The following is a roundup of soccer stories from U.K. newspapers, with clickable links to the Web.
Juventus may bid to sign Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov, who’s having an “erratic” season, the Daily Mirror reported.
The Bulgarian’s performance in the draw at Aston Villa 10 days ago was so poor that manager Alex Ferguson left him out of the squad for the Nov. 20 win over Wigan, the newspaper added.
Berbatov’s long-term prospects at Old Trafford don’t look good now as Wayne Rooney is staying at the club and amid competition from newcomer Javier Hernandez, the Mirror said.
Juve is hopeful of signing Berbatov in the January transfer window, according to the newspaper.
West Ham, bottom of the Premier League, may sign former Hammers captain Steve Lomas as assistant coach to Avram Grant, the Mirror reported.
That spells the exit for current No. 2 Zeljko Petrovic, who will leave by the end of the week, the newspaper added.
The Daily Star says his departure will pave the way for the return of Hammers favorite Paolo Di Canio in a coaching role. His name was chanted by traveling fans in West Ham’s 3-0 defeat at Liverpool three days ago.
Aston Villa coach Gerard Houllier may try to sign his former player Juninho Pernambucano, whom he managed at Lyon, the Mirror reported.
The 35-year-old is currently at Al Gharafa in Qatar and could join another veteran signing, Robert Pires, at Villa, the newspaper added.
Houllier is preparing a January bid for Middlesbrough center-back David Wheater, the Daily Mail said.
Boro manager Tony Mowbray needs to raise funds to bring in new players as he seeks to climb out of the Championship relegation zone, the Mail added.
Zapata for City?
Manchester City is monitoring Udinese center-back Cristian Zapata, the Mail reported. The 24-year-old, who can also play right-back, is attracting interest from Inter Milan too.
The Colombian, who has a contract at the Italian team until 2013, is valued at 8 million pounds ($12.7 million), the Mail said.