Man Utd seek salvation in 'tough-tackling' Kevin Strootman
Moyes will 'break bank' for Dutch midfielder as Arsenal eye up Everton's Seamus Coleman
WITH Manchester United's season unravelling faster than a cheap suit, the Daily Star claims that manger David Moyes has identified the man who could rescue the club - not to mention his own career - from oblivion.
The man in question is Dutch midfielder Kevin Strootman, described by the Star as "tough-tackling", who was recently checked out by United scouts when he played for Holland in their friendly against Colombia. The 23-year-old Strootman only joined Roma from PSV Eindhoven in the summer on a £17 million deal but so desperate is Moyes for new blood at Old Trafford he's allegedly willing to break the bank for the Dutch hard-man.
A home defeat against Newcastle on Saturday, following the midweek reverse to Everton at Old Trafford, has plunged United into crisis and Moyes knows he must dip into the transfer market big time next month if the club - currently languishing in ninth spot in the Premier League - are to have any chance of qualifying for next season's Europa League.
To compound United's misery, they are 13 points adrift of leaders Arsenal and the Gunners show no signs of resting on their laurels with the Sunday People reporting that they will make an "ambitious move" for Everton's Seamus Coleman in the event of Barcary Sagna leaving the club.
The ageing Frenchman has been linked with a return to his homeland next season - when he becomes a free agent - and Arsene Wenger has lined up the 25-year-old Coleman as his replacement. The Ireland full-back - who was involved in Sunday's entertaining 1-1 draw with the Gunners - has a £10m price tag but the People says Wenger will meet the asking price because he "admires Coleman's skills and non-stop running".
But what about Joleon Lescott? The England defender has also been mooted as a target for Arsenal and Metro says Lescott has fuelled the rumours during an interview about life at Manchester City. Though he's won back his place in the Sky Blues, Lescott admitted he faces an uncertain future at the Etihad. "If I am playing for my future here, then great. If I am playing for it elsewhere, then so be it," he said.
Asked if City had opened negotiations about a new deal, Lescott responded: "The club have not approached me yet, so I don't know what the situation is with them." Arsenal are said to be monitoring the situation and a January move is said to be in the pipeline for a player Wenger believes has two or three good seasons remaining.
Finally, the Express says City boss Manuel Pellegrini has told his board who he wants to replace Joe Hart between the Sky Blues' sticks - none other than Manuel Neuer, seen by many as the best gloveman in the game right now. But the Bayern Munich ball-catcher won't come cheap and the Express claims Bayern Munich would demand a "minimum of £40million" to secure the 6ft 4in German international.
City, apparently, have no problem with that, already agreeing to pay the 28-year-old a cool £105,000 a week, making him the best-paid keeper in football. City play Bayern in Munich on Tuesday in the Champions League and it could be that an informal approach is made once the German giants have disposed of their English opponents. ·