Premier League - Paper Round: Jose and Lampard at Chelsea next season

Jose Mourinho came within a whisker of admitting that he is returning to Chelsea following Real Madrid's Champions League exit on Tuesday night - and the papers are loving every second of it.

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Premier League - Paper Round: Jose and Lampard at Chelsea next season
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Mourinho papers

"Come back Jose" shouts the back page of the Daily Star, with Branislav Ivanovic's quotes providing a nice sub-headline: "ALL the players want him back".

The Sun goes with "Mourinho: I wanna be loved", while the Daily Mail focuses on the moment when Mourinho appeared to be on the verge of confirming to ITV's reporter Gabriel Clarke that he was Chelsea-bound - a story which our Early Doors blog looks at this morning.

The Times take the same quotes and information and simply do the maths that everyone else is doing: "Mourinho confirms he is ready to make Chelsea return".

He responded to Tuesday's disappointment by "making clear that his heart is set on rekindling his love affair with Chelsea", the paper reports.

The Times also chucks another factor into the equation: Cristiano Ronaldo, suggesting that the lethal striker "expressed indifference" over Mourinho's future. The paper's conclusion is that both Ronaldo and Mourinho will be on their way in the summer.

If Mourinho does indeed return to Chelsea he could be linking up with one of the players who made his Blues side great: Frank Lampard.

The Independent reports that the 34-year-old midfielder will be offered a new deal to keep him at Stamford Bridge for another year.

"There is a willingness from the club to offer him a one-year extension, once the new manager is in place this summer," the paper reports. "the mood has changed lately at the club and that a one-year deal, on around his current pay scale, will be offered... There is even a suggestion that Mourinho would announce Lampard's deal at his first press conference."

The Daily Mirror has the best two lines of the day on the saga: Mourinho apparently told his opposite number Jurgen Klopp that he will be returning to Chelsea, while they also report that the Portuguese boss will be given a £100 million transfer war chest to spend this summer.

Mourinho is not the Daily Mirror's main back page story, however, though it is Real Madrid-related: instead, it's an interview with Zinedine Zidane in which he suggests that a £60 million price tag on Gareth Bale would be no problem for Real.

Zidane - who works for Real in an advisory role - claimed that a player of Bale's calibre could be the difference between winning or not winning the Champions League, and would therefore be a solid investment.

Following yesterday's report in the Telegraph that Arsene Wenger has already agreed to join Paris St Germain, the Sun carries the exact opposite story: "PSG give up on Wenger hunt" they report, saying that the French club "now realise he will not walk out on the Gunners."

Instead, PSG will target Manuel Pellegrini and Jupp Heynkes - though considering both those managers have worked miracles on shoestring budgets, either would be well- suited to filling Wenger's shoes at Arsenal.

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Wayne Rooney will not enter talks about a new contract at Manchester United until he has been promised that Robert Lewandowski or Radamel Falcao will not be arriving at Old Trafford, according to the Daily Mail.

Rooney is uncomfortable at having been converted into a midfielder of late - something that is also a problem for England, considering he is still first-choice striker for the national team - and he wants a few assurances before he decides what to do with his last few years as a top class player.

"There is little doubt Rooney would prefer to stay, but it would be understandable if the 27-year-old wants to be sure he is making the right move as he negotiates the last big contract of his career," the report continues.

The QPR player clear-out garners a few column inches, with the Mirror reporting that "Djibril Cisse, goalkeeper Julio Cesar and striker Loic Remy are all plotting their moves" to other sides.

The Sun claims the Hoops have slapped a £15m price tag on Adel Taarabt in order to try and keep him - and looking at the Loftus Road roster, he is indeed probably the first choice of player you'd want to try and bounce back into the top flight.

And finally, the Telegraph reports that the PFA are demanding a refund from Reginald D Hunter, the American comedian whose 'N word'-filled act shocked the audience at the annual awards dinner on Sunday night.

The comic earned £15,000 for his ten-minute routine, which apparently also included offensive jokes about women, Jews and the Irish.

"We are obviously very upset, because he was briefed. We are very aware that very have a very diverse audience there. I was sat there with Jewish friends on my table as well, and it was as if he set out to upset everyone in the room one way or another," the PFA's Bobby Barnes told the paper.

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