With Wayne Rooney making his comeback tonight and England needing just a draw to qualify, the back pages are at their sensationalistic best, comparing Rooney to Pele and hailing him as the country’s saviour.
Rio Ferdinand tells the Sun that Rooney loves being under pressure and that big games don’t faze him at all: “When it’s a crunch game and he has to do the business it doesn’t worry him at all,” said the defender who missed out on selection in controversial circumstances, before adding that Rooney and Welbeck remind him of a strike partnership that helped United to reach the Treble.
“They remind me of when Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole were together at United. They were both goal-scorers but they could also play each other in and were happy to come short to get the ball as well,” added Ferdinand who, if the Mirror is to be believed, will be allowed to enter the final year of his contract as United want to prove his fitness before opening talks for a renewal.
The paper reports that Ferdinand will fall in the same bracket as Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes and will be offered an extension if he can maintain his form and fitness, while Danny Welbeck is set to receive a new four-year deal after the Euro and the Da Silva twins will go separate ways as Rafael is likely to extend his contract until 2016 while Fabio will join QPR on loan.
Both broadsheets agree that United have been handed an unfriendly calendar, with away games after every Champions League game in the opening months of the campaign, the exact opposite scenario as to what happened last year when the Reds played at home after their European games.
Finally a bit of transfer rumours which sees the Sun, the Mirror and the Mail offering their wisdom regarding Nani‘s future.
According to the Daily Mail, “Nani is increasingly worried over his future and has admitted to friends that he is upset not to have heard anything from Manchester United about a new deal while he has been at Euro 2012,” and the Mirror and the Sun report that, should the Portuguese winger leave, United will table an offer in the £20million region (depending which paper you trust) for Porto’s James Rodriguez.
The 20-year-old Colombian is highly rated and has impressed United scout who have followed him for over two years.
The Mail also reports that Malaga might offer Dimitar Berbatov an escape route from Old Trafford, as the big-spending Spaniard look to add a striker to their team.