‘Neville in furious beach row’ - No sooner had the England party arrived in Rio de Janeiro than one prominent member of the backroom staff was caught up in a very public argument, according to a report in the Guardian. Having checked in to the team hotel half an hour earlier, Gary Neville, Sky pundit and one of Roy Hodgson’s assistants, went for a walk on Sao Conrado beach along with other members of England’s staff. He then told the photographers and cameramen following him to leave him alone, putting his hand over the camera lens and swearing furiously at the man.
Paper Round’s view: Well, this is just perfect for England’s ‘happy camp’ stance, isn’t it. To be fair to Neville, though, getting angry at an invasion of his privacy on a quiet walk on the beach is pretty understandable in his position after a long flight and incessant media talk. The website Globoesporte also reported that he blocked a camera lens and swore angrily, shouting at one cameraman: “Do you speak English? Back off. I just want to walk on the beach.” Oh dear.
‘United eager to offload Fellaini’ - Manchester United will listen to offers for midfielder Marouane Fellaini and are prepared to offload the 26-year-old for £15m having bought him for £27.5m last summer under former boss David Moyes, according to a report in The Times. United will now look to offload Fellaini this summer, little more than nine months since the club made the Belgium midfielder the fourth most expensive signing in their history.
Paper Round’s view: Moyes’s first recruit as United manager, Fellaini endured a miserable debut season at Old Trafford after his £27.5 million move from Everton in September, a combination of injuries and poor form inviting widespread frustration among supporters. Will he recover to have a much improved second season? Well, without his biggest fan in Moyes he may well not be given an opportunity to prove that he can still deliver under Louis van Gaal. No one was ever really sure where he fitted into United’s formation or long-term plans.
‘Shaw’s departure from Southampton in doubt’ – Luke Shaw’s move to Manchester United is now in doubt with Van Gaal eyeing a swoop for Barcelona's Jordi Alba, according to the Daily Express. The report now indicates that van Gaal has earmarked Alba as the ideal alternative with the player known for his ability to run from deep. The Saints have declared that they are in no position to sell their star assets and that no decision will be made on any player until they appoint a new manager.
Paper Round’s view: United have reportedly handed the Dutch manager a £200m transfer kitty and the left-back position has been highlighted as one that needs strengthening. New Barcelona coach Luis Enrique is quickly stamping his authority on the Calatan club's squad although it is thought that he is keen to keep the full-back. The delay in waiting for Southampton over the Shaw transfer appears to have forced United to look at alternative signings who can replace ageing French international Patrice Evra. Alba is undoubtedly a very fine player in that position but quite whether Enrique would be happy to see him leave this summer having only just inherited him is much more unlikely.
‘Arsenal target new full-back’ - Arsenal are lining up a move for Southampton right-back Calum Chambers, after accepting Bacary Sagna will leave on a free transfer, that’s according to the Daily Mirror. The 19-year-old has emerged as a leading candidate to take over from Sagna, who has opted to join Manchester City on a Bosman. Arsenal are now primed to pounce to secure his services after sending representatives to watch him during recent Euro Championship qualifiers against Scotland and Ukraine. The Gunners have monitored the right-back since he broke into the Saints' first team on the opening day of the last campaign in a win at West Brom.
Paper Round’s view: Well, this would certainly not be the ‘improvement’ that Arsenal fans will be looking for this summer as Arsene Wenger is urged to take a top-four side and turn them into Premier League title contenders at last. Chambers may well be a fine talent, but providing little more than long-term competition for Carl Jenkinson is a distinctly underwhelming proposition for Gunners supporters. He has impressed for the England U19s, but quality experienced players are what the club need to build on the promising start to the last campaign.
- Sports & Recreation
- Gary Neville
- Marouane Fellaini
- Manchester United