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Arsenal to Miss Llorente, Juve Wants Walcott: Roundup

The following is a roundup of soccer stories from U.K. newspapers, with clickable Internet links.

Gunners to Miss Out

Arsenal is set to be beaten to the signature of Athletic Bilbao striker Fernando Llorente by Juventus, which will also try to acquire Gunners forward Theo Walcott, the Daily Mirror reported.

Llorente is said to have been offered a provisional contract of 145,000 pounds ($225,000) a week by Juventus, which has been monitoring Walcott since learning that his contract negotiations with Arsenal have stalled, the newspaper added.

Mikel Extension

Chelsea is ready to give midfielder John Obi Mikel a new five-year contract with a salary raise, the Sun reported.

“The club agrees with us he deserves a new and improved contract,” the Sun cited Mikel’s agent, John Shittu, as saying. “He has a year left and Chelsea have decided to add four more years to it.”

Goal-line Technology

England’s Premier League is pushing ahead with its 6 million-pound drive to install goal-line technology for the start of next season, the Independent reported.

FIFA yesterday granted the companies that developed the Hawk-Eye and GoalRef systems licenses to install them worldwide, the newspaper added. It is said to cost about 300,000 pounds per stadium to install a system and all 20 Premier League clubs will have to have the technology operational by August, the Independent added.

Racist-Abuse Sanctions

The Football Association will review the sanctions applied to racist abuse following high-profile protests from some players about the four-match ban handed to John Terry, the Guardian reported.

FA Chairman David Bernstein defended Terry’s sanction under the current rules, though said the tariffs and processes would be reviewed, the newspaper added. The review will probably establish a minimum sanction, the Guardian said.

Friedel to Retire?

Tottenham goalkeeper Brad Friedel is considering retiring at the end of this season when his contract runs out, the Daily Mirror reported.

Friedel, 41, is undecided over whether to sign a new deal, seek media work or start a coaching career, the Mirror added.

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