World of Sport

Paper Round: Brendan Rodgers for Manchester City?

World of Sport

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In one of the more extraordinary pieces of Sunday speculation, the Sunday People claim that Manchester City are looking at hiring Brendan Rodgers.

Never mind that they already have a manager – Roberto Mancini – one who has already won a Premier League and FA Cup title during his tenure and is 90 minutes against Wigan away from bagging another trophy.

The paper says second place in the top flight just isn’t good enough any more, and accordingly they are looking elsewhere for a boss.

Rodgers, despite not convincing everyone in his first season at Liverpool, is a popular choice at the Etihad, where his ‘willingness to blood young players early, media skills, and European experience – and the ace in his pack is that he is fluent in both English and Spanish’ are highly prized.

The fact that the 40-year-old is under contract at Anfield would not be a deterrent for City’s owners, who apparently had him high on their shortlist for the job the last time Mancini looked to be on his way out.

Also on the wish-list for City is another one-time Liverpool manager – Rafa Benitez. And where Rodgers might feel that he still has unfinished business with the Reds, Benitez will be out of a job in the summer and itching to move on from Chelsea.

As always with transfer speculation, however, much depends on what paper you read. If you read The Sun today, you’ll find the headline ‘Mancini stays’.

Even losing the FA Cup final won’t cost him his job, the report claims, because he’s actually developed a healthy relationship with former Barcelona executives Ferran Soriano and sporting director Txiki Begiristain, and planning for next season is well underway.

That planning includes a move for Napoli striker Edinson Cavani, say the Sunday Mirror, who are not afraid to trigger the Uruguayan’s £52m buy-out clause and pay his £250,000-a-week wages to bring him to the Premier League.

Begiristain and Soriano have already sanctioned the move, apparently, as Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid also consider signing the 26-year-old.

The paper adds that Kyriakos Papadopoulos, the Greece international defender currently at Schalke, is also set to join in the summer, while City are also ready to sign Marco Reus from Borussia Dortmund.

Away from City, and Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is being coy about a move for man of the moment Robert Lewandowski. The Sunday Mirror say he didn’t rule out a move for the striker when asked about him, which in paper talk is supposedly exactly the same as offering him a four-year deal. (Sunday Mirror)

Meanwhile Bayern Munich are giving up hope of landing Lewandowski, and are turning their attention to Luis Suarez of Liverpool. (Sunday Telegraph)

Liverpool will fill the Suarez gap (whether it’s temporary because of his ban, or permanent because of a move), with Loic Remy, who could be swiftly out of soon-to-be-relegated QPR for a fee of £8m. (Sunday Express).

And finally, the Mail on Sunday links Tottenham with a striker – apparently Valencia’s Roberto Soldado is on the summer shopping list as Spurs look to put their goal-scoring troubles behind them.

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