once this summer's transfer window opens, but you still can't help but get the feeling that Shaw will sign for Chelsea, one way or another. He supported the club as a boy, his heroes are Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard, and his parents live round the corner from their Cobham training base. It's easy to see why Moyes would want to go all out for him though - if they could beat Chelsea and City to his signature, it would certainly be something of a coup, especially if United fail to reach the Champions League next season.
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English players ready to leave foreign-dominated City: The Daily Mirror claims that Manchester City are set for a player revolt as members of the club’s home guard become increasing disillusioned with a lack of chances under their Chilean boss Manuel Pellegrini. City's starting XI in the Capital One Cup final against Sunderland did not contain a single Englishman and players like Micah Richards, Joleon Lescott and Jack Rodwell could all leave in the summer. The paper does note that Joe Hart and James Milner are first-team regulars but did not play at Wembley.
Paper Round's view: The report stops short of accusing Pellegrini of being anti-English, but the clear insinuation is that the English players mentioned will leave the club because their nationality does not fit the bill at Eastlands. What the article fails to mention is that Richards, Lescott and Rodwell simply haven't been good enough to become first-choice picks for Pellegrini, who has a wealth of other, better, players at his disposal. And those other players picked for the game at Wembley - at the expense of Hart and Milner too - entirely justified the manager's team selection. Those aggrieved players are well within their rights to want to move on, should that be the case, but to suggest their nationality is to blame, rather than any kind of form, is off the mark.
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Arsenal fuming at Agger over Wilshere tackle: Arsenal are upset with Liverpool defender Dan Agger over the challenge that hit Jack Wilshere's World Cup dream. The Daily Telegraph reports that the Gunners are less than impressed with the Dane, whose tackle left Wilshere with a hairline fracture of his foot after the friendly at Wembley on Wednesday. The England midfielder now stands to miss out on this summer's tournament after manager Roy Hodgson said he would not take unfit players to Brazil.
Paper Round's view: Arsenal's fury that one of their best players will miss six crucial weeks of their season is understandable, but to target Agger seems a touch unfair. Wilshere himself said he would not pull out of a tackle so why should Agger be expected to? Injuries happen in friendlies, just as they do in competitive games, and while the outcome of this particular challenge was regrettable, Agger should not have to take the blame.
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Inter target Podolski: Inter Milan are keen on Arsenal forward Lukas Podolski, the Daily Mirror reports. The Italian giants have made enquiries about the Germany international and are interested in making a summer move, the paper claims. Arsenal are believed to want back the £11m they paid for the 28-year-old, but it remains to be seen if they are prepared to sell. Meanwhile, the Metro has some quotes from Podolski's agent, who says Inter could be an attractive proposition. "At the moment we do not know what will happen in the future. Inter is an interesting club that wants to invest as it has recently also signed (Manchester United's Nemanja) Vidic," said Nassim Touihri.
Paper Round's view: It wouldn't be a surprise if Podolski wanted out of the Emirates - opportunities have been limited for him there - and the chance to play for Inter would be tempting for any player. Throw in a wealthy owner who is willing to invest in his team, a salivating agent and a manager who is keen on the player, and we could have ourselves a deal in the summer.
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United watch France striker: David Moyes watched Antoine Griezmann make his debut for France on Wednesday night, according to a brief report in the Daily Mirror. The 22-year-old has scored 20 goals for Real Sociedad this season and played against United in the Champions League. United scout David Friio said: “Griezmann would bring something. His versatility and technique, in a tournament where space is limited, are real assets. You can’t score 15 goals in a great league without having real qualities.” Arsenal are also tracking the rising star.
Paper Round's view: Twenty goals in La Liga should not be sniffed at all and Griezmann is clearly a decent player. Whether he's the right man for United and whether he is willing to swap starring in Spain for a bit-part role in England, however, is open to debate.
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- Sports & Recreation
- Manchester United
- David Moyes
- Luke Shaw
- Manuel Pellegrini
- Manchester City
- Jack Wilshere
- Lukas Podolski