The following is a roundup of soccer stories from U.K. newspapers, with clickable links to the Web.
Neuer for Old Trafford?
Manchester United will bid 24 million pounds ($40 million) for Schalke goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, who had looked set to join Bayern Munich, the Daily Star reported.
Neuer’s “stunning” performance in United’s 2-0 Champions League win at Schalke this week convinced manager Alex Ferguson he should make one last attempt to sign a player he’s tracked for 18 months, the Star added.
Chelsea is near to clinching the 18 million-pound signing of Anderlecht striker Romelu Lukaku, the Sun reported.
Barcelona has opened the way for the Blues by pulling out of the race for the 17-year-old, who’s been dubbed the “new Didier Drogba,” the Sun added.
The Daily Mirror says Florent Malouda and Nicolas Anelka will be among those leaving Chelsea in the offseason. Paulo Ferreira, Jose Bosingwa and Yuri Zhirkov will also go, the newspaper said.
Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish may make a 5 million-pound bid for Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton, the Daily Mail reported.
Blackburn’s Phil Jones, Charlie Adam of Blackpool, Aston Villa duo Ashley Young and Stewart Downing and Ipswich’s Connor Wickham are also among Dalglish’s targets, the Mail reported.
Black Cat Bothroyd?
Sunderland manager Steve Bruce is ready to sign Cardiff striker Jay Bothroyd on a free transfer at the end of the season, according to the Mirror.
Bothroyd’s goals and assists have boosted Cardiff’s push for promotion to the Premier League this season, and he’s attracting interest as he lets his contract run down, the Mirror added.