The following is a roundup of soccer stories from U.K. newspapers, with clickable links to the Web.
Kroenke Backs Wenger
Wenger was given Kroenke’s support to hold his position in any negotiations with Barcelona over the potential transfer of the Spanish midfielder, who was included in the squad for tomorrow’s exhibition match against Benfica in Lisbon, the Independent added.
Cole to Paris
Cole, whose future at Anfield under manager Kenny Dalglish is in doubt, has told friends he is ready to move abroad if a switch to a leading Premier League club doesn’t happen, the Sun added.
Lucas for Lucas
Liverpool is considering Argentina midfielder Lucas Biglia as a possible replacement for Lucas Leiva should the Brazilian be loaned out following the arrivals of Charlie Adam, Jordan Henderson and Stewart Downing, the Daily Mirror reported.
If Leiva does go on loan to another club, Liverpool will need a replacement to deputize and protect the back four, the Mirror added.
The Scot had failed to report back on time after the off- season break as he recovers from a debilitating virus that kept him out for two months of the Premier League title run-in, the newspaper said.
While a permanent deal is being considered, the Magpies may initially take Obertan on loan, the Mirror added. The 22-year- old has been unable to secure a regular berth in United’s senior team since joining the club two years ago, the newspaper said.
Didier Drogba is likely to start as the attacking spearhead in Villas-Boas’s preferred 4-3-3 system when Chelsea opens its Premier League campaign at Stoke on Aug. 14, the Mirror added. Torres has scored once in 18 appearances since his 50 million- pound move from Liverpool in January, the paper said.
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