Poch to United ramps up

Multiple papers are talking up the prospect of Mauricio Pochettino leaving Paris Saint-Germain and taking over at Manchester United. The Telegraph claim “growing friction” between Pochettino and PSG sporting director Leonardo could see United swoop in to hire the Argentine.
The Daily Star and the Express claim United are in talks over an early move for Pochettino, the Mirror say it will cost United £10m in compensation, while Marca claim the PSG dressing room believe the prospect of their manager leaving and Zinedine Zidane taking over in Paris is “imminent”.
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Paper Round’s view: As has been pointed out elsewhere, the prospect of Pochettino taking over at United and Zidane swooping in to replace him at PSG makes for a very smooth operation given the mess it could have caused. We’ll book a front-row seat for a (let’s hope so) Champions League last-16 meeting early next year, shall we?

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Gerrard’s ‘empty calories’ ban

Steven Gerrard has banned fizzy drinks, sauces and puddings from Aston Villa’s Bodymoor Heath canteen, the Telegraph reports. In a move similar to Antonio Conte at Tottenham, Gerrard is cracking down on “empty calories” and will ensure his Villa players stick to this strict diet. Tomato ketchup is off the table, likewise mayonnaise, but a fun snippet from the Telegraph’s piece said “desserts may occasionally be allowed a day before a game to provide carbohydrates for energy”.
Paper Round’s view: A very Conte move, but perhaps it is only the popularity of these ‘inside’ stories that is shedding light on something that is commonplace elsewhere. After all, these are elite athletes and the need to eat well has been stressed for decades. Still, tales like this assume managers are taking it to another level, but also give them an easy chance of showing the players who’s boss.

No Laca contract talks

Arsenal will wait until the end of the season to discuss a new contract with Alexandre Lacazette despite the fact he could have already agreed a deal elsewhere by then, The Sun reports. The 30-year-old striker’s £200,000-a-week deal expires next summer, and he will be free to open talks with overseas clubs from January. Despite that, Arsenal are in no rush to sign fresh terms with a player who cost a then club-record £52m in 2017.
Paper Round's view: He's moving on, surely? A club initiating contract talks once their player has already been free to discuss a contract with other clubs does not smack of a club that wants to keep said player. Lacazette will have plenty of exciting options, you would imagine, and so it is probably best to cut ties.
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01/12/2022 AT 13:31