The following is a roundup of soccer stories from U.K. newspapers, with clickable Internet links.
Solo at Spurs
Luka Modric is practicing in isolation at Tottenham Hotspur’s training base, an indication that manager Andre Villas-Boas doesn’t expect the Croatian midfielder to be at the club at the start of the season, the Daily Mail reported.
Discussions between Spurs and Real Madrid over the transfer of Modric are continuing, with the Spanish champion unwilling to move from its latest bid of 30 million pounds ($47 million) plus 8 million pounds in add-ons, the newspaper said.
“He’s a player I admire,” the Sun cited Rooney as saying. “If he does come here, he’d be a great addition to the squad.”
CEO’s Step In
Manchester United Chief Executive Officer David Gill is stepping in to try to broker a deal after Arsenal rebuffed bids of 10 million pounds and 15 million pounds for van Persie, the Daily Telegraph reported.
If United increases its bid above 20 million pounds, an agreement is likely to be reached this weekend between Gill and Arsenal CEO Ivan Gazidis, the newspaper added.
City faces competition from Tottenham, Liverpool and Manchester United to sign the 23-year-old, the Mail added.
De Jong Bid
The Netherlands international has one year on his contract remaining, and the Premier League champion is open to letting him leave, the newspaper added.
To contact the reporter on this story: Dan Baynes in Sydney at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at email@example.com