Liverpool set to sign Salah: Liverpool are 99 per cent certain to secure the signature of the player dubbed the 'Egyptian Messi'. The Daily Mail reports that FC Basle’s Mohamed Salah former team-mate Mohamed Zika has said the 21-year-old forward will sign for Liverpool in January. Talks are ongoing over a £12 million deal for Salah, who has scored 17 goals in 26 internationals for Egypt. He has also scored against Chelsea, home and away, in this season's Champions League and against Tottenham in last season's Europa League.
Paper Round's view: While the 'Egyptian Messi' tag is little more than tabloid speak for 'good young player' (hands up if you saw the 'Four-year-old Egyptian Iniesta'?), Salah is a real talent and potentially a good signing for any club - and at £12 million, he represents a decent gamble. A gamble because, even though he is capable of turning on the style in the big games, he is yet to produce the kind of consistent form that would see him a regular at a top Premier League outfit. Still, alongside the likes of Luis Suarez and Steven Gerrard at Liverpool, he certainly has the potential to turn into a genuine world beater.
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'A complete and utter disgrace': That's the headline on the front page of today's South Wales Echo while The Independent leads with a question as its headline: 'The worst owner in football?' The target of the juicy headlines is, of course, Cardiff City's "maverick owner" Vincent Tan, the man who is reported to be flying to Liverpool to sack manager Malky Mackay either before or after the club's game with Liverpool today. Both papers claim that Cardiff fans are united behind Mackay, while a revolt from disgruntled fans has been threatened. The Independent reports: "Around 100 supporters arrived at the Cardiff City Stadium to voice their fury at the prospect of Tan, signing 'Don’t sack Mackay, Malky Mackay, I just don’t think you understand. If you sack Mackay, Malky Mackay, You’re going to have a riot on your hands.'”
Paper Round's view: Never mind the worst owner in football, is Tan currently the most despised man in sport? Judging by the papers' reaction, you'd certainly think so. He was due to land in London last night, so the two newspaper splashes have been timed perfectly, ready for Tan's perusal over his cornflakes this morning. But will what he reads and the threat of a riot change his mind over Mackay? Unfortunately that's highly unlikely and Cardiff are set to be managerless as of Monday, at the very latest.
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Tan due to hold talks with Solskjaer: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is locked in a managerial tug-of-war, reports the Daily Mirror, with both Cardiff City and West Brom keen to secure his services. Molde boss Solskjaer heads a three-man short-list of potential replacements for Mackay that also includes Blackpool boss Paul Ince and former Cardiff manager Dave Jones.
Paper Round's view: So certain is Mackay's fate, it's conceivable that the identity of his replacement will be known before the Scot actually leaves his post. The question is, will Solskjaer - or Ince, or Jones, or anyone else for that matter - want to come to a club to work for the 'worst owner in football'? That's a question all three will have to ask themselves before stepping into the breach.
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Suarez shops at Costco: Hours after signing a new £225k per-week contract with Liverpool, Luis Suarez was snapped shopping at budget wholesale superstore Costco, reports the Daily Mirror. Apparently, he filled his trolley with 48 bottles of Corona and several packs of bottled water, before taking time out to pose with one fan, who posted the image on Twitter.
Paper Round's view: Bargain-hunting footballers are all the rage at the moment. The other week the papers were all over millionaire John Terry doing his Christmas shopping at Poundworld, Jonjo Shelvey once 'caused a storm' by picking up a cheap vacuum cleaner at Comet, and now Suarez is being fingered for getting 'caught' picking up some beer (and plenty of bottled water by the looks of it) at a discount emporium. So what if they want to spend their money on bargains? The only thing left to say really is that Suarez is showing remarkable restraint, if this is all he buys to celebrate signing his new bumper contract, and with the festive season coming up in the Suarez household.
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