Press Watch: Southampton dash hopes of Hughes and Reid

Lowe prepares to look further afield for manager

Any hopes Mark Hughes may have had of launching his club management career at Southampton appear to have been dashed, as has any ambition the former Leeds manager Peter Reid may have held of relaunching his as Gordon Strachan's successor.

According to the People, whose story is echoed elsewhere, Southampton's chairman, Rupert Lowe, has looked further afield for the man he wants at the helm. He has reportedly chosen Alain Perrin, who recently quit as coach of Marseille, to take over at St Mary's, and may have the Frenchman installed within two weeks, allowing Strachan to begin his sabbatical three months ahead of schedule.

The Sunday Mirror says Joe Cole is likely to become the first of Roman Abramovich's big-money Chelsea signings to be told he is surplus to requirements as Claudio Ranieri continues his quest to build a squad of 22 world-class players at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea paid £6.6m for Cole last summer but are not satisfied the former West Ham midfielder comes up to scratch. Ranieri has identified the Borussia Dortmund midfielder Thomas Rosicky as a major target for next summer and his arrival would push Cole further back in the pecking order.

The People says Chelsea want to hijack Manchester United's plans to sign the 23-year-old Rosicky, described as a cross between Roy Keane and Patrick Vieira, and the 19-year-old Atletico Madrid striker Fernando Torres, having identified Rosicky, Torres and the Real Betis winger, Sanchez Joaquin, as the three best young players in Europe.

Chelsea could make another attempt to hire Sir Alex Ferguson as manager, according to the Mirror, which says they made an informal approach in the summer. Abramovich is said to be aware that Ferguson retains a cordial relationship with Chelsea's former Old Trafford chief executive, Peter Kenyon.

Should Ferguson be forced out of Old Trafford, the Express says there are three clubs in Italy, including Internazionale and Juventus, who would be interested in making him coach.

The News of the World reports that Bayern Munich's coach, Ottmar Hitzfeld, has told friends of an approach from the Football Association about taking over as England manager should Sven Goran Eriksson quit. And the former Tottenham legend Ricky Villa is said to have told the Mirror that Spurs should go for Argentina's 1978 World Cup winning coach, Cesar Luis Menotti, as manager ahead of the one-time Bayern coach, Giovanni Trapattoni, because Menotti has more in common with Tottenham's attacking traditions.

Middlesbrough are planning a £12m double swoop for Mark Viduka, of Leeds, and Manchester United's Nicky Butt, according to the Mirror, which says Butt turned down a £5.5m move to Birmingham after deciding to keep his options open while uncertainty remains over Ferguson's future. It says the midfielder would rather go to a bigger club or stay at Old Trafford.

The People says the Newcastle striker Lomana LuaLua could go to Portsmouth if a proposed move to Marseilles falls through.

The News of the World reports interest from Celtic and Portsmouth in the Everton goalkeeper Steve Simonsen and says Youri Djorkaeff will leave Bolton if Sam Allardyce's side fail to qualify for Europe, although qualification would be virtually guaranteed if Arsenal overcame Middlesbrough to face Bolton in the Carling Cup final. Aston Villa's manager, David O'Leary, will go for Leicester's out-of-contract Muzzy Izzet in the summer after his chairman, Doug Ellis, told him he could spend only £3m and would need to seek free transfers to bolster his squad.

Comments