Paper Round: Jamie Vardy’s death threat hell, Arsene Wenger’s rebuilding job at Arsenal
Jamie Vardy received death threats following Claudio Ranieri’s exit at Leicester, while we also bring you the latest on Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal future. It’s Tuesday’s Paper Round.
Jamie Vardy’s death threat hell over Claudio Ranieri exit
Jamie Vardy has revealed that he and his family have been subject to death threats following the sacking of Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri last month.
The striker was accused of leading a players’ revolt against Ranieri prior to the Italian’s departure and Vardy has since spoke of the “terrifying” incidents, including a time when wife Rebekah was forced off the road by an angry fan.
“The story is out there and people pick it up and jump on it and you’re getting death threats about your family, kids, everything,” Vardy said, with the majority of newspapers opting to run with the story on their back pages. “To be honest I get them (death threats) every week. On social media, you name it – walking down the street. Football fans don’t seem to like me.”
Paper Round’s view: You don’t need us to tell you this, but it’s quite simply vile. The keyboard warriors are seldom punished but it’s the targeting of his wife and children in the car which is far more horrifying. Hopefully those responsible get their comeuppance.
Arsene Wenger’s rebuilding job
Arsene Wenger looks set to sign a two-year contract extension with Arsenal, and the Daily Mirror reports that Alexandre Lacazette and Kylian Mbappe top the club’s summer transfer targets.
Despite facing a battle for the top four, Wenger is expected to be handed a new deal – though the club are reportedly resigned to losing Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez, who are yet to sign despite being offered record-breaking deals.
Paper Round’s view: Many a column inch and article on Eurosport has focused on whether Wenger should/will leave Arsenal this summer. In this instance of a two-year deal, it seems far-fetched but would certainly be a statement of intent which the ArsenalFanTV mob would find difficult to swallow. The year-by-year uncertainty would only bring more instability to the club, so if he does sign, then the move for a two-year deal makes sense. As for those targets? They’ll have to join a long old queue.
…But PSG still want Wenger
French champions Paris Saint-Germain are still willing to offer Wenger a route out of London. The Sun (who ran with ARSE DE TRIOMPHE on their website) claims PSG want Wenger to come in for Unai Emery, with the French outfit currently trailing Ligue 1 leaders Monaco.
Paper Round’s view: You could see the jokes around the Champions League last-16 matches, and they would only resurface should this ever come true. A manager who lost 6-1 to Barca making way for a boss who fell 5-1 to Bayern. PSG will feel like they have gone backwards this season and it would be a huge ask of Wenger to steer them in the right direction once more.
Spurs chasing Ross Barkley
A return to the England squad – following a brilliant run of form for Everton – has seen Ross Barkley capture the imagination of the big clubs once more. The Daily Mail reports that Tottenham lead the chase for the midfielder, who is stalling over a new contract – with the current one set to expire at the end of next season.
Paper Round’s view: It’s a tough situation for Everton, but nothing new. There is a reluctance to be seen as a feeder club for the Premier League’s bigger-spending sides, but there will come a time when players like Barkley will crave the step up. We’re seeing it – and quite clearly hearing it – with Romelu Lukaku, and at 23, Barkley will feel the challenge of Champions League is one that he will want to experience.