The following is a roundup of soccer stories from U.K. newspapers, with clickable links to the Web.
Blackburn Rovers may bid 4 million pounds ($6.3 million) to bring striker Roque Santa Cruz back to Ewood Park, the Sun reported.
The Paraguayan has had a “miserable” time at Manchester City since a 17 million-pound move last year, the paper added.
Rovers manager Sam Allardyce has money to spend on a striker after his club was taken over by poultry company Venky’s (India) Ltd. Santa Cruz is “way down” the pecking order at Eastlands, the Sun said.
Cole on Warpath
West Ham striker Carlton Cole questioned the tactics used by manager Avram Grant in the 3-0 loss at Liverpool last weekend, the Daily Mail said.
“In the first 10 minutes we had lost the game, psychologically anyway,” Cole was cited as saying. “That was diabolical, we didn’t even turn up for this game.”
Cole said he was isolated up front, without support,
“I think I had just one cross, apart from that I had nothing and as a striker that’s starvation, that’s famine,” he said. “What am I supposed to work on?”
West Ham confirmed the appointment of Wally Downes as assistant manager after the departure of Zeljko Petrovic, the Mail added.
Former Chelsea assistant manager Ray Wilkins was sacked two weeks after a bust-up with Chief Executive Officer Ron Gourlay, the Daily Express reported.
They had a “blazing row” after Gourlay criticized the management team’s use of substitutes, the newspaper said.
The Express added that Wilkins and billionaire owner Roman Abramovich argued during the offseason. The coach’s worsening relationship with the club’s hierarchy may have played a part in his surprise exit two weeks ago, according to the newspaper.
Sturridge on Move?
Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers may try to sign Chelsea striker Daniel Sturridge in the January transfer window, the Daily Mirror reported.
Chelsea rejected an initial loan request from Rodgers, who used to be a reserve and youth team coach at Stamford Bridge, but a temporary move could be lined up, the paper added.
Cesc Fitness Battle
Cesc Fabregas faces a battle to be fit for Arsenal’s match at Manchester United on Dec. 13, the Sun reported.
The Gunners’ captain suffered another hamstring problem during the 2-0 loss at Braga two days ago and has been told he may be out three weeks.