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Liverpool Approaches Ajax Coach Frank de Boer: Soccer Roundup

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

Liverpool Goes Dutch

Liverpool made Ajax coach Frank de Boer the No. 1 target to replace manager Kenny Dalglish and contacted the former Netherlands defender over the weekend, the Sun reported.

De Boer, who guided Ajax to back-to-back Dutch league titles this month, has asked for time to consider Liverpool’s approach, the newspaper reported.

Drogba Departure

Chelsea expects striker Didier Drogba to move on a free transfer to Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua, where he’ll link up with former teammate Nicolas Anelka on a contract worth 250,000 pounds ($395,750) a week, the Daily Mail reported.

Blues chief executive officer Ron Gourlay will meet with Drogba’s agent and the club has to “think about what’s right for Didier and what’s right for Chelsea,” the Mail cited Chelsea Chairman Bruce Buck as saying.

Torres Tantrum

Fernando Torres placed his future at Chelsea in doubt after saying that he has experienced the “worst moments” of his career this season and that he wants talks with club officials about his treatment, the Daily Telegraph reported.

“I felt they have treated me in a way I was not expecting, not the manner for which the club brought me here,” the paper cited Torres as saying. “We have had many conversations and now the season’s finished we will have more talks to see what happens in the future, because this is not the role for which I came and I’m not happy.”

Players’ Plea

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich will decide this week whether interim manager Roberto Di Matteo gets to keep the job after he guided the club to its first Champions League title, the Guardian reported.

The club’s players have pleaded for Di Matteo, whose 11-week spell in charge has also yielded the F.A. Cup, to be given the post on a permanent basis, the Guardian said. Di Matteo’s contract expires June 30 and he’ll speak to Abramovich before going on vacation, the newspaper added.

Mancini Contract

Manchester City opened formal talks with manager Roberto Mancini at the weekend about a new three-year contract worth 15 million pounds, the Daily Mail reported.

City wants to reward Mancini for winning the Premier League title with a new agreement worth 5 million pounds a year and expects to have the deal done before he goes on vacation at the end of this week, the newspaper said.

Berbatov Must Go

Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov said it’s “obvious” he must leave the Red Devils in the off-season, though he wouldn’t consider a move to cross-town rival Manchester City, the Sun reported.

“My time at Manchester United is running out,” the Sun cited Berbatov, who started five league games last season, as saying. “I no longer feel like a valuable part of this team. I’m looking for a new place now. I know I can still play at the highest level.”

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