Comment & analysis round-up
Arsenal move for Rooney
Arsenal make £20million bid for Wayne Rooney as Man United insist he’s not for sale (Simon Mullock, Sunday Mirror) Arsenal have made a £20million bid for Wayne Rooney. The Gunners have fired the first shots in a bidding war that is sure to spark a response from Chelsea. Jose Mourinho has Rooney at the top of his Chelsea wish-list, and is expected to make a counter-bid in an effort to beat Arsene Wenger to the 27-year-old’s signature. But senior United sources last night insisted that Rooney is not for sale. New United boss David Moyes will meet Rooney this week to discuss the Arsenal bid and his future. United decide whether to sell Rooney to a Premier League rival – or hope that clubs like Paris St Germain and Monaco make a bid.
Wazza wants to stay
Moyes, Roo secret meeting (Charlie Wyett, Sunday Sun) David Moyeshas secretly met Wayne Rooney in a bid to persuade the troubled star to stay at Manchester United. During the hush-hush meeting, Rooney revealed his anger at Alex Ferguson’s claims he had handed in a transfer request. An insider confirmed: “There is little doubt the new boss wants to keep Wayne. Any suggestions the two don’t get on is complete rubbish. “It was an amicable meeting but it gave Wayne the chance to get a lot of things off his chest. “He’s always denied handing in a transfer request and like all top players, he was upset to be dropped, especially for the Real Madrid match.” England striker Rooney, 27, also opened up about his frustration at being axed by Fergie for big games last season and was dismayed the former boss seemed to question his fitness levels.
Wayne Rooney to discuss his future with Manchester United manager David Moyes (Jeremy Wilson, Daily Telegraph) Wayne Rooney will seek assurances about his prospective role in the team when he meets this week with David Moyes for the first time since his former Everton manager joined him at Manchester United. Moyes officially starts work at United on Monday and at the top of his in-tray is the need to solve Rooney’s future and decide whether to rival Manchester City and Bayern Munich in the pursuit of Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski. There is an expectation that Rooney will outline his desire to seek a new challenge and move on when he meets Moyes on the resumption of pre-season training on Wednesday but, according to sources, his future is far from decided and all options remain open. Rooney missed the end of last season amid claims from Sir Alex Ferguson that the 27-year-old had asked to leave and he was often not played in his preferred central striker’s position during a campaign in which Robin van Persie was United’s main focal point.
New deal for De Gea
De Gea’s savings to get boost (Phil Thomas, Sunday Sun) David De Gea is in line for a big pay rise as reward for his sparkling form at Manchester United last season. The keeper is under contract until 2016 but is way off Old Trafford’s big earners on around £55,000-a-week. But United’s top brass aim to sit down with the 22-year-old’s representatives this summer and discuss pumping his wages up to £75,000 — and silence talk of a move to Barcelona. The Spaniard, who has just helped his country win the European Under-21 Championship, was touted as a replacement for Barca’s Victor Valdes, before he decided to stay on another year.
Man City want Negredo, Cardozo & Fred
Alvaro Negredo becomes Manuel Pellegrini’s top target as Manchester City reign begins (Simon Mullock, Sunday Mirror) Manuel Pellegrini Manchester City reign will begin with a move for Sevilla striker Alvaro Negredo. Pellegrini is scheduled to finally arrive in Manchester to take up his new position after spending the last week back home in the Chilean capital of Santiago. His first task will be to bring a new striker to the Etihad after taking the decision to allow Carlos Tevez to join Juventus in a £10million deal. After losing out to Real Madrid in the race to sign Spanish wonderkid Isco from his former club Malaga, Pellegrini is now eyeing up another swoop on La Liga. City raided Sevilla earlier this month to sign Jesus Navas for £15million.
Cardozo and Fred top the City wishlist as Pellegrini turns to new striking targets (Joe Bernstein, Mail on Sunday) Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has turned his attention to Brazil striker Fred and Benfica’s Oscar Cardozo after personally pulling the plug on a move for Roberto Mancini’s favourite striker Edinson Cavani. Pellegrini, who is given the final say on transfers at the club despite the role of director of football Txiki Begiristain, does not want City to break the bank for Cavani after Napoli turned down an initial bid that fell well below the Italian club’s valuation of £54million.
David Villa keen on joining Spurs
Villa keen on joining Spurs over Fiorentina as Villas-Boas signals new formation (Rob Draper, Mail on Sunday) David Villa, the 31-year-old Barcelona striker, will decide between signing for Fiorentina or Tottenham next week. Villa, who is set to play for Spain against Brazil in the Confederations Cup final on Sunday night, is ready to commit to Spurs as long as they can resolve the issue over the £12million fee Barca expect to receive.
Confederations Cup final
Spain can teach Brazil a lesson in Confederations Cup final (Paul Wilson, Observer) Sunday’s Confederations Cup final at the Maracanã in Rio de Janeiro is the match-up everyone was hoping for, a possible preview of next year’s World Cup final with all-conquering Spain pitted against the ever-alluring hosts, even if it is somewhat startling to discover Brazil have slipped to a dismal 22nd in Fifa’s world rankings. They are probably not that bad, just as England were never that good when they briefly made the top three a few months ago, for the prosaic truth is simply that without the need to qualify for the tournament they will be staging this time next year – civil unrest permitting – Brazil have not been playing enough competitive games.
The Sylvain Distin expose
How Dairy (Sunday Sun) Football star Sylvain Distin had a three-year fling with a blonde after telling her he was a MILKMAN. The Everton love cheat later claimed he was a professional TENNIS PLAYER and a CYCLIST. When trusting Katie Hulne saw a snap of the £45,000-a-week French defender in his kit he said it was his twin. And, when she finally discovered he had a long-term partner, he lied that they were only together for the sake of their daughter.