Liverpool's Torres, Reina Set to Exercise Escape Clauses: Soccer Roundup

The following is a roundup of soccer stories from U.K. newspapers, with clickable links to the Web.

Escape From Liverpool

Fernando Torres and Pepe Reina will leave Liverpool in January by exercising escape clauses in their contracts, the Daily Mirror said.

The players made the arrangements with Anfield bosses in the summer when they decided to stay following the departure of manager Rafael Benitez, the Mirror said. They now want to leave because they feel a promised investment in the club was unfulfilled, the newspaper said.

New owner John Henry has also made it clear there will be no major spending during the January transfer window, the Mirror said.

Manchester City is keen on signing 50 million-pound ($79 million) Torres, with Manchester United and Arsenal interested in 20 million-pound rated Reina, the Mirror said.

Homeward Bound

Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez will fly home to Argentina today in an effort to be ready for the club’s showdown with rival Manchester United on Nov. 10, the Daily Mail said.

Tevez suffered a dead leg against Arsenal four days ago and was expected to be available for this weekend’s game at Wolves.

However, tests have revealed severe swelling and internal bleeding around his knee and thigh and he has been told he won’t be able to play for about two weeks, the Mail said. Manager Roberto Mancini has allowed him to go home for a few days to visit family and rest before returning for intensive treatment, the newspaper said.

Eyeing Pep

Manchester United is lining up Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola as Alex Ferguson’s successor, the Mirror said.

Stories in Spanish media suggested Ferguson recommended Guardiola because of his style of play, the Mirror said. Guardiola is believed to have a strained relationship with Barca’s new president Sandro Rosell and his contract expires next summer, the newspaper said.

Keane to Juve?

Juventus will make a bid for Tottenham striker Robbie Keane during the January transfer period, the Sun said.

Keane, 30, has started just one Premier League game this season and wants to resurrect his career. He previously had a spell in Italy with Inter Milan in 2000.

Buy Big

Tottenham goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes has urged manager Harry Redknapp to buy “quality” players in January, the Daily Star said.

Redknapp has been praised for adding Rafael van der Vaart and William Gallas this season and Gomes would welcome more players of their caliber.

“I think we need players like that, quality,” the Star quoted Gomes as saying. “We have quality players already, but you need players to make an impact on the team, like (Rafael) van der Vaart has.”

Four-Club Battle

Steven Pienaar has sparked a four-team battle after stalling on a new contract with Everton, the Daily Star said.

Inter Milan, Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham are all interested in the 28-year-old, who is free to agree to a pre-contract with Italian and European champion Inter in January, the Star said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Bensch in London at bbensch@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net.

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