The following is a roundup of soccer stories from U.K. newspapers with clickable links to the Web.
Former Liverpool coach Rafael Benitez may become an interim replacement for Andre Villas-Boas at Chelsea should billionaire owner Roman Abramovich decide to fire the Portuguese, the Daily Mail said.
Chelsea is fifth in the Premier League, which means it’s not on course to participate in the Champions League next season.
Abramovich has employed seven different coaches in nine years at the west London club, and is increasing pressure on Villas-Boas, who is in his first year at Chelsea, the newspaper said.
The Dutchman’s contract runs out after next season, and the north London club is ready to pay him a “substantial” fee to renew and raise his current 80,000 pounds ($126,600) a week salary, the newspaper said.
Van Persie has said he doesn’t want to talk about a new pact until after the season while the Gunners try to finish in the top four to qualify for the Champions League again, the Telegraph said.
West Ham attempted to bring in Chelsea striker Fernando Torres on loan last month, the Mail said.
Hammers owner David Sullivan said his club offered to take the player, who has struggled to score since joining the Blues for 50 million pounds last year, for a month, the newspaper said. Chelsea rejected the offer, saying “not at this moment in time,” the newspaper said.
The pair will meet this week to settle their differences and get the player back into the team, the newspaper said.
The striker hasn’t played since a disagreement about coming on as a substitute in a City match against Bayern Munich in September. He spent three months without permission in Argentina.
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