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13/03/2013 09:08

Papers: Sheikh up the game

Oliver Kay writes in The Times...

Sheikhs shake world game with plan for Dream Football League
The world’s leading football clubs are to be offered enormous financial inducements to participate in a 24-team tournament every two years in Qatar and neighbouring Gulf states, The Times has learnt. Backed by the Qatari royal family, the self-styled “Dream Football League” (DFL) will release plans next month for a new club tournament that it hopes to establish as a rival to the Champions League and the Club World Cup. The move, the latest stage of Qatar’s bid to establish itself as a dominant player in world football, represents a clear threat to the existing powerbases of Fifa, football’s world governing body, and Uefa, its European counterpart. It remains to be seen which, if any, Barclays Premier League clubs will sign up for the project, but DFL is prepared to offer elite clubs such as Barcelona and Manchester United an astonishing €200 million (about £175 million) per two-year cycle in an attempt to gain support. Its plan is to have four of England’s most prestigious clubs among 16 “permanent” DFL members, with a further eight global clubs competing on an invitational basis.

The Daily Star claims that "mega-rich" French side Monaco are "ready to launch a blockbusting bid to sign Wayne Rooney. Monaco, managed by Claudio Ranieri, are chasing Ligue 2 promotion in France. Sir Alex has already said that Rooney will be at Old Trafford next season, and the story contrasts with other reports including comments from Sir Bobby Charlton and Andy Cole saying Rooney will remain a Red.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has tipped Ryan Giggs to succeed Sir Alex as United boss. He told the Mirror: "He's looking at the United job for himself. He's got top potential."

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