Football’s crazy managerial merry-go-ground

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What the papers are saying: Sunday March 31, 2013

SUNDAY MIRROR: Frank de Boer has emerged as the front runner to replace Roberto Mancini at Manchester City. Also: Martin O’Neill was last night sacked as manager of Sunderland

SUNDAY TIMES: Martin O’Neill was sacked as manager of Sunderland last night only hours after his side lost 1-0 to Manchester United. Also: Brendan Rodgers plans to open contract talks with Steven Gerrard this week and hopes to persuade Liverpool’s owners to relax their policy of focusing investment on younger players by inducing the midfielder to stay at Anfield.

SUNDAY PEOPLE: David Cameron wants Celtic and Rangers to play their football in England. Also: Martin O’Neill was last night sacked as Sunderland boss.

THE OBSERVER: Rafael Benitez defended his controversial team selection at Southampton after Chelsea suffered a 2-1 defeat that jeopardises their pursuit of Champions League qualification, and defiantly insisted his side will finish in the top four. Also: Laura Trott has declared an ambitious intent to win seven Olympic gold medals during her career - a feat which would make her Britain’s most decorated Olympian.

DAILY STAR SUNDAY: Liverpool want to open talks with skipper Steven Gerrard about a new two-year contract. Also: Sir Alex Ferguson yesterday saluted the “courage” of his players as they closed in on the Premier League title.

THE INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY: Martin O’Neill last night parted company with Sunderland as manager after yesterday’s 1-0 defeat by Manchester United. Also: The battle to retain their title may have been lost but Manchester City are not yet ready to declare a ceasefire.

MAIL ON SUNDAY: Rio Ferdinand will be offered a new one-year deal by Manchester United next month and be given the opportunity to extend his playing career into his 36th year. Also: Rory McIlroy insisted yesterday that he will be right for the Masters next week after adding another tournament to his schedule.

SUNDAY EXPRESS: Jose Mourinho is returning to Chelsea - and wants to bring Cristiano Ronaldo with him to Stamford Bridge. Also: Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers wants skipper Steven Gerrard to sign a new contract.

SUNDAY TELEGRAPH: The pressure mounted on Rafael Benitez last night after his gamble in making seven changes to his Chelsea side backfired spectacularly as they slumped to a 2-1 defeat at Southampton that raised fears over their chances of qualifying for next season’s Champions League. Also: Liverpool are considering a move for Swansea City goalkeeper Michel Vorm as part of a summer shake-up planned by manager Brendan Rodgers.

THE SUN ON SUNDAY: Roy Hodgson has told his weary England stars to be available for the summer friendlies against Ireland and Brazil. Also: Robin van Persie must wait to see whether his Manchester United goal drought is over.