Premier League - Paper Round: Chelsea eye Pellegrini, not Jose

There has been lots of speculation about who will take over from the doomed Rafael Benítez at Chelsea in the summer and most has been about Jose Mourinho.

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Manuel Pellegrini (Reuters)

However, the Sunday Telegraph says that a new clear favourite has emerged for the position and while he's not "The Special One," he is the still pretty darn impressive Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini.

The paper says that Chelsea's owner Roman Abramovich has been "unmoved" by Jose Mourinho’s attempts to get his old job back and has identified the Chilean as a more attractive alternative.

"Although Mourinho has his supporters within the club, which he left in 2007 after a breakdown of his relationship with Abramovich, there is a nervousness about bringing him back," explains the paper.

"Instead, Pellegrini ticks all the boxes for the type of coach that Chelsea are looking for: the Chilean is a disciplinarian with a commitment to attacking football, he can deal with big-name players and speaks fluent English.

"Only two factors count against him: his age, he is 59, and uncertainty over whether he could be persuaded to leave Malaga."

The report even says that Abramovich would quite like to keep Benitez as he is happy with the job the Spaniard has been doing but added that "his appointment would appear impossible given the hostility towards him from the stands."

To other rumours and according to the Sunday Express there is a strong chance that Gareth Bale will leave Tottenham in the summer.

The paper says that if Spurs fail to qualify for the Champions League it will trigger a release clause in the Welshman's contract.

The paper though adds that "even if they do play in Europe’s top event Bale, a £45million target for Real Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester United, is likely to be heading elsewhere at the end of the season."

Tottenham will do their best to hang on to him and "chairman Daniel Levy is even willing to smash his strict pay structure to double Bale’s wages to around £150,000 a week to keep him."

According to the Sunday People Real Madrid are plotting a £50million raid on Spurs for Bale AND manager Andre Villas-Boas.

The Spaniards have apparently identified Tottenham's young manager, who would cost £10m in compensation, as a possible replacement should Mourinho leave the club, although Paris Saint-Germain boss Carlo Ancelotti tops their shortlist.

Real are certainly linked with plenty of people every summer but Manchester City are determined that one of their targets – Sergio Aguero – does not seek a move to the Spanish capital.

City are reportedly willing to offer the Argentine a new five-year contract worth a staggering £44 million. (Star on Sunday)

Manchester United are planning a summer swoop for £20million Newcastle star Yohan Cabaye while Portuguese winger Nani is set for a summer switch to cash-rich Paris St Germain according to the Sunday Mirror.

However, in the Observer there are reports that United have made their first inquiries about Nemanja Matic's availability at Benfica as Sir Alex Ferguson renews his long and exhaustive search for another top-quality central midfielder.

Ferguson has also laughed off rumours that he is interested in Atletico Madrid striker Falcao, responding to the rumours by saying: "Do you honestly believe that? You amaze me you people." (The Sun)

Chelsea are close to signing £20million Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Andre Schurrle as they continue to rebuild for next season - despite not having yet appointed a managerial successor to interim boss Benitez. (Mail on Sunday)

And finally, Arsene Wenger is embarking on a twin strategy to revive Arsenal this summer by making a club record £30million bid for Borussia Dortmund's Mario Gotze while promoting a clutch of promising youngsters. Gotze has a £30m buyout clause which would allow him to leave if a club make a bid to that value - and Arsenal are ready to do so. Wenger is also considering a £10m move for Toulouse midfielder Etienne Capoue and he wants to sign a keeper, with Liverpool's Pepe Reina the strongest candidate. (Mail on Sunday)

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