The following is a roundup of soccer stories from U.K. newspapers, with clickable Internet links.
Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney fears the club is preparing to sell him for 40 million pounds ($63.3 million), the Daily Mirror reported.
Rooney, who will miss about a month of action after receiving stitches in a gash on his thigh, may be sold because his relationship with manager Alex Ferguson has broken down, the newspaper said.
The coach believes he has enough strength in attack following the signing of Robin van Persie to cope without 26-year-old Rooney, the Mirror said.
Turkey’s Fenerbahce is planning to bid 8 million pounds for Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien and is also interested in his teammate Raul Meireles, the Daily Mail reported.
Chelsea may sell because it’s trying to balance its books, the newspaper said.
Newcastle will only consider selling first-team players like Cheick Tiote, Fabricio Coloccini or Yohan Cabaye if it receives huge offers, the Independent reported.
The three have been linked with moves away from St. James’s Park and manager Alan Pardew would only consider a sale if he’s offered more than 20 million pounds for one of his top players, the newspaper said.
Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas is planning a revamp of his squad following the sale of Luka Modric to Real Madrid, the Mirror reported.
Villas-Boas will use the funds raise from Modric’s exit to fund moves for Joao Moutinho and Alan Dzagoev as well as Fulham’s Moussa Dembele, for whom a fee was agreed yesterday, the Mirror said.
The arrivals of the new players could see Rafael van der Vaart and Jermain Defoe follow Modric out of north London, the newspaper said.
Liverpool winger Stewart Downing may be converted into a left-back by manager Brendan Rodgers, the Guardian reported.
Downing has struggled since moving to Liverpool for 20 million pounds last year and the new coach believes the England national team player may benefit from a change of role, the Guardian said.
“I don’t like to just give up on players,” Rodgers said, according to the Guardian. “I always look at different ways you can play them. Stewart has a future as an attacking player but I have had a good chat with him on the role and he is excited about it. That is the biggest thing.”