Paper Round: Ferguson set for £100m spree

Alex Ferguson is to spend £100 million to rebuild his battered Manchester United side, according to Wednesday's papers.

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The Daily Express claims that Fergie is so worried by the prospect of Manchester City becoming England's top club that he is to go all out on signing a host of fresh talent.

The biggest surprise name on Fergie's hit-list (according to the Daily Star) is Barcelonaicon Gerard Pique, while Tottenham midfielder Luka Modric, Lille winger Eden Hazard, Athletic Bilbao striker Fernando Llorente and Valencia defender Jordi Alba will all be targeted by United this summer.

It all seems a little premature for a side who still have a very good chance of not losing their title to City this season, as does David Silva's words in The Times claiming that United are now just another opponent: "We beat them there, we beat them here. We don't need to think about United. We've passed that stage now."

Roy Hodgson's appointment as England manager takes up most of the back - and front - pages this morning, with the good men and women of Fleet Street clearly struggling for new angles on their third consecutive day of announcing that the West Brom boss will take over the reigns as England manager.

Luckily, the rift between two of England's key defenders - John Terry and Rio Ferdinand - gives at least a little bit of freshness to the reporting. The Daily Mail claims that the "new England boss will hold peace talks" over the race row that engulfed the sport when Terry was accused of racially abusing Ferdinand's cousin Anton during a match between Chelsea and QPR last year.

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The Mail also reports that Hodgson will be paid £3m a year for his services, something which is clearly meant to annoy fans who reacted badly to the news that Harry Redknapp would not get the job.

Hodgson's defence of himself, and his call for people to give him a chance, is the main story in The Guardian and the Daily Telegraph, but as the Daily Mirror's back page tells us the man himself appears to have taken all the Redknapp talk in good humour: "I'd have been on another planet to think I was the fans' choice" is their headline.

Yet to be revealed is whether Hodgson will take the other jibes coming his way in such good humour: The Sun's front page goes all-out on the new England boss's mild speech impediment with its massive headline: "Bwing on the Euwos!", adding below in slightly smaller print, "We'll see you in Ukwaine against Fwance."

The office is split on whether this is affectionate joshing or a decidedly bad taste way of immediately diminishing and discrediting the England boss, as Steve McLaren's infamous 'Wally with the Brolly' caption or the unforgettable Turnip-head Photoshop job of Graham Taylor once did for previous incumbents in the post.

Moving on, The Times reports that Chris Hughton is hotly tipped to replace Hodgson at West Brom, the former Newcastle manager (and current Birmingham City boss) having come close to getting the job when Hodgson got it 15 months ago.

Everton boss David Moyes is looking at a bid for Burnley'sJay Rodriguez, a 22-year-old forward he sees as the perfect foil for his barnstorming January signing Nikica Jelavic (The Sun).

Asamoh Gyan is to complete a £10m permanent move from Sunderland to UAE club Al-Ain later this month (Daily Mail), while Liverpool are in a 15-club bunfight to try and sign Dutch striker Luuk de Jong from FC Twente (The Sun).

And finally, if Tottenham fans were breathing easier after Hodgson was named England boss ahead of Redknapp, their relief may have been premature. The Daily Mail reports that England's loss could be Chelsea's gain as the Blues rekindled their interest in luring Redknapp to Stamford Bridge.

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