The following is a roundup of soccer stories from U.K. newspapers, with clickable links to the Web.
Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen may miss two months after having surgery yesterday in Sweden for his injured left Achilles tendon, the Daily Mirror said.
Vermaelen was kicked in the leg in the Champions League playoff against Udinese two weeks ago and sat out an 8-2 loss at Manchester United on Aug. 28. Arsenal decided to operate rather than risk a repeat of the Belgian’s being sidelined for most of the season, The Mirror said. Vermaelen missed much of last season with a right Achilles problem, the Mirror said.
Vermaelen is hoping to be back is less than two months, the Mirror said. Arsenal signed defenders Per Mertesacker from Werder Bremen and Andre Santos from Fenerbahce last week prior to the transfer deadline.
England manager Fabio Capello has questioned Arsenal’s handling of Jack Wilshere’s ankle injury, the Guardian said.
Wilshere will miss up to three months after hurting his ankle playing for England in June. Capello has said the national team is not to blame and questioned why Arsenal allowed him to go on holiday after aggravating it in a preseason match in July instead of getting treatment, the Guardian said.
“It’s not my job to say what happened, but he suffered against Switzerland and then went on holiday for a month,” Capello was quoted as saying by the newspaper.
Porto has threatened to report Chelsea to European soccer’s governing body UEFA and FIFA, the sport’s international body, over the Blues’ failed bid for fullback Alvaro Pereira in January, the Sun said.
Porto President Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa says Chelsea made a direct approach to the Uruguayan without the club’s permission, the Sun said.
Keane for Iceland?
Roy Keane is the leading candidate to become manager of the Iceland national team, the Daily Mail said.
The former Manchester United player has been out of work since being fired by Ipswich in January. He’s been in talks with the Iceland soccer federation and will watch the team’s Euro 2012 qualifier against Cyprus in Reykjavik tonight, the Mail said.
Iceland officials are looking to replace Olafur Johannesson, who is due to leave next month after four years. Steve Coppell and ex-Sweden boss Lars Lagerback have also been linked with the post, the Mail said.
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has been given permission to return to full training this week, the Daily Mail said.
The midfielder underwent surgery for a groin injury in April and his comeback in preseason was delayed by an infection. Gerrard may be included in the squad when Liverpool visits Tottenham on Sept. 18, the Mail said.