Breakfast Briefing: Laudrup departs and Blades joy
Swansea are the latest Premier League side to dispense with their manager, as they announce the departure of Michael Laudrup. The Swans have been disappointing after last year's excellent campaign, and Laudrup has perhaps paid the price for a recent run of one win in their last 10 league games. One suspects he will not be short of suitors, but it is defender Garry Monk who is the surprise candidate to replace him on a temporary basis.
There's always a bit of romance surrounding the FA Cup and various giant killing feats by lower league underdogs, but Fulham certainly did themselves a disservice in an extra time loss to League One side Sheffield United. Rene Meulensteen made eight changes to his lineup and saw it spectacularly backfire as the Blades bundled Fulham out of the cup thanks to Shaun Miller's winner.
Some good news for Arsenal fans as Schalke chairman Clemens Tonnies rubbishes any move for Gunners target Julian Draxler from Bayern Munich. "I can rule out, 100 per cent, that Julian Draxler wants to go to Bayern," Tonnies says. The Gunners were closely linked to the German prospect in January, but a move failed to materialise.
There's also plenty to like in defence for Arsenal this season, as Per Mertesacker is left marvelling over the 'unreal statistic' that he and defensive partner Laurent Koscielny have achieved. The duo have yet to lose a game that both have finished together since January 2012, notching up 23 wins in 32 outings. Not to be left out is Liverpool's Simon Mignolet, with the goalkeeper claiming that training with Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge has markedly improved his game.
Cardiff City's on-loan winger Wilfred Zaha announced himself in style with an eye-catching debut for the club, but the Manchester United prospect has set his sights on becoming a firm fan favourite while helping them get out of the relegation zone.
This year's International Champions Cup will boost a star studded field, after eight clubs were announced for the tournament to be held in the USA. Real Madrid, Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Roma, Inter Milan, AC Milan and OIympiacos will hope to make it to the final in Miami on August 4.
Over in Italy, Lazio president Claudio Lotito has revealed that he has been subjected to death threats after the transfer of Hernanes to Inter Milan. The Brazilian midfielder left Lazio for the San Siro on transfer deadline day, but claims it was his decision to move and that he was in it to win trophies and not for the money.
Napoli coach Rafael Benitez has once again been forced to defend his rotation policy, insisting that Champions League qualification is the ultimate priority. This is despite a visit to Roma in the Copa Italia semi final first leg on Wednesday.
Closer to home, Singapore coach Bernd Stange admits there is still a gulf in class after he saw his side knocked out of AFC Asian Cup Qualifying in a 1-3 loss to Jordan at Jalan Besar Stadium. Both teams had a man sent off each, but Jordan made the most of their chances to qualify for next year's tournament in Australia.