The following is a roundup of soccer stories from U.K. newspapers, with clickable Internet links.
Chelsea will sell striker Daniel Sturridge to Liverpool for about 12 million pounds ($19.5 million) next month as interim manager Rafael Benitez seeks to reshape and strengthen the Blues’ squad, the Guardian reported.
Benitez, who has not used Sturridge since taking over, will discuss transfer targets with club owner Roman Abramovich and technical director Michael Emenalo after today’s League Cup quarterfinal at Leeds United, the Guardian added.
The sale of Sturridge will prepare the way for a spending spree that may include an attempt to sign Atletico Madrid striker Radamel Falcao, the Independent reported.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has held “peace talks” with Theo Walcott over a new contract and secured deals to re-sign Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Aaron Ramsey, Kieran Gibbs and Jack Wilshere, the Daily Mirror reported.
Wenger spoke with Walcott last week to try to resolve the forward’s future and played him as a central striker in the next match in a bid to persuade him to re-open negotiations, the newspaper said. Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ramsey and Gibbs all agreed to new contracts while Wilshere has said he will sign a new five-year agreement, the Mirror added.
Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson met with former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola this week in New York, where they both have apartments, with the Spaniard still undecided about his future plans, the Sun reported.
It’s not clear whether Ferguson, 70, will extend his 26-year tenure as United’s manager beyond this season and Guardiola is available and the club’s preferred option to take over when Ferguson leaves, the newspaper added.
United and Premier League champion Manchester City are vying to sign Brazilian playmaker Fernandinho from Shakhtar Donetsk, the Daily Mirror reported.
The 27-year-old Fernandinho, who’s valued at 20 million euros ($26.5 million), is keen to move after eight seasons in Ukraine, the Mirror added.