Louis van Gaal (credit: JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images)
The top stories making Thursday’s back pages in the UK…
The Sun: Louis van Gaal felt the heat was on — even before Manchester United’s Champions League exit. The Red Devils boss and his players believed their dressing room at Wolfsburg’s Volkswagen Arena was too warm on Tuesday night.
Also: Olivier Giroud was Arsenal’s Greek god as his hat-trick saved their Champions League skin.
And: Jose Mourinho thinks Chelsea are the weakest link in the Champions League despite winning Group G last night.
Daily Mirror: Saido Berahino is set to miss out on a dream move to Tottenham – because West Brom are refusing to deal with them.
Also: Jose Mourinho has been blasted as “fake” by one of his former Chelsea players, who insists “as a coach, he is finished”.
And: Ronald Koeman is keen on Porto midfielder Giannelli Imbula.
Daily Star: Louis van Gaal will have to win the Premier League this season to be sure of avoiding the sack.
Also: Swansea finally axed Garry Monk yesterday – but Brendan Rodgers will NOT be replacing him in the Liberty Stadium hotseat.
Daily Mail: Arsenal are among the clubs to have asked about Palmeiras’ highly-rated teenager Gabriel Jesus.
Also: Manchester United complained that their dressing room was too hot as they suffered an embarrassing Champions League exit in Wolfsburg.
And: Chelsea’s fall from grace this season after strolling to the Premier League title last year has been remarkable, and the EA Sports Player Performance Index has revealed more alarming stats about their dire campaign.
Daily Express: Louis van Gaal could be sacked unless he can guarantee Manchester United Champions League football next season.
Also: Arsene Wenger described Arsenal’s Greatest Escape in Greece as a “special night” and led the praises for hat-trick hero Olivier Giroud.
Metro: Chelsea are set to offer Zlatan Ibrahimovic £300,000-a-week to join the club as early as January, according to reports.
Also: Louis van Gaal is facing the sack as Manchester United manager – unless he can win the Premier League title, say reports.
Daily Telegraph: It has taken fully 10 months but, as Olivier Giroud looked to the sky and then fell to the floor after scoring both his and Arsenal’s crucial second goal, it was not difficult to sense that a path to redemption was complete.
Also: Manchester United’s hierarchy firmly believes that success in the Premier League is far more important than an extended run in the Champions League, a fact that adds extra pressure on Louis van Gaal as he returns to domestic duty at Bournemouth on Saturday.
The Times: Louis van Gaal is facing growing resentment in the Manchester United dressing room about his tactics.
Also: Brendan Rodgers is expected to reject the chance to return to Swansea City in place of Garry Monk because he hopes to succeed Roy Hodgson as England manager this summer.
The Guardian: Louis van Gaal retains the support of Manchester United despite being knocked out of the Champions League, as the hierarchy believe the lucrative Premier League broadcast deal has significantly reduced English clubs’ hopes of winning Europe’s biggest prize.
Also: Raheem Sterling is clear his focus is solely on becoming one of the world’s best players, pointing to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as footballers he studies closely.