Moyes watches Kroos masterclass
Manchester United manager David Moyes witnessed the talent of Toni Kroos first-hand last night as the midfielder’s value soared; United are closing in on William Carvalho; and Tottenham have approached Louis van Gaal – here are the main stories making headlines in today’s newspapers.
Moyes runs rule over Kroos: The Daily Mail reports that David Moyes was in the stands at the Emirates last night to see for himself just how good Toni Kroos is as the Bayern Munich midfielder put in a masterclass in his side’s 2-0 win over Arsenal. Despite his form, which continues to underline his growing stature in the game, he remains locked in a contractual dispute with Bayern as he seeks to become the top earner at the Bundesliga club. The stand-off has put United on red alert, although the player is valued at £50 million and could expect wages in excess of £250,000 a week if he was to move to England.
Paper Round’s view: Moyes cannot have failed to have been impressed by the performance of Kroos, who scored the first goal and dominated the midfield battle with the Gunners. Whether that will tempt him to spend a whopping £50m on him is another story. What we can be sure of though – no doubt to Moyes’ chagrin – is that Kroos’ stock will have rocketed after such an impressive showing and deep pockets will certainly be needed if he is to be tempted away from Bavaria.
United close to Carvalho deal: United have been “given the green light” to buy Portugal starlet William Carvalho after the defensive midfielder’s club Sporting identified his replacement, reports the Daily Mirror. Carvalho, who United have had watched eight times, has a £37.5m buyout clause in his current deal and with Sporting lining up Estoril’s Goncalo in a £410,000 deal it appears the Portuguese club are ready to cash in big. The report adds though that United would be unwilling to match Sporting’s valuation and would hope to negotiate a lower price, although interest from Real Madrid and Barcelona could make that difficult.
Paper Round’s view: At just 21 years of age, Carvalho could be one for the future, but even though Moyes must by now have a pretty good idea of what he would be getting for his money, £37.5m does seem a rather excessive fee. That should also be obvious to Sporting but the clear problem United would have is interest from other parties and, if indeed the usual suspects from Spain are also in the hunt, United may be forced to pay over the odds.
Van Gaal reveals Spurs approach: Dutch coach Louis van Gaal has admitted Tottenham have been in touch about their manager’s job, reports the Daily Mirror. The Holland boss also insisted he wants to become a Premier League manager once his deal with the national side comes to an end after the World Cup, putting Newcastle to Southampton on alert. The paper claims that Van Gaal could be a major rival to current Spurs boss Tim Sherwood, should his decent start in the hot seat falter in the remainder of the season.
Paper Round’s view: It’s hardly reassuring to see such little faith in Sherwood, be it from the Spurs hierarchy if the report is true, or just from the newspaper. Whichever, it’s a bit harsh on the former midfielder, given the way he has turned around Spurs’ fortunes since taking charge. That said, Van Gaal is more than capable of doing very good job in England and the likes of Newcastle and Southampton will be delighted to hear of his intentions to see out his managerial career on these shores.
Gomes heading to Leeds: Tottenham goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes could be given a chance to resurrect his career after talks were opened over a loan move to Leeds, reports the Daily Express. Brazilian Gomes, 33, has dropped down the pecking order at White Hart Lane and is currently third choice after Hugo Lloris and Brad Friedel but with the World Cup looming he needs playing time to stake his claim. The paper reports that Leeds boss Brian McDermott has made Gomes his top target and hopes to strike a deal before his side play Middlesbrough on Saturday.
Paper Round’s view: Gomes, capped 11 times by Brazil, could be a great acquisition for Leeds given that his focus would be absolute with a place on the plane back to his homeland this summer up for grabs. Surely he’s too good a player to be left rotting in the reserves at White Hart Lane, despite a few high-profile and well-publicised gaffes?
United to over-charge fans: The Independent reports that Manchester United are facing a backlash from fans who have learnt that they will have to pay Champions League prices for Europa League tickets next season, should it come to that. Tickets for the lesser European competition will be included in the controversial “automatic cup scheme”, which also forces season-ticket holders to buy a seat for FA Cup matches, the paper reports, and is one of the most resented features of the commercial regime under the ownership of the Glazer family. The decision has the potential to persuade fans not to renew their season tickets at the end of the current campaign.
Paper Round’s view: £50 to watch the likes of Chornomorets Odesa and Pandurii Targu Jiu on a rainy Thursday night does seem a little steep, although it’s not a done deal just yet and United could still qualify for the Champions League. At least that’s the line the club would want to put out for the time being in the wake of any supporter discontent.