Tottenham Wants Chelsea Striker Didier Drogba, Express Reports: Roundup

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

Drogba for Spurs?

Tottenham wants to sign Chelsea striker Didier Drogba as the north London club tries to boost its goalscoring for next season, the Daily Express said.

The 33-year-old may be sold by Chelsea, whose billionaire owner, Roman Abramovich, plans to rebuild the team around 50 million-pound ($81 million) signing Fernando Torres, the newspaper said.

Spurs coach Harry Redknapp wants Drogba, who scored 95 league goals in 201 games since arriving in west London in 2004, but he’ll face competition from Marseille and Real Madrid, the Express said.

United Defense

Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson wants to sign French under-21 defender Raphael Varane as a long-term replacement for injury-prone Rio Ferdinand, the Telegraph said.

The Lens player is valued at about 9 million pounds and is also being tracked by Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid, the newspaper said. The 18-year-old may be signed by United and loaned to PSG to make sure he gets playing time, the Telegraph said.

Wolves Warning

United must face a fine or other punishment if the team doesn’t put out a full-strength team with players such as Wayne Rooney and Ryan Giggs against Blackpool this weekend, Wolves Chairman Steve Morgan said, according to the Telegraph.

Wolves, Blackburn, and Birmingham are just out of the relegation zone, and are at most just a point above Blackpool and Wigan, which occupy the drop zone. West Ham’s already been relegated.

Morgan’s team was given a 25,000-pound suspended fine in 2010 after resting 10 first-team regulars in a 3-0 loss at Old Trafford, which Wolves coach Mick McCarthy didn’t expect to win. Nine players were brought back in the next match against fellow strugglers Burnley, a game Wolves won.

The fining of Wolves set a precedent and United, which already has clinched the league and plays in the Champions League final later this month, should be held to the same standard, Morgan said.

Arsenal’s Samba?

Arsenal is planning to pursue Blackburn defender Christopher Samba, who is a cheaper option than Everton’s Phil Jagielka, Bolton’s Gary Cahill and Mamadou Sakho of PSG, the Daily Mail said.

The 27-year-old, who almost moved to the Emirates Stadium in January, may be valued at 12 million pounds, the newspaper said.

QPR Target

Queens Park Rangers, who will move to the Premier League next season, are planning to add former Chelsea striker Eidur Gudjohnsen, whose contract with Fulham ends this summer, the Sun said.

The 32-year-old may be a cheaper option than Tottenham’s Robbie Keane, and is already settled in west London, the newspaper said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net

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

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