Paper Gossip: Harry's England Anguish, Januzaj's Contract, Brazil at Euro 2020?
After another entertaining weekend of Premier League action, attention slowly turns to a crucial two-week period at international level.
Many of the newspapers are already preoccupied with England matters—including who might have won Roy Hodgson's favour with their displays over the last few days.
One player we already knew had attracted interest from Hodgson was Manchester United's Adnan Januzaj, but it appears there might be some lucrative news on the horizon for the 18-year-old.
That, and all the rest of the day's reports, is rounded up here.
So click on for all Monday's transfer gossip and paper talk.
Harry Redknapp Claims Brendan Rodgers Agreed to Be His England No. 2
Redknapp (at the time the Tottenham boss) claims that then-Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers was ready to agree to be his assistant had he been appointed, after a conversation they had following a Premier League meeting between the two sides.
Redknapp goes on to claim that a number of senior players wanted him to get the job over Roy Hodgson, but that Spurs' compensation demands ultimately ruined his chances.
When Tottenham played Swansea on April 1, 2012 I pulled Brendan after the game and said that if all the speculation about me and England was true would he consider coming to the European Championships in the summer as my part-time coach?
I told him I wanted England to play with as much technical ambition as Swansea. He was up for it.
If I got the job, he said, he would speak to the people at Swansea to get their permission. ‘It would be a great experience for you, Brendan,’ I told him. ‘I want England to play like you play. Pass the ball, play and play and play.’
It's hard to know how much of Redknapp's claims are worth believing, but the current QPR manager tells a number of interesting stories—including how his talks with Ukraine over their job went and how he was only "one day" away from agreeing a deal before QPR came calling.
Head over to the Daily Mail to read further extracts and prepare for more "revelations" over the rest of the week.
United Prepare Bumper New Contract for Adnan Januzaj
Things keep getting better and better for Adnan Januzaj, with the newspapers on Monday reporting Manchester United are set to off him a lucrative new contract.
The 18-year-old, who marked his first start for United with two goals in a tight victory over Sunderland on Saturday, is out of contract at the end of the season—but David Moyes is so determined to keep hold of the winger he is prepared to offer him £60,000 a week, according to the Daily Mail.
Colin Young writes that "with the attacker’s contract set to expire in eight months and several clubs interested in signing him, the United boss is eager to secure a deal to keep his new star", explaining the huge terms on offer.
The Mirror believes the contract offer will be worth around £50,000-a-week, while The Guardian's Jamie Jackson agrees that United want a deal done, with memories of another lost gem playing on minds at Old Trafford:
The club are keen to avoid a similar situation to that of Paul Pogba, who moved to Juventus in the summer of 2012.
United had wanted Pogba, who was then 19, to agree terms on an extended deal but discussions became protracted and finally broke down because of the financial demands made by the French midfielder's advisers.
He eventually left for the Italian club on a four-year contract that draws a reported salary of £20,000 a week, with his agent, Mino Raiola, also earning a six-figure fee from the move.
Januzaj will also be added to United's Champions League squad on Monday, having missed the prior two group games so as to qualify as a "homegrown" talent under UEFA rules.
Luka Modric Spurns United to Make Madrid Intentions Clear
The rise of Januzaj is unlikely to stop United being active in the January transfer window, but it appears that one player who will not be moving to Old Trafford is Luka Modric.
Modric, the Real Madrid midfielder, has been linked with David Moyes for a number of months—but pledged his future to Madrid over the weekend, according to Croatian newspaper Sportske Novosti.
"Where will I be in four years? Here," Modric reportedly said. "Besides being a great club, my family feels amazing in Madrid.
"In football it is difficult to plan, but if you ask me, I would like to retire in Madrid. With titles, of course."
Moyes has further midfield headaches to deal with, as multiple newspapers report that Marouane Fellaini—left out against Sunderland on Saturday—will miss several weeks with a wrist injury.
Under Fire Joe Hart Gets Backing of Engalnd Legend
Former England goalkeeper Peter Shilton believes Roy Hodgson must keep faith with Joe Hart against Montenegro on Friday despite his underwhelming recent form.
Hart has been guilty of a number of poor performances for club and country already this season, with Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini admitting recently that he has felt close to dropping the England No. 1.
But Shilton does not believe Hart should lose his England place, feeling confident that he will come through his recent rut.
He told the Daily Star:
Ravel Morrison Catches Roy Hodgson's Eye After Wonder Goal
The Times (subscription required) reckons Hodgson might have his eyes on a midfield change in the near future, however, having been impressed by West Ham's Ravel Morrison.
Morrison, the former Manchester United prodigy, has generally garnered headlines for all the wrong reasons since emerging onto the scene, but he has shown a new level of maturity to go with his obvious talent for the Hammers this season—scoring a brilliant solo goal as his side defeated Spurs 3-0 on Sunday.
He is due to play for the England Under-21s for the first time this week, but Matt Dickinson believes a senior call may not be far away. Dickinson writes:
Sam Allardyce hailed the “genius” of Ravel Morrison yesterday after the young West Ham United forward ran from his own half to score a spectacular solo goal in front of Roy Hodgson, the England manager.
Morrison added the finishing touch to a shock 3-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane and, at a time when English creative talent is in such short supply, he will be under the spotlight when he makes his England Under-21 debut this week.
Perhaps emboldened by Hodgson's pre-existing willingness to call up a variety of players for his squads in the past, meanwhile, The Independent suggests that another weekend scorer, Southampton's Adam Lallana, is also in line for the second call-up of his career.
Messi and Neymar to Play at Euro 2020?
The boldest story of the day also comes from The Independent, whose reporter Mihir Bose claims that UEFA are preparing to invite non-European countries (including Brazil and Argentina) to play in Euro 2020.
Following the lead of the Copa America—which has recently tended to invite North American countries too—Bose (whose career previously saw him hold a senior role at the BBC) claims UEFA president Michel Platini is keen to press forward with the unusual plan.
That could mean the likes of Lionel Messi and Neymar getting the chance to compete for the European Championship, which would become an "alternative World Cup."
A "senior advisor" to Platini tells Bose:
The ideas are at an early stage but they are very feasible. The South Americans have been doing it for decades, inviting teams from outside their continent to take part in the Copa America. So why cannot Europe?
The move would indicate an escalation of hostilities between FIFA and UEFA, with disillusionment growing among the latter organisation over the ongoing Qatar 2022 farrago.
FIFA, however, may respond by reducing European involvement in future World Cups, with the advisor adding to Bose:
Many in Fifa are talking of cutting back Europe’s power, reducing the number of European teams in the World Cup [currently 13 out of 32 in 2014] and also our representation on the Fifa executive [eight out of 24].
The story may just be a gambit in an ongoing power struggle between the two organisations, but it will be interesting to monitor over the coming weeks and months all the same.
Bits and Pieces: Pardew Warns Spurs off Remy
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew is hopeful of fending off the likes of Tottenham and West Ham to complete the permanent signing of Loic Remy in January, according to the Daily Star.
Fulham have offered former Manchester United coach Rene Meulensteen the chance to return to the Premier League, say the Daily Mail.
The Daily Mirror says ex-QPR chairman Gianni Paladini is close to completing a takeover of Birmingham.
The same paper also claims Kevin Ball has inadvertently hurt his chances of getting the Sunderland job on a permanent basis, despite some decent displays under him.
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