Hoddle shock choice to get Palace job: Bookies suspended betting on former Tottenham manager Tim Sherwood getting the Crystal Palace job, and The Sun claims that talks have advanced to such a level he could be announced as the south London club's new manager later today, the paper claims. But the Independent runs a piece throwing all that into doubt, reporting that former England and Chelsea manager Glenn Hoddle applied for the job at Palace and sees it as the ideal way to get back into a top job - adding that Hoddle took his current coaching role at QPR, "on the basis that it would be a pathway back into management." Malky Mackay also remains in the running to replace Tony Pulis, with Sherwood's negotiations apparently complicated by his desire to bring in assistants Les Ferdinand and Chris Ramsey, possibly over the head of Palace's caretaker boss Keith Millen.
Paper Round's view: He might be a borderline crackpot, but if Glenn Hoddle wants the Palace job then it's difficult to see the Eagles turning him away - chairman Steve Parish has spoken about the need for experience at the helm, and Hoddle has experience in spades. As for Sherwood, it's only a matter of time before he finds himself back in employment after his stint in charge of Tottenham (where his record really wasn't that bad), and Palace would still be a good fit for him. Either way, it seems certain Palace will have a new boss by this weekend.
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Di Maria given green light to join United: Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has told Angel Di Maria he can sign for Manchester United if he wants. The Sun reports that the Argentina star will decide his own future, as United manager Louis van Gaal hovers, ready to splash £50m on the winger. Ancelotti said: “I don’t know what Di Maria has decided. Until August 31 he will be here in principle. If from there he stays, or is no longer with us, we will think about it later. After August 31, everything will be cleared up.”
Paper Round's view: So, one of three potential barriers to a move appears to have been removed. If Ancelotti says he can go, one assumes he can go. What remains is whether Di Maria would want a move to Old Trafford - there is nothing to suggest he would not - and finally whether United will actually make good on their promises of opening the cheque book and sanction a £50m transfer. Given Ed Woodward's public assertions that the club will dig deep to bring in the best players in the world, it's unthinkable that a deal for Di Maria would now fall down on this final point. United must know that, and a deal shouldn't be too far off.
Read the Sun full story.
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Nani exit key to Rojo arrival: Meanwhile, United are confident of sealing a deal for Di Maria's World Cup team-mate Marcos Rojo, according to the Daily Mirror. Van Gaal is desperate to land the defender and is prepared to offer Nani in part-exchange to sweeten the deal with Sporting. The out-of-favour Portugal star potentially holds the key to the move going ahead, the report claims, considering he has "no future at Old Trafford". Talks between the two clubs are ongoing.
Paper Round's view: Nani is, and has been for some time, dead wood at United and if he can help smooth through a deal for Rojo, his final contribution to the club will be one of immense significance. The pursuit of Rojo has become of vital importance to United after their opening day nightmare against Swansea and their need for a quality defender far outweighs that of a bench-warming, inconsistent show pony who rarely delivers when required. Rojo's recent apology for effectively going on striker to engineer a move can only work in United's favour, and this is another deal could well go through before the end of the month.
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Agger an option for Atletico: Spanish champions Atletico Madrid are considering a move for Liverpool defender Dan Agger, reports the Daily Mail. Atleti are on the lookout for a replacement for Diego Godin, who could move to Bayern Munich, and Agger is available having told Reds boss Brendan Rodgers he wants to leave Anfield.
Paper Round's view: Agger had been linked to Barcelona, but the Catalans' move for Thomas Vermaelen put paid to that. Atleti wouldn't be too bad a second option for the Dane, who seems certain to move on this summer, given his emotional chat with Rodgers and the competition he faces from Martin Skrtel, Kolo Toure, Mamadou Sakho and Dejan Lovren. A case of when he'll leave, rather than if.
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Arsenal hopeful of Manolas deal: The Daily Mirror reports that Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is hopeful of completing a £6m deal for Greek defender Kostas Manolas. The Gunners are in negotiations with Olympiacos over a move for the World Cup star who, given his age (23) and price, represents a better deal than other defenders Wenger has been looking at.
Paper Round's view: Considering the loss of Vermaelen and recent injury concerns, Wenger is clearly desperate for defensive cover. Manolas could well provide the answer. For a World Cup player, he comes cheap at £6m yet has plenty of potential to get even better. A typical Wenger signing.
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- Sports & Recreation
- Di Maria
- Tim Sherwood
- Marcos Rojo