Three Lions primed to attack: Several of today's back pages lead with Roy Hodgson's assertion that he will send out his England side to attack Italy in their World Cup opener. The Three Lions boss has vowed to turn the table and put the Azzurri on the back foot in Manaus. Hodgson also indicated he has a plan to stop Italy danger man Andrea Pirlo, who was so instrumental the last time to two nations met at a major tournament, in the quarter-finals of Euro 2012 in Kiev.
Paper Round's view: Hodgson identified Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard as players Italy should be concerned about, but with the likes of Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling at his disposal - two pacy, exciting but relatively unknown players (on the international stage) who are capable of instilling the fear of God into opponents - it seems sensible to go out on the front foot. Everyone's expecting another 0-0 draw in the Amazon heat, but if Hodgson's plan is implemented, there could yet be goals.
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Mourinho claims England can win World Cup: The back page of the Sun is devoted to Jose Mourinho's outlandish claim that England have the quality to go all the way in Brazil. But equally, the Chelsea manager will not be surprised in England go out in the first round. Mourinho said: “I am always expecting something good from England but I am never surprised when things go wrong."
Paper Round's view: That's a pretty succinct summation of how an entire nation feels. Even this time around, with expectation at a low not seen for many years, we have still allowed a modicum of hope creep in amongst the excitement of the upcoming tournament. Roy Hodgson and his players have to talk up their chances - why would they be in the job if they didn't believe in themselves? - and it's easy to allow that to influence our mindset ahead of the big kick-off. Yet 'failure' is almost inevitable, and if and when that does come around, like Mourinho, few will be surprised.
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Hazard eases Chelsea fears: Eden Hazard has said he is not leaving Chelsea this summer and revealed he is in talks over a new contract. The Daily Express reports the playmaker told Le Derniere Heure that he is "100 per cent" staying put that reported suitors Paris Saint Germain "never made any suggestions to me personally".
Paper Round's view: It always seemed unlikely that Hazard would leave Stamford Bridge this summer, even with a monster offer on the table from the other end of the Channel Tunnel. These rumours were persisting even after Chelsea had handed Hazard the number 10 shirt for next season, but perhaps they can be put to bed now, once and for all.
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Arsenal boosted over Morata: Alvaro Morata is free to leave Real Madrid, giving Arsenal a massive transfer boost, reports the Sun. The Spain U21 forward has been monitored by Arsene Wenger for six months and now the Gunners have been given the green light to make a move after Real boss Carlo Anceolotti revealed the club are willing to sanction the player's exit.
Paper Round's view: Finally, it seems Arsenal will now land their target. Morata wants more playing minutes, Real agree, and Arsenal could be able to provide that for him - it's all adding up to a done deal.
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De Jong targeted for Prem return: Arsenal and QPR are monitoring Nigel de Jong's situation at AC Milan after his close ally Clarence Seedorf was sacked by the Rossoneri. The Sun reports that De Jong had hinted he would consider a return to the Premier League if Seedorf lost his job as Milan manager. With Seedorf now unemployed and Filipo Inzaghi installed as Milan's new boss, both the Gunners and QPR are ready to sound out De Jong. The paper claims the midfielder is "outraged his big mate has been replaced by youth-team boss Inzaghi".
Paper Round's view: De Jong is still a fantastic player and would be a fine asset for either club. Arsenal, certainly, have been looking to beef up their midfield for years now and De Jong would bring a certain degree of 'edge' to Wenger's squad. He may not be popular with opposition fans, but the Dutch hard man could well be a popular signing in north London.
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City expected to finalise double swoop: Manchester City are set to soon complete the signings of Fernando and Bacary Sagna, reports the Daily Mail. Defensive midfielder Fernando will set City back £14.5m, with a deal expected to be sealed this week. Sagna, meanwhile, should sign once his contract with Arsenal officially expires. And City are still interested in Porto's Eliaquim Mangala, but he wants to wait until after the World Cup before sorting out his future.
Paper Round's view: Two very good signings for City it rather, well, un-City like. At £14.5m, Fernando could well be the bargain of the summer, while Sagna will arrive at the Etihad on a free. Is Financial Fair Play finally coming into play in the blue half of Manchester?
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Cole to sign for Villa: Joe Cole is to complete a shock move to Aston Villa today, claims the Daily Express. The midfielder, released by West Ham, underwent a medical at Villa Park last night ahead of penning a deal with the Midlands club that will see him take a pay cut.
Paper Round's view: Any club signing Cole knows they are taking a risk, given his injury history, but the free transfer and pay cut he has accepted should help ease that particular burden for Paul Lambert. Indeed, Lambert is playing the transfer market game with a degree of intelligence, given the constraints he is facing this summer, and Cole could yet turn out to be value for money.
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- Sports & Recreation
- Roy Hodgson
- Jose Mourinho
- Eden Hazard
- Paper Round
- Alvaro Morata