Podolski Is Target for Juventus, Atletico Madrid: Soccer Roundup

The following is a roundup of soccer stories from U.K. newspapers with clickable Internet links.

Podolski Plan

Arsenal forward Lukas Podolski has fallen out of favor with manager Arsene Wenger after joining the Gunners last year, and is being watched by Juventus and Atletico Madrid, the Sun said.

The German has scored 13 times this season since signing for 10.9 million pounds ($16.2 million) from Cologne, the newspaper said. Juventus may be willing to pay 15 million pounds, and can increase his 100,000 pounds-a-week pay, the Sun said.

The 27-year-old has injured his ankle and will probably miss Arsenal’s Champions League match with his former club Bayern Munich tomorrow, the newspaper added. Wenger thinks Podolski could work harder in matches, the Sun said. The player’s last three league appearances have been as a substitute.

Modric to United?

Former Tottenham midfielder Luka Modric would be keen on a future switch to Manchester United from Real Madrid, the Daily Mail said.

The 27-year-old scored against United last week to help drive the Premier League leaders out of the Champions League, and remains a target for manager Alex Ferguson, the newspaper said.

United tried to sign Modric two years ago, the Mail said. He moved to Madrid for 33 million pounds last summer, but has struggled to get into the starting lineup at the Spanish team, the newspaper said.

Taylor for England?

Newcastle defender Steven Taylor may play his first match with England’s senior national team later this month after recovering from a long-term hamstring injury, the Guardian said.

Taylor may be selected by manager Roy Hodgson for the World Cup qualifying games against San Marino and Montenegro, the newspaper said. Taylor, 27, was captain of England’s under-21 team, but injuries have kept him from playing for the senior squad, the Guardian said.

Top-Five Target

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard said his club needs a “perfect finish” to reach the top five in the Premier League and qualify for European competitions, the Telegraph said.

The team is seven points behind fourth-place Chelsea, having played one additional game, and is hoping to sneak in after three straight league victories, the newspaper said.

Liverpool’s final games this season may look easier than those for the teams around it, but the 2-0 loss at home to West Brom last month means the club can’t relax, Gerrard said.

Wilshere Out

Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere won’t be available for the Gunners’ Champions League match with Bayern because of an ankle injury, the Daily Mirror said.

The 21-year-old was hurt in the 2-1 loss at Tottenham and won’t participate in tomorrow night’s game, where Arsenal will attempt to overturn a 3-1 deficit to the German league leader, the Mirror 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

Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.

Bloomberg reserves the right to remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.