The following is a roundup of soccer stories from U.K. newspapers, with clickable Internet links.
Brendan Rodgers is close to making Joe Allen his second signing as Liverpool manager after the club triggered the 15 million-pound ($23.5 million) release clause in the Swansea City midfielder’s contract, the Guardian reported.
Liverpool has exploited a technicality in Allen’s agreement that allows him to join one of five specified clubs for 15 million pounds and the 22-year-old is now free to discuss a move to Anfield, the newspaper added.
Liverpool wants Manchester City to loan Adam Johnson in addition to paying 23 million pounds to sign defender Daniel Agger, the Daily Mirror reported.
Although City improved its initial bid of 13 million pounds to 20 million pounds, that offer also was rejected by Liverpool, the newspaper said. City officials remain confident they can do a deal for Agger, who has two years left on his contract, the Mirror added.
Van Persie Premium
Arsenal won’t sell captain Robin van Persie for less than 20 million pounds and will demand a premium fee of at least 25 million pounds for the Netherlands striker to join Manchester United, the Mirror reported.
Juventus, which also been trying to sign the Gunners’ captain, claimed van Persie has said he will not move to Italy and was signing for another team, the newspaper added.
Chelsea is preparing an improved bid of about 20 million pounds for Bayer Leverkusen striker Andre Schurrle, who is open to a move to the Premier League, the Daily Mail reported.
Schurrle, 21, remains a priority target for Chelsea, even though Leverkusen hasn’t heard from the Blues since their opening offer of 16 million pounds was rebuffed, the Mail added.
Spurs Approach Cesar
Tottenham Hotspur manager Andre Villas-Boas has held talks with the agent of Inter Milan goalkeeper Julio Cesar as he bids to boost his options in the position, the Guardian reported.
Villas-Boas has turned to 32-year-old Brazil international Cesar because Lyon’s Hugo Lloris, his top target, may be too expensive, the newspaper added.