Papers: Reds eye Neuer
Neuer wanted by Sir Alex as new No.1
Political infighting at Bayern Munich has left the way clear for Manchester United to snap up their top goalkeeping target Manuel Neuer. Schalke's Germany No 1 seems certain to leave at the end of the season, if not sooner, after heavily criticising his side's 5-0 defeat at Kaiserslautern and claiming they were in danger of being relegated from the Bundesliga. Bayern and United looked to be shaping up for a straight fight for the 24-year-old, but Sportsmail can reveal that a war of words behind the scenes at the Allianz Arena has left Old Trafford boss Sir Alex Ferguson in pole position. While president Uli Hoeness and chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge both strongly favour a move for Neuer, manager Louis Van Gaal is standing up to them and insisting the club stick with 22-year-old prospect Thomas Kraft, who won rave reviews on his Champions' League debut against Roma last week. As a further encouraging sign for United, locally-born Neuer, who has retained his membership of Schalke's supporters' club, is wary of upsetting a fan base who would prefer him to move abroad rather than to bitter rivals Bayern. Neuer is under contract until 2012 and valued at around £16million. Ferguson is keen to sign an experienced stopper to take the gloves from Dutchman Edwin van der Sar, who is approaching the end of a brilliant career, having celebrated his 40th birthday last month.John Edwards, Daily Mail
The Daily Mirror claims Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola will resist any potential future approach from Chelsea - because he wants to work alongside Sir Alex at United. Guardiola has told friends he wants to take over when the Scot calls time on his Old Trafford reign, although he would want Fergie to stay around the club as a mentor.
In other news the Independent claim Antonio Valencia could be back in action by mid-February.