‘Van Gaal eyes Arsenal job despite United, Spurs links’ - Job-hunting Louis van Gaal is waiting for Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger to commit his future to the Emirates before deciding on his own next move, according to a report in the Sunday People. The Holland national side boss was in line to take over from Tim Sherwood at Tottenham in the summer, but he is now hedging his bets in case Wenger goes. Old Trafford is another potential Premier League berth for Van Gaal, with the veteran set to effectively take his pick from the top English clubs over the summer.
Paper Round’s view: On Saturday, United dismissed reports from Holland that Van Gaal had held talks with chief executive Ed Woodward with a United spokesman reportedly saying: “No such meeting took place”. It looks as though the Dutchman, who will leave his Holland job after the World Cup, is using them as a stalking horse ahead of negotiations with Spurs. Van Gaal’s clear interest if the Gunners' top job becomes available seems to be yet more evidence that he is keeping all his options open.
‘United to swoop for both Lallana and Shaw’ - Moyes is planning a double raid for Southampton duo Adam Lallana and Luke Shaw as he begins to rebuild Manchester United, according to a report in the Sunday Express. Southampton will fight to keep the highly-rated pair – and will demand top money if anybody wants to prise them away. Moyes is already close to winning the race for £20m-rated Shaw after Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho started to have second thoughts about bidding for the player. Lallana has a price tag of £15m-plus but is one player who has really caught the eye this season.
Paper Round’s view: Lallana is set to be part of England’s World Cup campaign in Brazil and so it would make sense if United would like to push through a deal before the tournament kicks off in June. The legitimate fear inside Old Trafford could be that the price for Lallana could rocket if he has a good tournament and other clubs become interested. Moyes is clearly ready to spend a large chunk of the reported £150m transfer kitty he has at his disposal and he will surely be keen to make early moves rather than see big targets get away from him as was the case over the summer. Can he secure big moves before the World Cup? If he takes the initiative it could pay off.
'Arsenal eye Toulouse defender' - Arsenal are lining up a summer move for Toulouse defender Serge Aurier to replace Bacary Sagna, according to the Daily Star. Arsene Wenger is keen to add reinforcements in the summer, and Aurier is believed to be high on the Frenchman’s list. Current Gunners full-back Sagna is stalling on signing a new deal amid speculation linking him to a number of top European sides, which has, in turn, forced Wenger to scour Ligue 1 for a new defender. The Ivory Coast international – who is rated at £15m – has been in fine form for Toulouse this season and has attracted interest from around the globe, though it is believed he would favour a move to the Premier League.
Paper round’s view: If reports are to be believed then 31-year-old Sagna, whose contract is due to expire in the summer, will snub a new deal at the Emirates Stadium and favour a move to Europe. In that case, Wenger will need to strengthen his back line following yet another disappointing Premier League campaign. With Carl Jenkinson Arsenal’s only other recognised senior right-back, Wenger will be hoping to bolster his squad and would do well to secure the signature of Aurier – who has been described as the Dani Alves of Ligue 1.
'City target Chelsea’s Lukaku' - Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini is hoping to acquire the services of Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku in the summer, according to The Sun. The 20-year-old forward has spent the season on loan with Everton and has, once again, attracted much attention having scored 13 Premier League goals to date. The Belgian international has been overlooked by Chelsea during the last two seasons and has subsequently been sent out on loan. It is thought that Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho will look to offload Lukaku in the summer, which has put a number of Premier League sides on alert – notably Manchester City, who look increasingly likely to lose forward Edin Dzeko when the transfer window opens.
Paper round’s view: Chelsea forwards Fernando Torres and Demba Ba have struggled during the last two campaigns which begs the question why Lukaku has been able to leave Stamford Bridge on loan. The Belgian striker netted on 17 occasions whilst playing for West Brom last season and looks increasingly likely to match, or even better, that tally this term. But if reports are to be believed then Jose Mourinho will let Lukaku depart in the summer, and, with Manchester City keen on adding to their frontline, it’s not inconceivable to see the striker strutting his stuff at the Etihad next season.
- Sports & Recreation
- Premier League
- Arsene Wenger
- Van Gaal
- Manchester United
- Jose Mourinho
- Bacary Sagna