The following is a roundup of soccer stories from U.K. newspapers, with clickable links to the Web.
Di Matteo Interview
Chelsea interim manager Roberto Di Matteo has made his pitch to keep the job permanently in an interview with the club’s technical director Michael Emenalo, the Daily Express reported.
Di Matteo has underlined his desire to stay on as manager rather than drop back down to assistant or first-team coach, the Express said.
Barcelona’s Pep Guardiola and Real Madrid’s Jose Mourinho remain the top targets, with Di Matteo among the “Plan B” candidates along with Laurent Blanc, Didier Deschamps, Joachim Low and Bert van Marwijk, the Express added.
Swansea to Spurs
Tottenham Hotspur is planning to move for Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers if the Football Association makes an approach for Harry Redknapp over the England job, the Sun reported.
Spurs would ideally hire Carlo Ancelotti as Redknapp’s replacement, although the Italian would have to be fired by Paris Saint-Germain for that to happen, the newspaper said. Rodgers has impressed Spurs officials with his style of play and ability to achieve success on a limited budget, the Sun added.
Newcastle Eyes Vertonghen
Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew is considering a bid for Ajax’s Jan Vertonghen after traveling to Amsterdam to watch the center-back in case the Magpies qualify for the Champions League, the Daily Telegraph reported.
Vertonghen, who is valued at 10 million pounds ($15.8 million), has said a move to Arsenal would interest him, the Telegraph said. Manchester United and Manchester City also have looked at the Belgian defender, whose priority is to sign for a club in the Champions League, the newspaper added.
Sunderland manager Martin O’Neill is planning a move for Wolverhampton Wanderers striker Steven Fletcher, who will leave if Wolves are relegated from the Premier League at the end of the season, the Daily Mirror reported. The Scotland striker cost 7 million pounds from Burnley in 2010, the Mirror added.
Andy Carroll, Liverpool’s 35 million pound-record signing, said he’s put his partying lifestyle behind him and is confident his winning goal in the F.A. Cup semifinal against Everton will reignite his career, the Daily Telegraph reported.
“My past is my past,” Carroll, who has struggled with fitness problems and a lack of form since joining the Reds, was quoted as saying by the newspaper. “All I do now is sit in the house with my girlfriend, chill out and watch movies.”
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