WOODWARD HOLDS VAN GAAL TALKS
Tuesday brought news of Jose Mourinho’s ‘£16m pay cut‘ to take over at Manchester United; Wednesday has Louis van Gaal ‘edging closer to the United axe’.
According to The Sun, executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward was ‘locked’ in discussions at the club’s London HQ on Tuesday afternoon, with Van Gaal’s future the topic of discussion. Neil Custis adds that the board ‘was uncertain’ over whether Van Gaal ‘should be dismissed immediately or given a stay of execution’. ‘His time is running out,’ Custis writes.
So talks were held into the evening, but the club are no closer to deciding whether Van Gaal should stay or not. Grand.
The Sun also tell us that Sir Alex Ferguson was not involved in said talks, this despite reports to the contrary on Tuesday. It appears that the whole ‘championing David Moyes’ thing has harmed his and the club’s relationship.
The Daily Telegraph add that Van Gaal will not resign from his post. Shocker.
OH FOR FU…
‘Jose Mourinho’s first move as Man United manager would be to sign Wesley Sneijder,’ reads the headline on The Sun website. That makes it 427 consecutive transfer windows.
VARDY PARTY CONTINUES
The battle for the signing of Jamie Vardy threatens to be the most underwhelming transfer saga of recent times, and the Daily Telegraph add a further line on Wednesday. Manchester City are now interested.
According to Football News Correspondent Matt Law, City ‘have made a tentative check’ on the Leicester striker. What does a ‘tentative check’ entail? Does it involve sneakily looking at the list of top goalscorers this season? Checking Wikipedia for the best players of the current league leaders? Phoning Leicester before hanging up in a panic?
Law adds that City’s interest is nowhere near as concrete as that of Chelsea, but any potential injury to Sergio Aguero could instigate a move. Vardy is eligible for the Champions League, and, of course, is home-grown.
The Daily Express have more City striker news, with claims that Wilfried Bony will seek talks with Manuel Pellegrini over his future.
OZIL STAYING, FLAMINI GOING
Two bits of Arsenal contract news now. Sami Mokbel of the Daily Mail says that a new long-term deal for Mesut Ozil ‘will become a priority’ in the new year. Ozil, currently on £140,000 a week at the Emirates, will receive an offer reflecting his increased standing in the squad.
Alexis Sanchez is also in line for an upgrade on his £130,000-a-week deal, but Mokbel states that Arsenal will keep Ozil as their highest earner.
But there is bad news from the Daily Mirror. They report that Manuel Flamini will leave the club at the end of his current deal, which expires in the summer. Just when everything was looking rosy.
AND THE REST
Chelsea have moved closer to the £30million signing of Alex Teixeira after the Shakhtar Donetsk attacking midfielder verbally agreed to their offer…Saido Berahino will attempt to resurrect his transfer to Tottenham next month having become increasingly isolated at West Brom…Aston Villa are considering Leicester City midfielder Gokhan Inler and Bodeaux winger Wahbi Khazri as possible transfer targets for next month…Aston Villa are prepared to offer West Ham reject Morgan Amalfitano a route back into the Premier League…West Ham have placed an £18million price tag on Andy Carroll in anticipation of Newcastle United resurrecting their interest in their former striker…Bournemouth have gazumped Watford with a £16.2million move for Roma winger Juan Iturbe, on an initial loan…Dutch club Groningen will move for Liverpool’s 19-year-old Jerome Sinclair in January. Espanyol are also interested in the striker…Tottenham could be about to loan out Kevin Wimmer to Marseille…Sunderland have joined Newcastle in the hunt for Marseille striker Michy Batshuayi…Ashley Cole is ready to make a fresh start by following Steven Gerrard to LA Galaxy.