Ibrahimovic, Mane, Stones to lead Jose Mourinho's Manchester United era

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TOP STORY: Zlatan 'to spearhead Mourinho era'

And so, to quote Louis van Gaal on the day of his Manchester United team's FA Cup final victory over Crystal Palace, "it's over." Or was it Roy Orbison who sang that once?

Whatever, one thing that isn't over -- in fact, it has hardly begun -- is the whirl of speculation over which players will arrive, and which will leave, as the Jose Mourinho era gets going.

Step forward the Telegraph, which tells us one of the first stars in will be Zlatan Ibrahimovic, on his way from Paris Saint-Germain.

The paper says Mourinho is all set to move for Ibrahimovic, with confirmation of the ex-Chelsea chief's appointment as United boss likely to reach us within the next day or two.

Ibrahimovic and Mourinho have a strong relationship, the Telegraph stresses, dating back to their successful spell working together at Inter Milan.

The 34-year-old has turned down offers to move to the Chinese Super League and MLS club LA Galaxy because he wants to play in the Premier League before going anywhere else, it reports.

What's more, it adds that the United future of David de Gea, thought to have been uncertain if Van Gaal remained as manager, now seems far more clear-cut.

It says the goalkeeper "is expected to stay at Old Trafford now Van Gaal is going" and can look forward to "another significant summer of investment in the squad."

So who else might be arriving? Well, the Telegraph says Mourinho "will target a centre-half, at least one central midfielder, a fast, right-sided forward and a striker."

Potential arrivals include Southampton's Sadio Mane, a player for whom United had an offer turned down last year, and Everton defender John Stones -- a major target for Mourinho's Chelsea last summer.

PSG defender Marquinhos is another on the list, and two others who have long been linked, Sporting Lisbon midfielder Joao Mario and Real Madrid star James Rodriguez, remain possibilities.

But could a farewell to LVG also mean a farewell to one of United's greatest stalwarts, Ryan Giggs?

The Sun thinks so, reporting that Giggs "is ready to say goodbye to Manchester United after 29 years."

It reports that Mourinho will offer the Welshman a coaching role, with the Old Trafford powers that be "keen to keep Giggs."

"But it will be left to No. 2 Giggs to decide -- and Mourinho believes he will probably reject the offer [in order] to become a manager in his own right," it concludes.

Now that really would be the end of an era.

Palace want to strike it big

Meanwhile, Crystal Palace, the team United beat at Wembley, are looking ahead as they seek to overcome the disappointment of missing out on the first major trophy in their history.

Dancing manager Alan Pardew wants them to spend big on a big name or two -- something along the lines of the Selhurst Park coup he managed when bringing in Yohan Cabaye last summer.

This time, his main target will be a new striker, says the Mirror -- and he reckons only high-calibre players need be in consideration.

"We've shown we have got talent. We need to refine it a little bit and we are going to try to do that in the transfer market -- but we are a force to be reckoned with," it quotes Pardew as saying.

"So if you're asking whether there is going to be a big name, perhaps there will -- because they are going to need to be."

Of more immediate concern to Pardew might be what the Express describes as the "battle" he faces to keep Jason Puncheon after dropping the midfielder from his starting lineup for the FA Cup final.

The paper claims Pardew and Puncheon -- who came on as a substitute to give the Eagles the lead -- had an "explosive" row after the match, with the manager having said Puncheon "might not forgive" him for the decision not to start him.

Gunners take it to the Maxi

From South London to North now, and to Arsenal -- where the Mirror reports that Arsene Wenger is poised to reanimate old attempts to sign Maxi Romero from Velez Sarsfield.

A move for the forward was abandoned when he suffered a knee ligament injury shortly before a switch was due to go through last year.

Although Wenger wants to push through a deal for the 17-year-old, he will have to be convinced of his fitness, the paper adds.

Meanwhile -- and with more of an eye on the here and now -- his top striking target remains Juventus star Alvaro Morata.


- Andre Ayew has told a French television channel that "clubs are interested in me" and stressed that his ambition is to play in the Champions League -- but added that he is happy at Swansea City.

Ayew told TF1: "Every player wants to compete for the Champions League. A time will come when I'll aim for that. With what I've accomplished this season, clubs are interested in me. We will see."

- Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin has said he is happy at the club and brushed off speculation that he could move to Barcelona.

Bellerin, who enjoyed an outstanding season as the Gunners finished second in the Premier League, has been linked with a return to the Camp Nou, where he began his career.

But he told Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo: "I'm very happy, so I don't see myself anywhere other than at Arsenal."