The following is a roundup of soccer stories from U.K. newspapers, with clickable links to websites.
Cesc Fabregas is “optimistic” he will move to Barcelona from Arsenal after the European champion increased its bid for the Spanish midfielder to 35 million pounds ($56 million) plus add-ons, the Daily Mail reported.
“If a player is on the market it is because the club does not want him. I have no problems,” the newspaper cited Fabregas as saying at a soccer camp in Tordera, Spain. “I’m calm and I am optimistic. I have nothing to say and there is nothing to speak of.”
Barcelona and Arsenal held productive talks yesterday even though there remains some difference in their valuations of Fabregas, the Daily Telegraph reported. The Premier League club is believed to be holding out for a transfer fee that, with add-ons, it can present to fans as being closer to 40 million pounds, the Telegraph said.
Clichy to City
Manchester City is moving toward a 7 million-pound deal for Arsenal defender Gael Clichy, the Independent reported.
Negotiations on price and personal terms still need to be concluded and Clichy, whose contract expires next year, is currently overseas, the Independent said. Liverpool had a 5 million-pound bid for Clichy rejected earlier this month, while Italian club Roma is also interested in him, the newspaper added.
City is ready to test Everton’s resolve with a 20 million-pound players-plus-cash offer for left-back Leighton Baines, the Sun reported.
The Blues are willing to pay about 10 million pounds for the 26-year-old plus two players, the Sun said. Emmanuel Adebayor and Nedum Onuoha would head the list of candidates because Everton wants to bring in a new striker and strengthen the backline, the newspaper added.
Spurs Land Striker
Tottenham is set to make Antonio Pedroza Whitham its first off-season signing after the Mexican striker agreed to a four-year contract with the London club, the Daily Mirror reported.
Pedroza Whitham, whose mother and sister live in Cheshire, England, will cost less than 1 million pounds because his contract with Mexican club Jaguares has expired, the Mirror said.
Spurs joined Manchester City in targeting French teenage striker M’Baye Niang, the Daily Mail reported. Niang, 16, made his senior debut for Caen in April and scored three goals in seven games, the Mail said.
The French club said Tottenham has offered a package worth about 7 million pounds and Spurs believe they can offer him a better chance of playing in the first team, the newspaper added.