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Ferguson Defends Manchester Utd. Goalie De Gea: Soccer Roundup

Aug. 15 (Bloomberg) -- The following is a roundup of soccer stories from U.K. newspapers, with clickable links to the Web.

De Gea Defended

Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson defended David De Gea after the Spanish goalkeeper he signed to replace Edwin Van der Sar made his second mistake in as many weeks, the Daily Mirror reported.

While Ferguson said De Gea’s failure to gather a 15-yard shot from West Brom’s Shane Long was “a slack goal to lose,” the 20-year-old should have received more protection from a “ridiculous aerial assault” in the second half of yesterday’s match, which United won 2-1.

“He took a battering in the second half, when he should have been protected more by the referee but he wasn’t,” the Mirror cited Ferguson as saying. “He is young and he will come through. Welcome to English football!”

Going for Goetze

United has turned its attention to Borussia Dortmund’s Mario Goetze after becoming frustrated in its attempts to sign Inter Milan’s Wesley Sneijder, the Daily Express reported.

United scouts watched Goetze, 19, run the midfield in Germany’s 3-2 win over Brazil in Stuttgart last week, the Express said. Goetze, who is contracted at Dortmund until 2014 and is valued at 20 million pounds ($32.5 million), is rated as the best young talent in the Bundesliga after helping Borussia win the title last season, the newspaper added.

Chelsea Interest Cools

Chelsea may end moves to sign Tottenham’s Luka Modric even though manager Andre Villas-Boas is in the market for a midfielder, the Sun reported, citing Blues Chairman Bruce Buck.

“We did make an offer, it was rejected and I don’t know if it will go any further,” the Sun cited Buck as saying. “We will have to see.”

Galaxy Quest

Tottenham accepted a 1.8 million-pound offer for Robbie Keane from the Los Angeles Galaxy, which faces a race to sign the 31-year-old striker before the transfer window closes, the Daily Mail reported.

Los Angeles needs to offload former Aston Villa striker Juan Pablo Angel if it wants to add Keane to its list of so-called designation players along with David Beckham and Landon Donovan, the Mail added.

Shock Swoop

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish is considering a surprise move for Celtic winger Pat McCourt, who would likely be used as an impact player off the bench, the Mirror reported.

Liverpool has been monitoring the 27-year-old and Dalglish’s interest has been flushed out by the attention the Northern Ireland international is now receiving from other clubs, the Mirror said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Dan Baynes in Sydney at dbaynes@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at at celser@bloomberg.net

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