MAN UTD WANT TO EXTEND VAN GAAL CONTRACTDespite a disappointing draw against West Ham at the weekend, Manchester United are willing to extend the contract of Louis van Gaal as manager, according to the Independent.
‘The club consider the way Van Gaal has steadied the ship and taken the club back into the top four and Champions League as far more significant than the current style of football,’ the article reads.
Van Gaal’s current deal runs until the end of next season, but United apparently want clarification from the Dutchman within the next five months about his future plans, wary that the search for a new manager will take time. They do not want to go into the 2016-17 campaign without a clear idea of his intentions, it is said.
The Guardian, meanwhile, says United’s ‘admiration’ for Van Gaal means they will make no play for Pep Guardiola should the Spaniard depart Bayern Munich and become available in the summer.
The Daily Telegraph confirms that United will sit down with Van Gaal in the New Year to determine his intentions but adds that the 64-year-old is expected to confirm his plan to retire in 18 months, forcing the Red Devils to begin their search for a successor.
The Daily Mail and Daily Express back up the theory that senior figures at United are happy with the progress being made, but The Sun says Guardiola is their number one target to replace Van Gaal when he does leave.
The tabloid also claims that Guardiola will definitely leave Bayern in the summer and is so keen on taking the job at Old Trafford that he could be willing to take a 12-month break from football to wait for the chance.
NEWSPAPERS SPLIT ON MOURINHO FUTUREWhile the newspapers are in agreement over Van Gaal’s position at United, there are conflicting views on what the future holds for Jose Mourinho after another defeat for Chelsea at the weekend.
The Guardian says Mourinho retains the support of the Chelsea hierarchy, while The Times claims the 52-year-old has been told he must guide the club into the knockout stages of the Champions League this week to safeguard his position. The Blues need a point against Porto to make sure of their progression.
The Daily Mirror, however, claims Chelsea chiefs fear Mourinho is incapable of halting the team’s slump in form and may sack the Portuguese even if the club makes the last 16.
The Daily Telegraph, meanwhile, says that Roman Abramovich held talks on Sunday with his closest aides at Chelsea, Marina Granovskaia and Michael Emenalo, on how best to salvage the club’s season. ‘It is understood that all three parties agreed they should do whatever it takes to turn things around – including dispensing with the most successful manager in Chelsea’s history if necessary’, the newspaper says.
What appears more likely, though, is that Chelsea will first attempt to solve their problems in the January transfer window.
‘In terms of attacking players, technical director Michael Emenalo has been assessing Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy, West Brom’s Saido Berahino and Shakhtar Donetsk forward Alex Teixeira,’ the Telegraph says. ‘But Mourinho may prefer to bid for a more recognised star such as Napoli’s Gonzalo Higuain, while he knows free agent Emmanuel Adebayor well from their spell together at Real Madrid.’
AND THE RESTGarry Monk is on the brink of losing his job at Swansea City, with Rangers manager Mark Warbuton in the frame. A move to rehire Brendan Rodgers has also not been ruled out (The Independent)
David Moyes has held talks with Swansea City over a quick return to management (Daily Mirror)
Wallace heads the list of loanees being recalled by Chelsea (Daily Mirror)
Ex-Blackburn manager Gary Bowyer is keen to replace Steve Clarke at Reading (Daily Mirror)
Craig Bellamy is being lined up by Sky to step into Gary Neville’s boots as a football pundit (Daily Mail)
Liverpool are looking at Lorient and Portugal defender Raphael Guerreiro (Mercato 365)
Liverpool are interested in AC Milan goalkeeper Diego Lopez (Fichajes)