The following is a roundup of soccer stories from U.K. newspapers, with clickable Internet links.
England manager Roy Hodgson told passengers on a London Underground train that the international career of Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand is over, the Dail Mail reported.
Hodgson is scheduled to discuss his squad for this month’s World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Poland today and is said to have told members of the public last night that Ferdinand had reached “the end of the road,” the Mail added.
Ferdinand, 33, hadn’t given up on an England recall, and his hopes were raised following John Terry’s retirement from the national team, the newspaper said.
Ferdinand will be offered a new contract at Manchester United and manager Alex Ferguson wants the defender to focus his energies on his club role, the Daily Mirror reported.
“He could do the job for England, I have no doubt about that,” the Mirror cited Ferguson as saying. “But I don’t see why he should. I think he should concentrate on his career here. I would prefer that, though I wouldn’t stand in his way.”
Liverpool defender Daniel Agger, who was linked with a move to Manchester City in the offseason, is close to signing a new four-year contract worth 75,000 pounds ($120,727) a week, the Mirror reported.
Midfielder Suso, 18, in whom Real Madrid has been showing interest, is also set to sign a new deal with Liverpool; the club wants to tie the Spaniard to a five-year agreement, the Mirror added.
Everton is lining up a new January bid for Bruges midfielder Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe, who’s rated at 5 million pounds, the Sun reported.
Toffees manager David Moyes tried to buy the 23-year-old Belgian in August, though FIFA refused to ratify the transfer saying paperwork was submitted late, the newspaper added.
Blackpool manager Ian Holloway warned Manchester United that it won’t get 6 million pound-rated forward Thomas Ince, who’s scored six goals in the Championship this season, on the cheap, the Mail reported.
“If we are not successful this year, do I want to stand in his way? Probably not,” the Mail cited Holloway as saying. “But we deserve a fair amount of money for him.”