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Manchester United Prepares $34 Million Bid for Modric: Roundup

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

Modric Move

Manchester United is ready to offer Tottenham 22 million pounds ($34 million) for midfielder Luka Modric, who is valued at 30 million pounds by his club, the Daily Mirror reported.

Spurs will hold out for more money and United will have to increase its initial offer, the Mirror said. The Red Devils are also targeting Everton left-back Leighton Baines, though aren’t prepared to pay more than 15 million pounds for the 27-year-old, the newspaper added.

Mancini’s Choice

Roberto Mancini may face a choice between the Italy job and signing a new contract at Manchester City after emerging as the top candidate to succeed Cesare Prandelli if he leaves his post after the European Championship, the Daily Telegraph reported.

While negotiations over a new long-term contract at City are expected to be a formality, the prospect of coaching Italy at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil may tempt Mancini should Prandelli’s tenure end following Euro 2012, the Telegraph said.

Chelsea Job

Chelsea told Roberto Di Matteo it would like him to remain as manager after owner Roman Abramovich tried and failed to persuade former Barcelona coach Josep Guardiola to cut short his sabbatical, the Daily Mail reported.

Nothing has been agreed yet and the length of contract being offered to Di Matteo, who guided the Blues to the Champions League and F.A. Cup titles last month, is unclear, the Mail added.

Midfield Enforcer

Chelsea is looking at a 20 million-pound bid for Everton’s Marouane Fellaini, who tops the club’s list of potential midfield enforcers, the Mirror reported.

Clarke Contract

West Bromwich Albion will name Steve Clarke as manager in the next 24 hours after the former Liverpool, Newcastle, West Ham and Chelsea assistant coach agreed on a three-year contract worth 1 million pounds a season, the Sun reported.

QPR’s Giroud Bid

Queens Park Rangers have made a bid to sign France striker Olivier Giroud, who’s rated at 50 million pounds by his club Montpellier, the Mail reported.

Giroud, who scored 21 goals last season to help Montpellier win the Ligue 1 title, is said to have a 12.8 million-pound release clause in his contract, the paper added.

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