The following is a roundup of soccer stories from U.K. newspapers, with clickable Internet links.
Chelsea is planning a 45 million-pound ($73 million) bid for Atletico Madrid striker Radamel Falcao and has had preliminary discussions about signing the Colombian in January, the Sun reported.
Blues owner Roman Abramovich endorsed a formal bid after watching Falcao score three goals in last month’s European Super Cup final and internal talks have taken place to work out how best to secure his signature when the transfer window reopens, the newspaper added.
John Terry received support in his Football Association hearing this week from former England manager Fabio Capello, the Daily Telegraph reported.
Capello, who quit England over Terry’s treatment by the F.A., is said to have provided a statement for the Chelsea captain’s defense case against charges of using abusive language with racial connotations toward Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand in a match last year, the newspaper added.
Chelsea is confident Terry will be ready to face Arsenal in three days even if his training for the rest of this week is disrupted by appearances at the hearing, the Guardian reported.
“The fact is he’s got a lot of minutes under his belt already,” the Guardian cited Chelsea assistant manager Eddie Newton as saying of Terry. “We’ll be in constant contact with John. The fitness coaches and medical staff will get around him and make sure he’s prepared in the best way possible.”
Manchester United winger Antonio Valencia left the club’s Carrington training ground on crutches yesterday with his right foot in a protective boot, the Daily Mail reported.
The Ecuadorian is said to have been hurt winning the penalty which produced the match-winning goal in United’s 2-1 victory at Liverpool three days ago, the newspaper added.
UEFA President Michel Platini wants the 2022 World Cup in Qatar staged during the European winter in a move that would require domestic championships including England’s Premier League to take a month-long break, the Guardian reported.
“I hope it will be held in winter,” the Guardian cited Platini as saying. “We have to go to Qatar when it is good for everybody to participate. What is better for the fans?”