Man City want Modric, Spurs eye Rodgers & Chelsea chase Di Maria

Comment & analysis round-up

Quote of the day: “You could go through millions of incidents but maybe the smaller clubs do have a point. However, somebody said a few years ago that Manchester United always get penalty kicks at Old Trafford but, when you go through the statistics since I have been here, it only averages out at three or three and a half per year. You cannot say that is a lot for an attacking team like ourselves. It has some mileage in the press but most managers believe that the breaks even themselves out. However, looking from the referee’s position, I can see why he didn’t give a penalty when Danny Murphy was brought down because the ball has moved at an angle as Michael Carrick tackles him and from his position it isn’t clear – although it was a good claim.” – Sir Alex Ferguson.

Runner-up: “I think Harry is the candidate… They [the FA] may know what’s going on, but I don’t know whether they do. They have to get someone in there straight away to do something about it. I don’t see any benefit at all in coming in at the last moment with a rah-rah-rah approach. The manager has got to know those players, not just from he has seen, but how they talk and what they feel is important – really getting into the individuals. The more time you can get in the role the better. There’s nothing for you going in cold and you need everything in your favour because this is a big job. I think Harry is now capable of saying ‘I’ll go’. He has got Tottenham Hotspur into a very, very strong position. They had a bit of a blip, but they seem to be over that and he qualifies in several of those boxes.” – Terry Venables.

Manchester City

City’s sights on Modric (Martin Blackburn, Sun) “Roberto Mancini has set alarm bells ringing at Tottenham by admitting he is a big fan of midfielder Luka Modric. The Croatian came desperately close to leaving White Hart Lane last summer when Chelsea were leading the charge. Manchester City boss Mancini has revealed he views Modric, 26, as one of the top players in the Premier League. But the Italian feels it will be hard to prise him away from the North London club.”

City are handing Fergie ammo (Steven Howard, Sun) 

Lack of experience and width, not mind games or dodgy refs, could cost City the title (Robbie Savage, Daily Mirror)

Champions League

Champions League goalless draw gives Milan hope for Barcelona leg (Richard Williams, Guardian)


Venables tells FA: hurry up and pick a manager (Sam Wallace, Independent)

Everton’s Leighton Baines winning the race ahead of Chelsea’s Ashley Cole to be England’s best left-back (Jason Burt, Daily Telegraph)

Spurs target Brendan Rodgers

Spurs eye Bren (Charlie Wyett, Sun) “Tottenham  are planning for life after Harry Redknapp and preparing a move for Swansea boss Brendan Rodgers.Chairman Daniel Levy accepts Redknapp will take the England job when it is offered. And Levy is a major fan of Rodgers, who is seen as one of the rising stars in European management after working wonders with the south Wales outfit. And Tottenham are likely to sound out Rodgers, 39, even though he has just signed a new deal at Swansea. Real Madrid chief Jose Mourinho would be too expensive and would not be provided with the player budget he demands.”


Petr Cech can extend Chelsea career after André Villas-Boas exit (Daniel Taylor, Guardian)

Rom fancies £35m choice of an Angel (Geoff Sweet, Sun)

Rest of the Gossip

Torres targeted by Anzhi after striker starts to show true colours (Sami Mokbel, Daily Mail)

Sign him up! City planning to spend big for Silva service (Ian Ladyman, Daily Mail)

Liverpool eye up Barcelona starlet Tello (John Cross, Daily Mirror)