MOURINHO BREAKS FERGUSON
Louis van Gaal might feel that he’s had a decent week as Manchester United manager. The club advanced to the semi-finals of the FA Cup in midweek, before beating Aston Villa to move to within four points of both Manchester City and Arsenal in the quest for Champions League qualification.
Louis van Gaal would be wrong. The Manchester Evening News report that Jose Mourinho is now more certain than ever that he will replace the Dutchman as manager this summer.
It was thought that the main obstacle to Mourinho’s appointment beforehand was opposition from former boss Sir Alex Ferguson, who favoured current assistant Ryan Giggs for the role. But Samuel Luckhurst reports that the Scot has ‘surrendered’ in his bid to get the Welshman the job.
‘M.E.N. Sport understands Mourinho is yet to sign a contract with United, contrary to reports,’ adds Luckhurst, ‘but the former Chelsea manager expects to assume the role he coveted in 2013′. Mourinho and his agent, Jorge Mendes, have sought assurances from big cheese Ed Woodward.
Something of a footnote in Luckhurst’s story is Giggs’ future. The 42-year-old ‘might have to consider ending his 28-year association with United’ if Mourinho lands the job, it is claimed. Where could he go, and who would take a chance on a coach who has learned from the tenures of David Moyes and Van Gaal?
James Ducker of the Daily Telegraph reports that Mourinho has even ‘told his friends’ he will be manager at Old Trafford next summer. His friends have surely got the message by now.
‘Jurgen Klopp: This international midfielder deserves Liverpool deal,’ reads the headline on the Daily Star. Ooo, just look at that sexy intrigue.
The ‘international midfielder’ in question is Joe Allen, whose contract at Anfield expires next summer. The Welshman is keen to extend his stay, and his recent performances have been impressive.
Klopp remains relatively unmoved however, saying, after the victory over Bournemouth on Sunday: “We will see what happens but for me it is not the time to talk about his contract now.”
BERAHIN-OH FOR FU…
Are you ready for another transfer window in which Saido Berahino flutters his eyelashes at every other Premier League club, while West Brom outright refuse to sell him? Well you’d better be.
‘Stoke boss Mark Hughes admits Spurs are leading race for Saido Berahino,’ reads the headline on The Sun. Graham Hill is the culprit, and he writes: ‘STOKE boss Mark Hughes fears he will miss out on signing Saido Berahino.’
We must then wait until the fourth paragraph to read Berahino’s name once more, as Hill tells us: ‘The Potters chief did not mention Berahino by name ahead of tonight’s clash with Tottenham.’ Oh, he doesn’t actually mention him? Excellent.
The actual quotes from Mark Hughes are as follows:
“Spurs will always have an interest in quite a few players we are interested in.
“There are players out there who you express an interest in but because they are good players there’ll always be other teams involved.
“If we’re being realistic, if a player has a choice of Spurs or Stoke, then we could pitch up and make a good case for them to come here.”
Which translates to ‘Mark Hughes fears he will miss out on signing Saido Berahino.’ Of course it does.
AND THE REST
Manchester United had scouts at Sporting Lisbon’s 1-0 victory over Moreirense over the weekend to watch long-term target William Carvalho but also Joao Mario…Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has revived his interest for Leicester City left-back Ben Chilwell, 19, and also wants Fulham’s prodigious talent Ryan Sessegnon, 15…The future of Chelsea midfielder Oscar has been placed in further doubt after the Brazilian withdrew from the squad to face Manchester City…Antonio Conte has added Roma midfielder Leandro Paredes, on loan at Empoli, to his list of Chelsea targets…Manchester City want Juventus striker Alvaro Morata as a replacement for Wilfried Bony…Tottenham are willing to battle Barcelona for £6million Pescara forward Gianluca Lapadula after watching the Italian net another sensational goal against Cesena this weekend…Bournemouth are stepping up their interest in Southend’s Daniel Bentley, who is also wanted by Everton and Norwich City…Crystal Palace striker Marouane Chamakh is being lined up for a return to former club Bordeaux…Aston Villa want David Moyes as their next manager, but the former Everton and Manchester United boss is waiting to see what other options arise in the summer.