The following is a roundup of soccer stories from U.K. newspapers with clickable Internet links.
Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson will launch a 100 million-pound ($162.3 million) spending spree in the off-season to try and prevent Manchester City becoming the Premier League’s dominant team, the Daily Express reported.
Ferguson knows his squad needs strengthening even if United takes advantage of a City slip-up to win the title and is lining up bids for Lille’s Eden Hazard, Tottenham’s Luka Modric and Athletic Bilbao striker Fernando Llorente, the newspaper said. Two defenders are also being considered, with Valencia left-back Jordi Alba on the radar, the Express added.
Ferguson will set about drawing up a list of transfer targets after being promised funds by United Chief Executive Officer David Gill, the Daily Star reported.
Although his priority will be to sign a right-back and boost an aging midfield, Ferguson may make a shock bid to lure Barcelona defender Gerard Pique back to Old Trafford, the newspaper added.
Liverpool is chasing Netherlands striker Luuk de Jong, who’s scored 30 goals for FC Twente this season, though it faces competition from 15 other clubs, the Sun reported.
De Jong, who is under contract until 2014, is rated at 12 million pounds and may quit Twente if the club fails to qualify for a European competition next season, the Sun added.
Liverpool is also preparing another scouting mission on AZ Alkmaar midfielder Rasmus Elm, the Daily Mail reported.
The birth of Elm’s first child at the weekend forced the Sweden international to pull out of a game, leaving manager Kenny Dalglish to reschedule another trip as the Reds consider making an offer of 7 million pounds for the 24-year-old, the Mail added.
Bruised Not Broken
Manchester United striker Danny Welbeck remains on course for selection in England’s European Championship squad after a scan revealed he sustained only heavy bruising in a tackle during the 1-0 loss to Manchester City two days ago, the Daily Telegraph reported.
Welbeck left the Etihad Stadium on crutches and wearing a protective boot on his right leg and complained of being in severe pain on the team bus, prompting fears that he had suffered a fracture, the Telegraph added.
To contact the reporter on this story: Dan Baynes in Sydney at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at email@example.com