Chelsea Moves to Hire Guardiola as Coach, Express Says: Roundup

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

Big Offer

Roman Abramovich will make a “take it or leave it” 18 million pound ($29 million) per year offer to Pep Guardiola to become Chelsea coach, the Daily Express said.

The Blues’ owner is willing to make the Spaniard the world’s highest-paid coach by offering 54 million pounds over three years, the Express said. Manchester United’s Alex Ferguson is Britain’s highest-paid coach, earning 7.6 million pounds per year, the newspaper said.

Abramovich, currently on vacation in the Caribbean, is furious about Chelsea’s 2-0 loss to Swansea two nights ago in the first leg of the League Cup semifinals, the Express said.

No Hope

Chelsea’s interim manager Rafael Benitez has accepted he won’t be given the job permanently after the home loss to Swansea, the Sun said.

Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck was given a hostile reception by fans before the game and Benitez was subject to supporter abuse after the loss, the Sun said. That reaction has convinced Abramovich to make a change, though Benitez will not be fired before the end of the season, the newspaper said.

Exit Request

Newcastle captain Fabricio Coloccini has asked to leave the club and return to his native Argentina, the Independent said.

Coloccini’s agent flew told Newcastle officials the defender wanted to leave before the end of the month, the Independent said.

The 30-year-old signed a four-year contract last year but now wants to return home, possibly to join San Lorenzo, for whom he previously played and where his father is employed, the newspaper said. Newcastle may have to consider a loan deal as San Lorenzo is unlikely to pay a major fee for the player, the Independent said.

Late Switch?

Wesley Sneijder wants to make a last-minute switch to England instead of leaving Inter Milan for Turkey, the Daily Mail said.

Sneijder is on the verge of a transfer to Galatasaray but his preference is to join a Premier League club, the Mail said. His agent has spoken with Arsenal, Manchester United, Manchester City, Tottenham and Chelsea, but they all turned him down because of the midfielder’s 200,000 pound-a-week salary, the newspaper said.

Palacios Signing

Queens Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp is set to sign Stoke’s Wilson Palacios, the Sun said.

Redknapp signed Palacios from Wigan four years ago when he managed Tottenham. The midfielder has made only four appearances this season with Stoke, where he signed in 2011, and manager Tony Pulis has said he will let the 28-year-old leave, the Sun said.

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