Comment & analysis round-up
Quote of the day: “Now we’ve got a manager who’s won it all in a variety of clubs. Overall we have a good potential to challenge everyone and I believe we can do it. City have the same squad, Carlos Tevez apart, and they will bring players in to make the team as strong as possible. They have a great, experienced manager. David Moyes is experienced and he will find a great team, so if he wants to add players he will. I still see those two as the main threat. Arsenal are now under pressure. The manager is under pressure as everyone keeps reminding him of all the time since he won a title. They will want to show that they are there to challenge. It will be Chelsea and those three teams. Tottenham will be there, and Liverpool will want to improve.” – Petr Cech.
Wayne Rooney wants Fergie climbdown
Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney still wants Alex Ferguson climb-down over his alleged transfer request (David Maddock, Daily Mirror) Wayne Rooney returns to Manchester United for pre-season tests on Wednesday facing the most important assessment of all – over where his future lies. England striker Rooney will have a second round of talks with boss David Moyes within the next 48 hours, after both men laid out their positions in a secret meeting recently. And Rooney’s fate will be decided by how he reacts to a meeting over a meal between Moyes and the player’s advisors, where the new manager will set out the vision for his United. Sources close to Moyes, who only officially began his new job on Monday, suggest he is still hoping to find a solution that allows the striker to stay.
Edinson Cavani is too expensive for Chelsea
Chelsea face paying full £53m to sign Edinson Cavani as Paris Saint-Germain come steaming in (Martin Lipton, Daily Mirror) Chelsea will have to smash the British transfer record again if they are to land prime target Edinson Cavani. Blues will need to go to £53million after French moneybags Paris Saint-Germain began an all-out assault to persuade Cavani to leave Napoli for Ligue 1. And with the French champions prepared to meet Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis’ demands for the full buy-out clause written into the Uruguay striker’s contract, it leaves Chelsea facing a significant dilemma. While Jose Mourinho wants the Uruguayan, believing he is the ideal line-leader for next season’s revamped team, Chelsea have signaled they will not be held to ransom.
Chelsea want Rooney & Lewandowski
Rooney and Lewandowski head Chelsea’s striker wish-list after Cavani price rockets (Matt Barlow, Daily Mail) Chelsea will step up their pursuit of Wayne Rooney and Robert Lewandowski after Paris Saint-Germain tabled a £43million bid for Napoli striker Edinson Cavani yesterday. Roman Abramovich does not want to be dragged into a bidding war for top target Cavani even though the French champions, bankrolled by Qatari billions, are still £11m short of triggering the Uruguayan’s release clause. Abramovich smashed the British transfer record when he paid Liverpool £50m for Fernando Torres in January 2011 and, although he is determined to support Jose Mourinho in the transfer market he is wary of another massive investment in a 26-year-old.
Arsenal target Gareth Barry
Cash ‘n Barry (Shaun Custis, Sun) Arsenal have targeted England’s Gareth Barry. SunSport can reveal the Gunners have been checking out Barry’s position at Manchester City — where he has a year left to run on his £100,000-a-week deal. Arsenal would not match those wages and do not necessarily see the 32-year-old as a regular starter. But they could put a two-year deal on the table on lower terms which may interest Barry.
Bent frozen out at Villa
Aston Villa freeze out Darren Bent and leave former England striker to ponder his future (Luke Edwards, Daily Telegraph) Darren Bent has returned to pre-season training at Aston Villa to discover he has been frozen out of the first‑team squad by Paul Lambert as Newcastle United look into offering the England international an escape route. Bent has been told to move out of the first-team dressing room at the training ground and ordered to train in a small group of outcasts alongside Stephen Ireland and Alan Hutton. He has also been informed he will not be considered for selection for any of the club’s pre-season friendlies and will not be included in any squads should he remain at Villa after the close of the summer transfer window.
Shelvey set for Swansea
Shelvey’s a Swan (Tony Little, Sun) Swansea last night agreed a £6million deal for Liverpool midfield ace Jonjo Shelvey.
The England-capped star spent three years at Anfield after making a £1.7m move from Charlton and only signed a new deal 12 months ago. Swans boss Michael Laudrup landed the 21-year-old despite strong interest from his former club West Ham, Norwich and Crystal Palace. Swans chairman Huw Jenkins revealed yesterday he had opened discussions with the Reds — and SunSport understands a deal was agreed late last night.
McClaren brought in as a coach at QPR
Steve McClaren joins Queens Park Rangers’ coaching staff (Dom Fifield, Guardian) Steve McClaren is back in English football after agreeing a short-term deal, understood to stretch initially to three months, to join Harry Redknapp’s coaching staff at Queens Park Rangers in the Championship. The former England manager has been out of work since his second spell in charge of the Dutch club, FC Twente, was curtailed in February and will take up coaching duties at Loftus Road as the club seek a swift return to the top flight. Redknapp is already working with his erstwhile assistant, Kevin Bond, and the first-team coach Joe Jordan, with Steve Cotterill having also coached within the set-up on a short-term basis since January. The former Cheltenham and Burnley manager left the club at the end of last season.
Confederations Cup analysis
Confederations Cup: Five things we learned (Jonathan Wilson, Guardian) Yes, they beat Spain 3-0 and, yes, they improved as the tournament went on but this Brazil side still have major flaws. The forward surges of Marcelo and Dani Alves can leave them dreadfully exposed at the back, particularly when both go at the same time. It’s true that Luiz Gustavo and Paulinho became increasingly adept at covering for them as the tournament progressed, and that relationship should improveover the next 12 months, but even so, Brazil again and again were saved by David Luiz, who popped up to resolve crises with the implausible regularity of an Agatha Christie detective.