The following is a roundup of soccer stories from U.K. newspapers, with clickable Internet links.
Liverpool Wants Walcott
Liverpool is monitoring Theo Walcott’s contract dispute at Arsenal and manager Brendan Rodgers may use the 10 million pounds ($16 million) he has been promised for transfers to make a bid for the England forward, the Daily Mirror reported.
Walcott’s desire to play in a central position and his demand for 100,000 pounds a week, 25,000 pounds more than Arsenal’s offer, are the hurdles to be cleared before he signs a new deal with the Gunners, the newspaper said.
Rodgers is willing to pay Walcott the 100,000 pounds a week he wants and also play the 23-year-old in the central striking role he prefers, the Sun reported.
The Liverpool manager also wants to get Joe Cole’s wages of 120,000 pounds a week off the team’s payroll and will look to sell Jose Enrique and Stewart Downing, the Sun added.
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini was in secret talks to join Monaco and held extensive negotiations with the French second-tier club before signing a new five-year contract at City, the Guardian reported.
Mancini was tempted by the offer of a five-year deal by Monaco, whose majority shareholder is Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, that was worth 8 million euros ($10.3 million) a year plus bonuses, the newspaper added.
Van Persie’s Choice
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger confirmed that Robin van Persie rejected an offer from Manchester City, said to be about 300,000 pounds a week, to join crosstown rival Manchester United from the Gunners, the Independent reported.
“It is true that Manchester City was interested in him and he has chosen to go to United,” the Independent cited Wenger as saying. “He could come out more on the reasons but I didn’t want to know more about that.”
Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Moussa Dembele may need surgery on a hip injury that could sideline him for six weeks, the Daily Mail reported.
Dembele, who has missed Spurs’ last four games, had scans yesterday to assess whether he would need an operation after suffering a recurrence of the injury last month, the Mail added.