Aston Villa Faces 5 Million-Pound Battle for McLeish: Roundup

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

McLeish Tussle

Birmingham City will demand 5 million pounds ($8.2 million) in compensation from Aston Villa should its Midlands rival want to sign Alex McLeish, who quit as the Blues’ manager two days ago, the Daily Mirror reported.

City will stop the ex-Rangers and Scotland manager moving unless it gets the money the club says it’s entitled to according to his contract terms.

“I don’t want McLeish back,” acting chairman Peter Pannu was cited as saying. “If he is going to go, I want the money.”

Ronaldo Snubs City

Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo dismissed talk of a 150 million-pound move to Manchester City, even with the prospect of 21 million pounds a year in wages, the Sun reported.

“It’s not bad, huh? We have to think about it well,” the Sun cited him as saying. “I’m not going to City. I give you my word. I’m not going. Money is not the most important thing.”

City has opened talks over a 27 million-pound deal to sign Udinese winger Alexis Sanchez, the Daily Mail reported.

Drogba for Modric?

Chelsea striker Didier Drogba could be part of a deal that would see him move to Tottenham, with midfielder Luka Modric moving the opposite way, the Mirror reported.

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp highly rates Drogba and would “love” to take him if Chelsea let him go and finances allowed, the newspaper added.

According to the Sun, Chelsea is ready to offer Modric 130,000 pounds a week to switch to Stamford Bridge, almost tripling his current salary.

Samba Battle

Redknapp is ready to battle with Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger to sign Blackburn defender Chris Samba, according to the Mirror.

Redknapp wants to sign two central defenders with Premier League experience, the newspaper said. Arsenal has already had an 8 million-pound bid rejected, the Mirror added.

Hughton Decision

Fulham is pressing Chris Hughton to decide whether he wants to join Martin Jol as assistant manager, the Mail said.

He’s delaying a decision as he wants to see whether he’s offered the Cardiff managerial post, the Mail added.

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