Wednesday's papers say Louis Van Gaal will keep his job regardless of a top 4 finish this season, while City's bid to sign a Dortmund midfielder improves.
Van Gaal insiders say Dutchman will stay at United regardless of Top 4 finish
According to the Mirror, sources "close to Louis Van Gaal" say the embattled manager will finish out his contract at United, despite the constant speculation about Jose Mourinho taking over in the summer. The report says that, "Van Gaal's inner circle at United believe the 64-year-old is safe and that he will lead the Red Devils next season - even if they miss out on the Champions League. Van Gaal is said to keep his staff in the loop over his conversations with executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, as well as his dealings with owners the Glazer family. And the message from Van Gaal's camp is that the former Ajax, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Holland boss has been told he is staying — with plans already underway for summer transfers."
Paper Round's view: We're not sure how much there is to this, when all the previous indications seemed to suggest otherwise, but the information is specific enough that it may well be true. There's no doubting that LVG has already weathered the worst of the storms, with United looking distinctly better over the last six weeks than they had done in the previous six months. But we also wouldn't be surprised if this is just the Van Gaal camp playing media games to ensure he gets one more year to prove his worth to the club.
City leading Barcelona for the signature of Ilkay Gundogan
Representatives of Ilkay Gundogan and Manchester City met in Amsterdam to discuss the future of the 25 year old Dortmund midfielder, according to the Mirror. The player's agent and uncle Ilhan Gundogan met Pep Guardiola and City's director of football Txiki Begristain at Amsterdam's Conservatorium Hotel on Monday, as Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus remain interested in the services of the German international.
Gundogan in action for Dortmund.
Image credit: AFP
Paper Round's view: Lure of big wages and working under arguably football's best manager might be enough to get him over the line. That said, with big summer spends ahead for Madrid and Barcelona, this probably won't be as straight forward as it should be.
Rafa Benitez, David Moyes and Brendan Rodgers on Newcastle shortlist
The Sun is reporting that contact has been made between Newcastle United and candidates Rafa Benitez, David Moyes and Brendan Rodgers, as the struggling club prepares to sack manager Steve McClaren. The report also states Nigel Pearson, former Borussia Monchengladbach manager Lucien Favre and ex-Serbia coach Raddy Antic are also candidates considered for the position.
Paper Round's view: Rafa Benitez would be a huge coup for Newcastle going forward, although doubt he'd be up for a relegation scrap. Moyes and Rodgers are solid choices, although the field thins out from there on.
Dortmund tell Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is not for sale
Borussia Dortmund chief Hans Joachim Watzke told the Sun that striker Aubameyang is not up for sale, sending a message to the circling interested clubs from the Premier League, that the Gabon international would be staying at the Signal Iguna Park in the short term.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will stay at Dortmund according to Hans Joachin Watzke.
Image credit: AFP
Paper Round's view: This could be a big blow for all three English clubs - especially United, who'd probably benefit the most from a player of the calibre of Aubameyang in his prime. Yet we've seen time and again that "not for sale" really means "we want LOADS of money for this lad so don't mess around with lowball offers". This is a big summer saga waiting to happen.