The following is a roundup of soccer stories from U.K. newspapers with clickable Internet links.
Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson is preparing to sell striker Wayne Rooney for 35 million pounds ($52.5 million) at the end of the season, the Daily Mirror said.
The coach this week left 27-year-old Rooney out of the starting lineup for the Champions League match against Real Madrid that the English team lost 2-1, leaving the player furious, the newspaper added. Ferguson is unhappy at Rooney’s level of fitness, the Mirror said.
The team is willing to listen to offers, with Manchester City, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain interested, the newspaper said. Rooney’s contract has two years remaining.
The Guardian said Rooney’s reputed 300,000 pound-a-week salary is too expensive for City, which tried to sign him in 2010. AC Milan, Juventus and Inter Milan would struggle to pay his wages, and Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Barcelona may not see Rooney fitting into their squads, the newspaper said.
Tottenham will offer to double forward Gareth Bale’s annual pay to 8 million pounds in an effort to keep the Welshman, the Daily Mail said.
The 23-year-old is being paid 75,000 pounds a week under a four-year contract that ties him to the north London club until 2016, the newspaper said. He’s attracted interest from Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Manchester City, but Spurs Chairman Daniel Levy will offer to double his pay, the Mail said.
Levy won’t sell Bale for less than 60 million pounds, the newspaper added.
Barcelona is targeting Liverpool’s Daniel Agger as the Spanish club looks to revamp its defense, the Mirror said.
The Danish player signed a new contract with the Reds last season, but Barcelona needs to replace 34-year-old Carles Puyol, who is nearing the end of his career, the newspaper said.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers isn’t interested in selling Agger, the newspaper said.
Manchester City is interested in Arsenal defender Carl Jenkinson should the 21-year-old become available, the Mirror said.
Jenkinson signed an extension with the Gunners earlier this season, and will probably get more playing time if Bacary Sagna leaves as expected at the end of the season, the newspaper said.
Still, City is attracted to the player, having already taken Arsenal’s Samir Nasri, Gael Clichy and Kolo Toure over the past few seasons, the Mirror said.
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