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Real Madrid Eyes Wenger If ‘Classico’ Failure Continues: Roundup

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

Wenger Interest

Real Madrid will step up interest in Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger after Jose Mourinho failed to beat Barcelona again, the Daily Express said.

Real was knocked out of the Copa del Rey this week after a 2-2 tie at Barcelona. Mourinho has won “El Classico” just once in 10 tries since taking over before last season. The two clubs meet again on April 22.

Wenger, who is under contract until 2014, and German national coach Joachim Loew are on Real’s shortlist of candidates, the Express said.

Extra Security

QPR defender Anton Ferdinand has spent 30,000 pounds ($47,000) on extra personal security ahead of tomorrow’s F.A. Cup match with Chelsea, the Sun said.

The game will be the first between the west London clubs since Ferdinand was allegedly racially abused by Blues captain John Terry during an October match. Terry faces criminal charges over the incident.

Ferdinand, who received a death threat in November, will be escorted by police to and from Loftus Road, the Sun said. It’s unlikely the two will shake hands before the match, the newspaper said.

Samba Wants Out

Christopher Samba has told Blackburn he won’t be able to give 100 percent if the club forces him to stay, the Sun said.

Samba, who has demanded a transfer, has been training with the reserves and doesn’t want to be involved with the first team, the Sun said.

“Blackburn need players who are 100 percent for the club and I am not,” the newspaper quoted Samba as saying. “The only way to solve this is for them to let me go.

Late Move

Chelsea is planning a move for Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba before the transfer period ends next week, the Daily Mirror said.

The Blues recently sent scouts to watch Pogba ahead of making an offer of around 3 million pounds, the Mirror said. Pogba is refusing to sign a new deal at United and has also been linked with Inter Milan, Mirror said.

Andy Attention

Fulham striker Andy Johnson has attracted attention from Rubin Kazan and Galatasary, the Daily Mail said.

Johnson is a one-time target for West Brom and Blackburn and would prefer to remain in England, the Mail said.

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