The following is a roundup of soccer stories from U.K. newspapers, with clickable Internet links.
Rio Ferdinand accepted England manager Roy Hodgson’s apology for discussing the Manchester United defender’s international future with passengers on the London Underground, the Daily Telegraph reported.
Although the pair have still not spoken in person, indirect contact has been made over what Hodgson said could be perceived as an insult, the newspaper added.
“All I remember was that I was talking to quite a lot of people on the Tube and one guy said, ‘Is Rio in the next squad?’ and I might have said: ‘I don’t think so,’” the Telegraph cited Hodgson as saying. “It’s a mistake and I need to apologize for that. I have no one to blame but myself.”
Ferdinand was “furious” with Hodgson for his gaffe and fears the England manager has a personal issue with him, the Daily Mirror reported.
Hodgson eventually left a voicemail apology for Ferdinand and the player is said to have indicated to the Football Association that he’s prepared to move on, the newspaper added.
Manchester United is hoping to tempt Real Madrid into offloading some of its top players by offering Mexican striker Javier Hernandez in return, the Daily Star reported.
United has previously been linked with defenders Raul Albiol and Raphael Varane, and is said to be closely monitoring Sergio Ramos’s feud with manager Jose Mourinho, the Star added.
UEFA sent a memo urging participating clubs to help promote the Europa League because the governing body wants the competition to be taken more seriously, the Sun reported.
The crib sheet sent to clubs before their pre-match news conferences this week asked managers to use words such as “prestigious” and “heritage” when talking about Europe’s second-tier club tournament, the newspaper added.
Everton will try to beat Chelsea and Manchester City to sign Barnsley right-back John Stones with a big-money bid, the Mirror reported.
Toffees coach David Moyes sent coach Jimmy Lumsden to check out the 18-year-old Stones in midweek, the Mirror said.