Paper round-up: In bed with Madonna

Posted by ESPN Staff

Plenty of eyebrow raisers in today's paper round-up and none more shocking than Paolo Di Canio's claim in The Sun that seeing his Swindon side defeat Aston Villa in the Capital One Cup would be "just as good" as having sex with Madonna. Let's hope he is not talking about the 2012 variety.

Paolo Di Canio took charge of Swindon in 2011PA PhotosPaolo Di Canio took charge of Swindon in 2011

The Italian said: "When I scored against [Manchester] United [for West Ham in the FA Cup] it was very exciting to look around and see 9,000 people celebrating away from home. Sending Manchester United out was amazing. It was like having sex with Madonna and beating Villa as a manager would be just as good."

The Sun also reports that Sven Goran Eriksson has been linked to the vacant manager's position at Hartlepool. Former boss Micky Barron quit last week and the ex-England coach could make a shock return to management.

The Daily Mirror claims that Blackburn may be making a move for Diego Maradona (not Madonna). Blackburn chief Shebby Singh wants to offer the superstar an astonishing chance to become the club's new manager. Former TV pundit Singh is now in charge of the recruitment of a boss for owners Venky's, and has made an approach to the Argentina legend. Maradona recently managed in the UAE, and took Argentina to the quarter finals of the last World Cup.

Elsewhere, the Daily Mail reports that Harry Redknapp is the firm favourite for the Rovers job, with Blackpool boss Ian Holloway and former Blackburn defender Henning Berg. But considering that he was supposedly in line for the England job just eight months ago, persuading Redknapp to move north from his base on the south coast - and drop down to the Championship for the first time since he left Southampton seven years ago — would represent a major coup.

Also in the Daily Mail is a report that Arsenal are establishing stronger ties in Germany in the hope of extending their scouting network in the country. Germany paraded their impressive young talent at the 2010 World Cup and Arsenal have joined the race to secure the next batch. The Gunners have already lured Serge Gnabry, 17, and Thomas Eisfeld, 19, to the Emirates and are on the lookout for the next Lukas Podolski or Per Mertesacker.

ESPN Conversations