The following is a roundup of soccer stories from U.K. newspapers, with clickable Internet links.
Manchester United agreed a 26 million-pound ($40.4 million) deal to sign Brazilian teenager Lucas Moura from Sao Paulo and will now discuss personal terms with his agents, the Daily Mirror reported.
United’s negotiators have doubled their valuation of the 19-year-old in the talks with Sao Paulo, the Mirror said. Moura, who is in England with Brazil’s Olympics squad, would need a work permit to play in the U.K., though he should fall into the ‘special talent’ category, the newspaper added.
Tottenham Hotspur will fine Luka Modric 15,000 pounds for each day the Croatian midfielder stays away after he refused to join the club’s pre-season tour of the U.S., the Sun reported.
Modric, who has already been docked 80,000 pounds for refusing to train last week, is said to have fled to Croatia to try to force a move to Real Madrid, the newspaper said.
“This will go against him,” the Sun cited Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas as saying. “He has worsened the situation and now the chairman is very angry.”
Playmaker’s Price Tag
Spurs are sticking by their 40 million-pound valuation of Modric and have told the playmaker that he will only be sold if the asking price is met, the Daily Telegraph reported.
A meeting between the player’s representatives and Real Madrid is scheduled for today, the newspaper added.
Chelsea signed 17-year-old central defender Emir Dautovic for 1 million pounds from Slovenian champion Maribor, the Independent reported. Dautovic, who had a trial at Manchester City last season, is likely to go into Chelsea’s academy, the newspaper added.
Open to Offers
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has given his clearest indication that the club will consider offers for striker Robin van Persie and wants the situation resolved before the Premier League season starts, the Telegraph reported.
Although Manchester United, Manchester City and Juventus have already bid for van Persie, the highest offer is 12 million pounds, about 10 million pounds short of Arsenal’s minimum valuation, the Telegraph added
Feyenoord defender Ron Vlaar pulled out of a 3.2 million-pound move to Aston Villa and accused the Premier League club of messing him about, the Daily Express reported.
“The chance that I will now sign for Aston Villa is almost zero,” Netherlands international Vlaar was cited as saying by the Express. “I don’t like to be messed about. You can write down that this transfer is now off.”