City eye up Begovic-Hart swap: Manuel Pellegrini wants Stoke goalkeeper Asmir Begovic to replace Joe Hart as Manchester City's number one, reports the Daily Mirror. Hart, who has been dropped after a series of costly errors, could head in the opposite direction for the second half of the season to preserve his World Cup place, the paper claims. City are willing to pay up to £15 million for Begovic, who was lined up by Roberto Mancini when the Italian was in charge at Eastlands.
Paper Round's view: It's true that Hart cannot afford to sit on the bench in a World Cup year, although if City fail to find a replacement in January, he is likely to be back in the first team before too long, given Costel Pantilimon's failure to convince as a number one. But if City can lure Begovic, Hart will be forced to seek action elsewhere, and a move to the Britannia Stadium makes a lot of sense. He would team up with former City boss Mark Hughes and Stoke would be onto an absolute winner, having cashed in on Begovic with a huge transfer fee and with City to pay Hart's wages.
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AVB faces fight to keep job: The Daily Mail reports that Andre Villas Boas is facing a fight to keep his job after their 6-0 mauling at the hands of Manchester City. Sunday's defeat left Spurs in ninth place, despite having started the season with £107m worth of new players in the squad and hopes high that the club could challenge the likes of City, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal for the title. The paper claims that AVB's post-match comments - in which he said his players should be "ashamed" - has broken a code and the bond between manager and players is at breaking point.
Paper Round's view: With seven new players in their squad, it was always going to take some time for them to gel as a team. Some will argue that, 12 games into the Premier League season, AVB has already eaten up that period of grace. Others will say that kind of expenditure should buy immediate success. Either way, AVB needs to extricate his side from the hole they find themselves after the weekend's trouncing, or else he should be a worried man come the New Year.
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Spurs target Morata: Should Villas-Boas still have a job come January - and the Daily Mirror shows no signs of believing otherwise - the solution to his problems may come in the form of Real Madrid starlet Alvaro Morata. Spurs tried to sign the 21-year-old in the summer as part of the deal that took Gareth Bale to the Bernabeu, but Real blocked the move. The Spanish club have now had a change of heart, the paper reports, as they believe it would help the Spain U21 striker's career.
Paper Round's view: Is the answer to mis-firing recent recruits yet more new signings? Relatively untried and untested ones at that? Probably not, but Spurs have proved they are not shy of splashing the cash in the post-Bale era, so another dip into the transfer market come January would not come as a huge surprise.
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United eye Matic: Manchester United have stepped up their interest in Benfica midfielder Nemanja Matic, according to the Daily Mirror. The former Chelsea man, who arrived at the Lisbon club as part of the deal that took David Luiz to Stamford Bridge, has been watched by United scouts in his last two games. United could be rivalled by Napoli for the Serbian, who is valued at £20m by the Portuguese giants.
Paper Round's view: United have struggled to stamp their authority on games in midfield this season and clearly something new is required at Old Trafford. Matic could well provide a solution, even though £20m does seem slightly excessive for a player who is yet to prove himself on the biggest stage.
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