The following is a roundup of soccer stories from U.K. newspapers, with clickable Internet links.
Luka Modric apologized to Tottenham Hotspur Chairman Daniel Levy for going on strike to try to force through a transfer to Real Madrid, the Sun reported.
Modric’s no-show for a flight to the U.S. two days ago infuriated Levy, who fined the Croatian midfielder 80,000 pounds ($124,000) for refusing to train last week, the newspaper said. Levy has made it clear that Modric can only leave if a club meets Spurs’ 40 million-pound valuation, the Sun added.
Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas described Modric’s conduct as unprofessional because the club has been open with the player by saying it would listen to offers, the Daily Mail reported.
“He’s had a lot of interest in him before but he has behaved very professionally,” the Mail cited Villas-Boas as saying. “This is the first time he has acted like this. We don’t know what sort of advice he is receiving.”
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini is angry with club officials over the Premier League champion’s failure to sign Arsenal striker Robin van Persie, the Daily Mirror reported.
Mancini has urged the club’s hierarchy to back him and not Football Administration Officer Brian Marwood, who is determined to offload players including Emmanuel Adebayor, Carlos Tevez, Roque Santa Cruz and Edin Dzeko before going for van Persie, the newspaper added.
Arsenal is keen to sign Spain winger Santi Cazorla, who has told the Gunners he’s prepared to leave Malaga to join them, the Guardian reported.
Negotiations between the clubs have taken place and Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is hopeful that an offer of 20 million euros ($24.2 million) will clinch the deal, the newspaper added.
Manchester United is chasing River Plate midfielder Ezequiel Cirigliano, whom Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain wanted to take on a trial, the Mirror reported.
Buenos Aires-based River Plate was at least 5 million pounds for the Argentine under-20 international, the paper said.
Queens Park Rangers midfielder Joey Barton will train with English fourth-tier club Fleetwood Town for a week, the Mail reported. Barton was left off QPR’s pre-season tour to Asia because he’s suspended for the first 12 games of the new Premier League season, the newspaper added.