Backpage Roundup: Man United Launch Fabregas Bid, AVB Expects Latics to Upset Arsenal, Wenger Wants Job Finished, Pardew’s Comments and More

Manchester United Launch Shock Fabregas Bid – Report

Former Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas has emerged as a shock transfer target for the Premier League champions Manchester United.

According to a report published by The Evening Standard, the 26-year-old midfielder is wanted by the Red Devils as replacement of their retiring legend Paul Scholes, and they have already made contact with Barcelona to make the deal happen.

The Blaugrana paid Arsenal £35 million for Fabregas’ signature in 2011 but have since failed to accommodate him in their star-studded midfield. They now want to strengthen some other areas of their squad and have therefore decided to cash in on him.

It is believed that Barca would be willing to do business if they receive a bid of around £20 million.

The Gunners purportedly have the first-rejection option for Fabregas but it is unclear if they intend to exercise it.

 

AVB Urges Latics to Upset Gunners

Tottenham Hotspur manager Andre Villas-Boas expects Wigan Athletic players to be at their best and upset Arsenal when their team visits Emirates Stadium on Tuesday night.

Spurs’ Sunday-night 2-1 win over Stoke City lifted them above the Gunners on the Premier League points table, but they will have to relinquish their fourth and final Champions League spot again if Arsene Wenger’s men collect all three points against the Latics tomorrow.

An upset win will also keep alive the PL survival bid of Wigan, who will get relegated otherwise. And therefore, Villas-Boas has urged the newly-crowned FA Cup champions to do all they can to defeat Arsenal for both their causes.

He said: “Obviously there is great emotion and motivation going through the Wigan players’ heads at the moment, and we saw the message from Dave Whelan saying they are absolutely focused. I expect them to give them a hard game because the objectives are there for both teams. Arsenal are a very experienced side, but Wigan are very, very motivated to save themselves.”

 

Pardew Assures Magpies Won’t Slack Off Against Arsenal

Newcastle United coach Alan Pardew has retracted his earlier comments to the press in which he had indicated that his side might not play to the best of their abilities in their final game of the season against Arsenal.

After the Magpies’ 2-1 defeat of QPR secured their Premier League status, Pardew had said: “I don’t really care if Arsenal win 4-0 if I’m honest – I’m sure Spurs will – but I only care that our fans enjoy themselves.”

His views disappointed Tottenham fans and also infuriated a certain section of his own club’s supporters. As a result, he has now come forward to claim that his previous remarks weren’t supposed to be taken seriously.

In a fresh interview with nufc.co.uk, Pardew said: “I know people will have picked up on my comments about not caring about the result against Arsenal, which were, of course, a joke. It is definitely not the case that I would be happy for us to lose 4-0 against Arsenal on Sunday.

“I simply want our players and fans to be able to enjoy the game without looking over their shoulders. Even though we are now safe, we will be putting in the same effort that we would for any other Premier League game.”

“Arsenal will be doing everything they can to try and achieve a Champions League spot and we won’t make it easy for them, make no mistake about that. This is a game everyone at this football club wants to win,” Pardew said much to Tottenham’s relief.
Wenger Urges Gunners to ‘Finish the Job’

Arsene Wenger has told his Arsenal charges that their Champions League destiny is in their own hands and urged them not to let all their good work go to waste.

If the Gunners win both of their remaining two Premier League fixtures against Wigan Athletic and Newcastle United, they will finish in top-four ahead of bitter rivals Tottenham Hotspur. Not too long ago, Arsenal failing to maintain their Champions League status seemed like a very real possibility, but they have fought back once again in their typical end-of-the-season style.

And now that their target is so close, Wenger wants his men to grab the opportunity with both hands.

Ahead of Arsenal’s Tuesday-night encounter with Wigan Athletic, he said: “Both teams have to go for it, it’s a huge game for both of us. We have been very consistent, we’ve been on a remarkable run and our destiny is in our own hands. Two months ago our destiny was not in our own hands. Today it is. So let’s finish the job.”

 

Wenger Rubbishes PSG Link

Arsene Wenger has made it clear that there is no truth in reports linking him with a summer move to Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain.

It had been recently claimed in the press that the rich Parisian outfit’s owners would replace their incumbent manager Carlo Ancelotti with Wenger in the summer, but the Arsenal boss has completely rubbished those claims.

In an interview with beIN Sport, he said: “I have had no contact with PSG. Carlo Ancelotti has done a good job and I do not see why he would leave the club by viewing the quality of his work this season. I followed their season. They have built their success on a form of individual superiority and the collective one that they found through the Champions League. In Ligue 1, they had a quite difficult journey.

“And for my part, I have a contract with Arsenal, where I have served for 17 years and I do not see myself leaving the club like a thief and not respecting my contract.”

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