The following is a roundup of soccer stories from U.K. newspapers, with clickable links to the Web.
West Ham wants to buy Newcastle’s Joey Barton during next month’s transfer period, the Daily Mirror said.
The Hammers feel the feisty Barton could help them avoid relegation as the team sits at the bottom of the Premier League, the Mirror said. They plan on offering the 28-year-old a five-year contract, the newspaper said.
Barton’s future at Newcastle is in doubt following the recent firing of manager Chris Hughton, who was a big supporter of the midfielder.
Malaga for Manuel?
Spanish club Malaga has joined the race for Arsenal goalkeeper Manuel Almunia, the Daily Mail said.
Almunia has fallen out of favor with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who tried to sign Fulham’s Mark Schwarzer last off-season. The Spaniard has also been linked with Villarreal and Atletico Madrid, the Mail said.
Blackburn manager Sam Allardyce is contemplating bringing Tottenham’s David Bentley back to Ewood Park, the Sun said.
Bentley moved to Spurs from Rovers for 15 million pounds ($24 million) in 2008, but has slipped down the pecking order of manager Harry Redknapp, who would allow the 26-year-old to leave next month either on loan or permanently, the Sun said.
Manchester United winger Nani feels Arsenal, not Chelsea, is his club’s biggest challenger for the Premier League title, the Daily Star said.
Chelsea has fallen to third place, two points behind Arsenal and one back of United. The Gunners visit Old Trafford in three days.
“Chelsea have lost a few games and drawn some and their confidence looks a bit low,” Nani was quoted as saying. “But Arsenal have been winning and being top of the league give you great confidence.”
Fabio Capello believes that Allardyce or Redknapp head the list of his potential successors as England coach, the Daily Mail said.
Capello will step down as England boss after the 2012 European Championships and the Football Association has said they intend his replacement to be English, the Mail said.
“In this moment Allardyce and Redknapp are doing very well because they have different players, they have good style and get results with them,” the Mail quoted Capello as saying.