The following is a roundup of soccer stories from U.K. newspapers, with clickable Internet links.
Queens Park Rangers wanted to fine Joey Barton 840,000 pounds ($1.3 million) for his behavior in the match at Manchester City on the final day of the season before the players’ union intervened, the Daily Mirror reported.
Barton was sent off the field for elbowing City’s Carlos Tevez, then kneed Sergio Aguero from behind and clashed with Vincent Kompany as he left the field.
Barton was yesterday stripped of the club’s captaincy and fined 420,000 pounds, or six weeks’ wages, the newspaper said. Barton, 29, also accepted that he’ll be fired for future misconduct, the Mirror added.
Chelsea midfielder Raul Meireles is an 8 million-pound target for Italian club Napoli, the Mirror reported.
Meireles, 29, has backed up winning the Champions League by helping Portugal reach the Euro 2012 semifinals and Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis has made inquiries to his agents to try and make the move happen, the Mirror said.
Chelsea has been told by Atletico Madrid that striker Radamel Falcao isn’t for sale at any price, the Sun reported.
“Falcao will remain here and any talk of an exit is misplaced,” the Sun cited Jose Luis Caminero, the Spanish club’s sporting director, as saying.
Edin Dzeko’s proposed move from Manchester City to Bayern Munich is in doubt after the German club made a bid for Wolfsburg striker Mario Mandzukic, the Daily Mail reported.
Dzeko was Bayern’s top target until Mandzukic scored three goals for Croatia at Euro 2012, the newspaper said. Mandzukic, who is valued at 7 million pounds, is also wanted by Everton, the Mail added.
City manager Roberto Mancini said he doesn’t want to offload Aleksandar Kolarov from his Premier League-title winning squad amid interest from Inter Milan and Juventus, the Daily Express reported.
“Kolarov is a great left-back,” the newspaper cited Mancini as saying. “I want to keep him.”