Comment & analysis round-up
Quote of the day: “If the managerial situation changes, I can assure you it will be somebody else coming in. It won’t be me. I’m not interested in being a manager. If he gets sacked, I will help to find somebody else. The best thing we can do at the club is bond together because we could all get the sack if things aren’t going right. We need to make sure we reach our target and keep the owner happy — otherwise we will all be out of work. I’m meeting Alan tomorrow for lunch. I’ve spoken to him on the phone. We are going to discuss our gameplan for the season… I’m not worried by what the fans say. Some of them are just talking out of their backside. I’ve certainly got more intelligence than them.” – Joe Kinnear.
How Andy Carroll Stopped Ashley Cole & Anton Ferdinand Brawling In LA
Ashley Cole in 2am stand-off with Anton Ferdinand (Tom Wells, Sun) Race row football rivals Ashley Cole and Anton Ferdinand came face-to-face in a 2am bust-up in a car park. The pair were separated by pals following a tense stand-off outside a nightclub in Los Angeles. Cole’s England team-mate Andy Carroll appeared to put a protective arm across him to keep the men apart.
Ronaldo To United, In 18 Months
Cristiano Ronaldo advised to stay at Real Madrid for another 18 months before making possible switch to Manchester United (Ian Herbert, Independent) Cristiano Ronaldo is privately being urged to wait 18 months before making his last big move in football – a strategy which could place him within financial reach of Manchester United… While United accept that they cannot compete this summer with the likely £85m bid from Monaco – a tax-free principality where he can become the world’s richest player – or Paris Saint Germain, the player is being advised that if he waits until he is out of contract in June 2015, he will be able to secure a colossal signing on-fee and substantial wages which would add up to a 140m euros (£118m) welcome home package.
Arsenal Keeping Kos, Higuain & Illarramendi To Sign
I’ll snub Barca and Bayern (Charlie Wyett, Sun) Laurent Koscielny will snub Bayern Munich AND Barcelona to remain at Arsenal. Koscielny’s agent, Stephane Courbois, had fuelled talk of a move by confirming that the defender is a summer target for Europe’s top clubs. But the £15million-rated France international, 27, has now told Gunners boss Arsene Wenger he is happy at the Emirates and is not interested in leaving.
Arsenal set to land £22m Higuain THIS WEEK… and they want Spanish U21 £10m ace Illarramendi too (Dominic King, Mail) Arsenal hope to end their nine-year wait to sign Gonzalo Higuain this week by making a club record £22million offer for the striker… Meanwhile, The Gunners are leading the chase for Spain Under 21 international Asier Illarramendi. The £10million-rated Real Sociedad defensive midfielder has been outstanding all season and has attracted attention from Real Madrid.
Liverpool and Arsenal to battle it out for West Brom’s 14-year-old wonderkid Yan Dhanda (Graeme Yorke, Mail) Liverpool are rivalling Arsenal for West Bromwich Albion wonderkid Yan Dhanda. The 14-year-old was signed up by Albion after being spotted in an Asian Soccer Star talent competition and his performances have already caught worldwide attention on the internet.
Kinnear Calls Out Toon Fans’ Intelligence, Makes Up Facts
I’m more intelligent than Toon fans, can speak to Wenger whenever I want, and have a proven record of success! Kinnear risks backlash with latest bizarre broadcast (Wayne Gardiner, Mail) Joe Kinnear faces fans’ fury after an interview in which Newcastle’s new director of football claimed he has ‘more intelligence’ than the club’s supporters… Kinnear, who struggled with some Newcastle players’ names as well as Llambias on talkSPORT, added: ‘I’m a bit surprised. There’s a certain section, exactly the same when I got there. I got over 10,000 letters when I had my heart attack, I felt very proud of that and thought I did an excellent job.’
Joe Kinnear muddies waters at Newcastle with shambolic interview (Louise Taylor, Guardian) During his conversation with Andy Goldstein and fellow former Wimbledon manager Bobby Gould, the 66-year-old claimed responsibility for signing Tim Krul [a goalkeeper recruited by Graeme Souness] as well as James Perch [bought by Chris Hughton], said “Derek Llambezee [Derek Llambias, Newcastle’s managing director] had resigned as director of football [a position he has never held]and talked about Shola Amenobee, Yohan Kebab and Hatem Ben Afre rather than Shola Ameobi, Yohan Cabaye and Hatem Ben Arfa.
The Krul truth is Kinnear keeps alienating himself from Toon fans and the team with wild claims and mispronunciations, just ask Kebab, Amamobi, Ben Afri and Sissy (Michael Walker, Mail) Seizing upon Kinnear calling managing director Derek Llambias ‘Lambezi’, or Yohan Cabaye ‘Kebab’ or Hatem Ben Arfa ‘Afra’, will make for sport among a disgruntled fanbase. But in his defence, all managers make mistakes with names. What is less comprehensible, and what will stir the existing disillusion, is Kinnear’s claim that he brought Tim Krul to Newcastle.
Kinnear wants Carroll to return to Newcastle in first move at St James Park (David Kent, Mail) Joe Kinnear’s first move at Newcastle could be to bring back Andy Carroll to St. James’ Park… It is not known if Newcastle will bid for the target man, who is reported to be valued by Brendan Rodgers’ side at £15m – £20m less than the record fee that brought him to Liverpool.
Carroll poised for £15m West Ham move (Mark Odgen, Telegraph) Andy Carroll to undergo a medical at West Ham as Liverpool prepare to make £20m loss on record signing.
Suarez Must Issue A Transfer Request
Liverpool to demand official transfer request if £50m rated Suarez wants to follow Carroll out of Anfield exit (Dominic King, Mail) Liverpool will demand Luis Suarez provides written confirmation of his intention to leave in an attempt to swiftly resolve the saga over his future… If Suarez is going to be sold to Real Madrid, as he desires, Liverpool will expect him to submit an official transfer request, while they would also want to recoup a fee in the region of £50million. As yet, Madrid have not made a formal bid for the 26-year-old.
Liverpool to tell Luis Suarez to stop flirting with Real Madrid and ask for a transfer (David Maddock, Mirror) Angry Liverpool will deliver a put-up-or-shut-up ultimatum to loose-lipped star Luis Suarez… Suarez has a clause in his contract allowing him to leave if an offer exceeding £40million is made, a fact which makes all of his many and varied outbursts redundant.
Blues Eye Matic, Gala Chasing Obi
Nemanja Matic will cost Chelsea£38m (David Woods, Star) Benfica are demanding Chelsea pay a staggering £38m for Nemanja Matic – the man the Blues let them have as a makeweight two years ago. Boss Jose Mourinho has convinced owner Roman Abramovich that the Serbian playmaker is key to his plans.
Galatasaray want Mikel (Mark Irwin, Sun) John Obi Mikel is wanted by Turkish champions Galatasaray in a £13million deal. The Nigerian midfielder only signed a new five-year contract in December and has never expressed any desire to leave London. But the return of Jose Mourinho has cast doubts over Mikel’s long-term future and opened the door for Galatasaray to make their move.
Chelsea go for £10m Frenchman Geoffrey Kondogbia (Sam Wallace, Independent) The 20-year-old moved to Spain last summer from Lens and was a virtual ever-present in the Seville side last season. He has been extensively scouted by Chelsea during that time – before the return of Jose Mourinho – and it is anticipated that, despite the four years left on his deal at the Spanish club, he would be a cheaper option in that position than more experienced players.
Spurs Press For Paulinho
Tottenham prepare £15m move for Brazil’s Paulinho in bid to fend off Roma and Inter (Graeme Yorke, Mail) Tottenham are to make a £15million offer for Brazilian midfielder Paulinho to head off competition from Roma and Inter Milan. The move comes as Fenerbahce revive interest in striker Emmanuel Adebayor which could help free up further funds.