The following is a roundup of soccer stories from U.K. newspapers, with clickable links to the Web.
Gallas Gets Deal
William Gallas is set to sign a new two-year contract at Tottenham worth 2.5 million pounds ($4 million) a season, the Sun reported.
The French center-half will trigger a clause that lets him extend his stay when he plays his 30th match for Spurs, and will conclude a deal next month, the Sun said.
Fergie ‘Curbs Flair’
Manchester United winger Nani said manager Alex Ferguson doesn’t encourage players to express themselves and that he’s been forced to curb his natural flair at the club, the Daily Telegraph reported.
“Something of the street always remains, that is natural, but it is not easy to show at United because Sir Alex does not allow very much freedom,” the Telegraph cited Nani as telling Spanish magazine Don Balon. “I cannot do the tricks and things I did with my friends.”
Two Chase Pirlo
Chelsea and Manchester City want to sign Andrea Pirlo, who is set to leave AC Milan on a free transfer after rejecting a new contract, the Daily Mirror reported.
Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti tried to sign the Italian playmaker last year, while City coach Roberto Mancini feels Pirlo would bring creativity and experience, the Mirror said.
At least eight Aston Villa players are considering their future after manager Gerard Houllier moved to stop a slump in form, the Daily Mail reported.
Gabriel Agbonlahor, Stiliyan Petrov, Richard Dunne, James Collins, Brad Friedel, Ashley and Luke Young and Stephen Warnock are disgruntled after Houllier banned cell phones in the dressing room, imposed severe financial penalties for rule breaches and introduced a procedure for any player wanting to contact team owner Randy Lerner, the newspaper said.
Liverpool Wants Mexes
Liverpool has joined Arsenal, Chelsea and AC Milan in the transfer clamor for Roma’s France defender Philippe Mexes, whose contract expires in June, the Mirror reported.
Liverpool’s Director of Football Damien Comolli believes he can beat the competition and lure the center-half to Anfield, the newspaper said. Liverpool’s caretaker manager Kenny Dalglish is an admirer of Mexes, though is said to favor a move for Bolton’s Gary Cahill, the Mirror added.
Bale’s Fitness Race
Gareth Bale faces a race to be fit for Tottenham’s April 5 Champions League quarterfinal against Real Madrid after withdrawing from the Wales squad for tomorrow’s Euro 2012 qualifier against England because of a hamstring strain, the Guardian reported.
The winger played against West Ham last week in his first full game since Jan. 16, having been sidelined with a back problem for six weeks, but the latest setback threatens his involvement against Madrid, the newspaper said.