The following is a roundup of soccer stories from U.K. newspapers, with clickable Internet links.
Antolin Alcaraz, Arouna Kone, James McCarthy and Shaun Maloney are among players he’s interested in, the newspaper added. Callum McManaman, who was once on Everton’s books, is another possible target. Marouane Fellaini may be sold to raise funds for Everton.
Hughes for Stoke?
Mark Hughes is expected to be named as Stoke City manager as early as today after talks with the club yesterday, the Times reported.
His appointment to succeed Tony Pulis appears to be a “formality,” the newspaper said.
Former Blackburn and Manchester City manager Hughes was fired by Queens Park Rangers last November after the team picked up four points in the first 12 games of the season. QPR went on to be relegated at the end of the campaign.
England manager Roy Hodgson’s preparations for tonight’s match with the Republic of Ireland “descended into farce” yesterday over Ashley Cole’s appointment as captain for the game to honor his recent achievement of winning a 100th cap, the Daily Mail reported.
Cole won’t fulfill some of the functions traditionally associated with the captain, such as talking to the media, with Frank Lampard carrying them out instead.
Hodgson backtracked after initially seeming to suggest Lampard was captain, the Mail added.
Cole has previously clashed with the Football Association hierarchy and was fined for criticism he expressed on Twitter.
Jose Mourinho, expected to return to Chelsea as manager, won’t be able to bring a “substantial retinue” of coaching staff with him, the Times reported.
Mourinho, now at Real Madrid, will be able to bring two of his most loyal assistants, fitness coach Rui Faria and goalkeeping specialist Silvino Louro, but won’t be able to make wholesale changes to the backroom staff, the newspaper added. Steve Holland will be kept on as first-team coach, it said.
The compromise agreement was reached after talks between Mourinho and the Blues, the Times said.
Bruce Targets Given
Bruce has made recruiting a top-class goalkeeper his No. 1 priority after signing forward George Boyd from Peterborough, the Mirror added.
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