Martin Jol May Succeed Chris Hughton as Newcastle Coach: Roundup

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

Jol for Toon?

Former Tottenham manager Martin Jol, who left Ajax yesterday, may be poised to take over at Newcastle, the Guardian reported.

Ex-Charlton and West Ham coach Alan Curbishley and Norwich’s Paul Lambert are also possible contenders to succeed Chris Hughton, who was fired yesterday, the newspaper said.

Hargreaves Battle

Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson hinted the club may not be able to save Owen Hargreaves’s career at Old Trafford, the Daily Mail reported.

The midfielder tore a hamstring five minutes into the game with Wolves last month when he made his first start in more than two years, the Mail added.

“We would have to be super-optimistic to think everything is going to be rosy for him in terms of him making a comeback,” Ferguson was cited as saying.

Blackburn Showdown

Coach Sam Allardyce is set for “crunch talks” with Blackburn’s new owners over the size of his transfer budget and who he’ll be allowed to buy, the Daily Mirror reported.

Allardyce wants former Blackburn striker Roque Santa Cruz to return from Manchester City, the newspaper said. The coach will be upset if his power is curbed, following the takeover of the club by poultry company Venky’s (India) Ltd, it added.

Bargain Buys?

Damien Comolli, Liverpool’s director of football strategy, sees the opportunity to buy players at bargain prices in the January transfer window, the Sun said.

“In this economic recession there are so many clubs that are in trouble abroad, more than England,” Comolli was cited as saying. “These clubs are under enormous pressure to sell.”

Thanks, FIFA

A Qatari couple named their daughter “Fifa” as she was born on the day the Gulf country won the bid to host the 2022 World Cup, the Press Trust of India reported.

Soccer governing body FIFA announced the decision last week.

“When I was in labor I heard that Qatar was picked ahead of many other countries to host the World Cup finals, so my husband and I decided to name her Fifa,” the mother was cited as telling the Arabic Al Raya daily. They had been considering naming the girl Dana.