The following is a roundup of soccer stories from U.K. newspapers, with clickable Internet links.
Manchester United winger Nani, who was asking for 130,000 pounds ($207,000) a week to sign a new contract with the Red Devils, ruined any chance of a move to Zenit St. Petersburg with his “unreal” wage demands, the Daily Mail reported.
The Russian champion spent more than $100 million this week on signing Brazilian striker Hulk and Belgian midfielder Axel Witsel, and wouldn’t stretch further to accommodate Nani’s request, the newspaper said.
Barton Ban Stands
Queens Park Rangers midfielder Joey Barton will still have to serve the remaining nine games of his 12-match ban even after joining French club Marseille on loan, the Telegraph reported.
Barton’s suspension for his actions on the final day of last season is also applicable in France, the Ligue de Football Professionnel, which runs the country’s soccer leagues, said in statement last night, the Telegraph said.
Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho ruled out the prospect of Cristiano Ronaldo leaving for a benefactor-funded team such as Manchester City or Paris Saint-Germain, saying the world’s best players only want to play for “historic” clubs, the Daily Telegraph reported.
“Madrid, Barca, Bayern, these clubs have unique historic capital,” the newspaper cited Mourinho as saying. “The trophies, the European Cups, the history, the fans. Things you cannot buy with money.”
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger wants defenders Bacary Sagna and Kieran Gibbs to sign new contracts, and the club will begin negotiations with the former as a matter of urgency, the Daily Mirror reported.
Sagna, whose current agreement expires in 2014, this week questioned his future after getting frustrated at Arsenal selling its best players and not winning trophies, the Mirror added. The Gunners sold captain Robin van Persie and midfielder Alex Song last month.
Fiorentina wants Fulham striker Dimitar Berbatov to pay for the flight he and his agent never took to Florence after the former Manchester United forward decided against a move to Italy, the Daily Express reported.
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