The following is a roundup of soccer stories from U.K. newspapers, with clickable links to the Web.
United to Get Gaitan
Manchester United agreed a deal to sign Benfica midfielder Nicolas Gaitan for 20 million pounds ($31.6 million) plus Fabio da Silva and Federico Macheda, the Daily Telegraph reported.
Defender Fabio is likely to go to the Portuguese club on a season-long loan, while striker Macheda’s transfer may be permanent as United tries to reduce some of the costs of acquiring Argentine international Gaitan, who can play as an attacking midfielder or left-sided winger, the newspaper added.
Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp said referee Martin Atkinson had admitted making a mistake by awarding Chelsea a goal in their F.A. Cup semifinal yesterday even though Juan Mata’s shot hadn’t crossed the goal line, the Guardian reported.
“He must have guessed,” the Guardian cited Redknapp as saying. “He can’t have been sure. He’s just made a mistake, unfortunately. A big mistake. I spoke to him. He says he feels worse than I do. I said: ‘I don’t think so.’ But he says he feels bad. He knows he’s made a mistake and he says he’ll have a bad week as well.”
Mata’s goal reignited the debate over goal-line technology to assist match officials, with Chelsea captain John Terry leading calls for its introduction even after his team benefited from a wrong decision, the Sun reported.
“I thought it hit me and stayed out,” the Sun cited Terry as saying of Mata’s shot. “We’ve been calling for goal-line technology for a very long time and let’s hope that the people make the right decision.”
FIFA confirmed yesterday that final tests on two shortlisted goal-line technology systems will begin later this month, before soccer’s governing body makes a definite decision on the matter in July, the Daily Mail reported.
The International Football Association Board, the sport’s rule-making body, last month approved Sony Corp. (6758)’s Hawk-Eye and GoalRef, a German/Danish collaboration, for a second round of testing in match scenarios before either can be sanctioned for use in competitive games at a July 2 meeting, the Mail said.
Suarez to Stay
Liverpool striker Luis Suarez will snub a big-money move to a European team in the offseason and has committed his future to the F.A. Cup finalist, the Daily Express reported.
“I will continue at Liverpool,” the newspaper cited Suarez, who has been linked with Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus, as saying. “I have four years left on my contract and I am very happy and I hope good things continue.”
Royston Drenthe’s Everton career is effectively over after manager David Moyes dropped him for the F.A. Cup semifinal loss against Liverpool because the Dutch winger turned up late for training last week, the Sun reported.
Drenthe, who is on loan from Real Madrid until the end of the season, was told to return home after Moyes ran out of patience with his behavior, the newspaper said. With five games remaining, Drenthe is unlikely to feature again, the Sun added.
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