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The following is a roundup of soccer stories from U.K. newspapers, with clickable links to the Web.
Van Persie to Stay?
Arsenal is confident of extending Robin van Persie’s contract after this season even though Italian champion Juventus has expressed an interest in the Dutch striker, the Guardian reported.
Giuseppe Marotta, Juve’s general director, told Italian website calciomercato.com that Van Persie is “a complete player and would be useful to any team. But he still has one year left on his contract with Arsenal. We will try to put the icing on the cake this summer but the important thing is that the mix is good.”
Real Madrid and Barcelona are also interested in the 28- year-old Holland international. He may be offered a four-year contract to stay at Arsenal, the Guardian said.
Manchester United may offer Everton as much as 10 million pounds ($16 million) for Leighton Baines, the Daily Mirror reported.
United manager Alex Ferguson regards England left-back Baines as “the ideal successor” for Patrice Evra, who turns 31 next week, the paper said.
Chelsea Fans’ Anger?
Chelsea risks angering its fans by letting Didier Drogba leave at the end of the season, the Daily Mirror reported.
The Ivory Coast striker, 34, had asked for a two-year deal, but his request has not been met because the London club wants to build the team around Fernando Torres, the newspaper said.
Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan isn’t expected to be in the Etihad Stadium in three days to watch his club Manchester City attempt to win its first English championship in 44 years, the Guardian reported.
The Abu Dhabi owner of City has attended only one home game since he bought the club in 2008, the newspaper said. He’s likely to watch the match against Queens Park Rangers on television, although there may still be a late change of plan, the Guardian added.
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