Paper News and Gossip: Sir Alex's Rescue Bid for Moyes, Chelsea Recall Courtois

Ian Rodgers@irodgers66World Football Staff WriterApril 25, 2014

Paper News and Gossip: Sir Alex's Rescue Bid for Moyes, Chelsea Recall Courtois

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    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    The size of the Manchester United story this week is underlined by another day in which the sacking of David Moyes dominates the back pages.

    Former United manager Sir Alex Ferguson launched a rescue attempt to save Moyes' job, claim reports, while another leading European coach has emerged as a potential successor at Old Trafford.

    Elsewhere, Chelsea are set to recall goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois from his extended loan spell at Atletico Madrid, while defender John Terry is already winning his fitness battle for the Champions League semi-final second leg on Wednesday.

    But who else is making the headlines on Friday? Read on to find out more.

Sir Alex Tried to Save Moyes, as Antonio Conte Linked with Manchester United Job

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    Sang Tan

    Sir Alex Ferguson tried to save David Moyes' job at Manchester United right up until the end of his reign, reports Neil Custis of The Sun (subscription required).

    The United legend was pinpointed as the man who chose Moyes to succeed him, and he remained loyal to the former Everton manager, according to the article.

    However, David McDonnell of the Daily Mirror reports that Moyes felt let down by a lack of support from Ferguson at the club.

    Meanwhile, Matt Law of the Daily Telegraph claims Juventus head coach Antonio Conte has emerged as a dark horse to succeed Moyes at Old Trafford.

    Alan Nixon of the Daily Mirror claims that Ryan Giggs' first training session as interim manager was interrupted by a call from Ferguson.

    United owners, the Glazer family, have flown into Manchester to meet with chief executive Ed Woodward, with Adrian Kajumba of the Daily Star claiming the players will not escape the wrath of directors Joel, Avram and Bryan Glazer for their part in a disastrous season.

Moyes Sacking Does Not Stop Transfer Talk, as Lallana, Shaw Linked with United

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    Christopher Lee/Getty Images

    The lack of a permanent manager at Old Trafford has not stopped the Manchester United transfer speculation.

    Chris Wheeler of the Daily Mail reports that United will offer £55 million for Southampton pair Adam Lallana and Luke Shaw in the summer.

    Wheeler claims talks for Shaw are "at an advanced stage" with Lallana also on the United radar as part of preparations for next season.

    Simon Jones of the Daily Mail claims Paris Saint-Germain striker Edinson Cavani has recruited the services of his brother, Walter, in the search for a new agent to broker a potential deal to United.

Liverpool Were on Financial Brink Four Years Ago, Admits Anfield MD

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    Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

    Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre has admitted that the club were in a "horrific state" financially in 2010 under the controversial ownership of Tom Hicks and George Gillet, reports David Maddock of the Daily Mirror.

    Ayre says Fenway Sports Group took over at Anfield in the nick of time, with the banks on the verge of calling in massive debts at the club.

    Ayre is quoted as saying:

    It is no secret, it's like that TV programme, Seconds From Disaster. We were sort of in that vein. It was horrific to see the football club in that state.

    I do not think there was a Liverpool fan in the city or anywhere who was not worried we would not get to this position we are in now, for many reasons.

    People sometimes forget how bad it was. I speak to people now and they have really short memories.

    When you think about that day when we tipped it over the edge and finally pulled it back, we have come such a long way.

    Meanwhile, Liverpool striker Luis Suarez has admitted his surprise that the Reds are on the verge of the Premier League title this season, reports Martin Lipton of the Daily Mirror.

    Suarez is quoted as saying:

    Winning the title this season would be something that no one would believe. The truth is that we are surprised ourselves at how well we’re playing.

    We have good players, yes. But if you look at the complete squad, we don’t have the players to be up there.

    We have good players who are demonstrating why they are at ­Liverpool. But it would be something amazing, even to the whole of England, because of the investment made by Chelsea, City and Arsenal.

    Even Tottenham have spent over £100m and we, with so little investment, are in that position. It would be incredible.

John Terry Winning Battle to Be Fit for Champions League Semi-Final 2nd Leg

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    Andres Kudacki

    Chelsea defender John Terry expects to be fit for the Champions League semi-final second leg against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday, reports Martin Lipton of the Daily Mirror.

    The Stamford Bridge captain was carried from the field in the second half of the 0-0 draw at the Vicente Calderon Stadium on Wednesday.

    But Lipton claims Terry could play on Wednesday night after undergoing "manipulative treatment" on his ankle injury.

    Meanwhile, Tony Banks of the Daily Express reports that Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard is poised to sign a new one-year contract with the Blues.

    Antony Kastrinakis of The Sun (subscription required) reports that Chelsea will recall goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois from his extensive loan spell with Atletico in the summer.

    Simon Jones of the Daily Mail claims that Chelsea want to sign PSG midfielder Ezequiel Lavezzi, while Charles Perrin of the Daily Express reports that Sevilla left-back Alberto Moreno is a target for the Blues.

Arsenal Striker Lukas Podolski Hints at Return to Cologne in Bundesliga

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    Kirsty Wigglesworth

    Arsenal striker Lukas Podolski could leave the club and return to Germany in the summer, reports Mark Irwin of The Sun (subscription required).

    The Germany international has also voiced his love for Cologne, who have been promoted back to the Bundesliga this season.

    Podolski, who has two years left on his Arsenal contract, is quoted as saying:

    It (the Bundesliga) is one of the best leagues in the world. Cologne are much more than a club for me—they are my home.

    Maybe I’ll play again with them. For me, this is a matter of the heart.

    I would also like to meet my Arsenal contract but you never know in football.

Sir Alex Ferguson Leads Tributes to Rangers and Scotland Legend Sandy Jardine

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    Pool/Getty Images

    Sir Alex Ferguson has led the tributes to former Rangers team-mate Sandy Jardine, who has passed away at the age of 65, reports Sam Adams of the Daily Mirror.

    The former Rangers, Hearts and Scotland defender had been suffering from cancer and died peacefully on Thursday night.

    Jardine won 38 caps for Scotland and was part of the Rangers team which won the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1972.

    Ferguson said:

    From Cathy and I, this is some of the worst news we have heard.

    Sandy was a noble and courageous man. The respect he is held in at Rangers is immense.

    He was one of the greatest players ever to wear the jersey.

    To Shona and family, we express our sympathy and sadness.

Tottenham Hotspur Linked with Move for Axed Man Utd Manager David Moyes

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    Michael Regan/Getty Images

    We couldn't leave the paper review without a final mention of David Moyes, and the axed Manchester United manager could be set for a swift return to the dug-out with Tottenham Hotspur, reports Liam Prenderville of the Daily Mirror.

    Moyes was sacked on Tuesday morning, and Spurs are weighing up a move for the former Everton boss to replace Tim Sherwood in the summer, claims the article.

    Meanwhile, Spurs players are considering a handshake snub for Stoke City midfielder Charlie Adam when the two teams meet on Saturday, reports Darren Lewis of the Daily Mirror.

    According to the article, the White Hart Lane squad have not forgiven the Scotland international for the challenge on Paulinho, which left the Brazilian sidelined for a month earlier in the season.

    Adam was already on the Spurs players' radar for previous fouls on Gareth Bale, Jan Vertonghen and Scott Parker in recent seasons, claims Lewis.