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Inter Milan Coach Benitez Targets Mascherano: Soccer Roundup

The following is a roundup of soccer stories from U.K. newspapers, with clickable links to the Web.

Mascherano Chase

Inter Milan manager Rafael Benitez has made Liverpool midfielder Javier Mascherano his main transfer target, the Daily Telegraph reported.

Benitez yesterday signed a two-year contract to coach Inter Milan, replacing Jose Mourinho, who left for Real Madrid after winning the Champions League. Benitez left Liverpool on June 3.

Vidic Replacement

Manchester United has put in a bid for Palermo defender Simon Kjaer as a possible replacement for Nemanja Vidic, the Daily Mail reported.

Vidic, who has a contract with United until 2012, may leave Old Trafford this summer for Real Madrid, Barcelona or AC Milan, the newspaper said.

Wenger Likes Cole

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has expressed an interest in signing Joe Cole, the Daily Mirror reported.

Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United are also keen to sign the England player, who is a free agent this summer after being released by Chelsea.

“I like him as a player because when he played against us he always did a lot of damage,” the Mirror quoted Wenger as saying in South Africa yesterday.

Anelka Contract

Nicolas Anelka is expected to sign a new two-year contract with Chelsea, the Daily Express reported.

Anelka, who makes 90,000 pounds ($131,877) a week at the London club, did not ask for a pay rise during the negotiations, the Express said. He scored 15 goals last season.

Benitez Donation

Benitez marked his departure from Liverpool with a 96,000 pound donation to the Hillsborough Family Support Group, the Sun reported. Ninety-six Liverpool fans died after a crush at the start of an F.A. Cup semi-final at Sheffield’s Hillsborough stadium in 1989.

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