The following is a roundup of soccer stories from U.K. newspapers, with clickable Internet links.
Liverpool is the favorite to sign Swansea’s Ashley Williams in the offseason after Arsenal had a 9 million-pound bid for the central defender rejected in January, the Daily Mirror reported.
Although Arsenal has left its offer open, Williams is a boyhood Liverpool fan and previously played under Reds manager Brendan Rodgers at Swansea, the newspaper added.
12 Million Pounds
Liverpool must decide if it wants to pay a minimum of 12 million pounds to beat Arsenal to the signature of Williams, the Daily Telegraph reported.
Rodgers, who covets Williams as the successor to the retiring Jamie Carragher, needs to persuade the club’s board about the merits of spending a significant portion of his transfer budget on a 28-year-old, the Telegraph added.
Going for Goetze
Manchester City joined Arsenal and Manchester United in expressing an interest in Borussia Dortmund playmaker Mario Goetze, the Daily Mail reported.
Goetze, 20, has said he would be keen to play for United at some stage, although Champions League semifinalist Dortmund values him at about 35 million pounds and expects him to stay another season, the newspaper added.
Antonio Valencia said Manchester United is concerned about throwing away its 12-point lead atop the Premier League following this week’s loss to second-place Manchester City, the Independent reported.
“We’re a little worried,” the newspaper cited Valencia as telling Ecuadorian radio station Sonorama. “Last year, we were eight points clear with six games to go and we lost the league. Now it is 12 points and seven games, and we don’t want it to happen again.”
Carroll’s Price Cut
West Ham will offer Liverpool 10 million pounds for striker Andy Carroll at the end of the season, the Daily Mail reported.
Carroll is on loan at West Ham and the club has an option to sign him permanently for 17 million pounds, though injuries and his goal return have prompted the Hammers to reduce their offer, the newspaper added.
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