Abramovich Sounds Out Guardiola on Chelsea Job: Soccer Roundup

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

Guardiola Talks

Roman Abramovich’s advisers have opened a dialogue with the representatives of Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola about the possibility of him becoming Chelsea’s next manager, the Daily Telegraph reported.

Guardiola remains Abramovich’s top choice to succeed Andre Villas-Boas and the billionaire Chelsea owner will continue in his efforts until the Spaniard signs a contract extension or, as he is also considering, takes a sabbatical from soccer at the end of this season, the Telegraph added.

Arsenal Cull

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger wants to clear out fringe players that cost 23 million pounds ($36.7 million) in wages each year to fund off-season signings, the Daily Mail reported.

Andrey Arshavin, Marouane Chamakh, Nicklas Bendtner and Manuel Almunia are among those who will be put up for sale as the club seeks to fund at least two big-name signings and reward players including Robin van Persie with improved contracts, the Mail added.

Gotze’s New Deal

Borussia Dortmund midfielder Mario Gotze, an off-season target for Arsenal, extended his contract with the German Bundesliga leader through 2016, the Sun reported.

Real Madrid and Manchester United are also interested in the 19-year-old, whose previous deal was due to expire in 2014, the Sun added.

Adam’s Season Over

Liverpool midfielder Charlie Adam will miss the rest of the season after damaging his lateral knee ligament during last week’s 3-2 loss at Queens Park Rangers, the Guardian reported.

Adam, who’s scored two goals in 35 appearances since his move from Blackpool, won’t play again before next season, the newspaper added.

Lucas Targets Return

Adam’s midfield teammate Lucas Leiva said he should be ready to return for the start of the 2012-13 campaign as he continues his rehabilitation after rupturing a cruciate knee ligament in December, the Daily Mirror reported.

“My rehab is going well and hopefully I will be fit for next season,” the Mirror cited the Brazilian as saying. “It was a bad injury so I need to recover properly to be strong again.”

Editor: Alex Duff

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