The following is a roundup of soccer stories from U.K. newspapers, with clickable Internet links.
Queens Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp convinced midfielder Yann M’Vila to sign by telling him to treat the last-placed Premier League team as a stepping stone toward a move to a bigger club, the Daily Mail reported.
Redknapp expects the French national team player to complete a 7 million-pound ($11.2 million) move from Rennes in time for a match at West Ham in three days, the Mail said.
“I told him that he would come here and be a good player, and if he does well, if we stay up, in 18 months he could get a move to Manchester United, or Arsenal, or Chelsea, if that is what he is looking for,” the newspaper quoted Redknapp as saying.
QPR is also poised to sign striker Loic Remy from Marseille.
Swansea striker Danny Graham is seeking talks with manager Michael Laudrup to force a move to Sunderland, the Sun reported.
Graham, 27, comes from the north-east of England and is “desperate” to complete a 4.5 million-pound move to the Stadium of Light, according to the newspaper.
Swansea would only consider releasing Graham if it finds a replacement, and is eyeing Stoke’s Kenwyne Jones, the Sun said.
Former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola wants his return to soccer to be in England, according to the Sun.
Guardiola, 41, has been on a year’s sabbatical in New York but is now ready to work and is targeting a move to the Premier League ahead of next season, the newspaper said.
“The support of the home team is amazing. In Italy, Latin people will support you when you are playing well and when you lose, they kill you,” Guardiola said in a video message as part of the English Football Association’s 150th birthday celebrations. “In England, I’m always surprised that people always support everything and that is nice. That’s why, maybe, I hope to have the challenge or the opportunity to train there.”
English Football Association Chairman David Bernstein said FIFA President Sepp Blatter is a “very clever bloke” because he has maintained unity among members of the world ruling body, the Daily Telegraph reported.
Bernstein, who’ll step down from his post later this year, tried to postpone elections that saw Blatter securing a fourth four-year term as head of world soccer’s governing body in 2011 when his only challenger stepped down amid corruption allegations.
“In spite of everything, he has held together 208 countries,” Bernstein told the Telegraph. “You don’t get breakaway countries, you don’t get schisms; if the rest of the world worked so cohesively we’d be a lot better off.”
Referees are angry after the Football Association overturned the red card given to Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany in a 2-0 win at Arsenal on Jan. 13, the Daily Mail said.
Kompany was sent off following a two-footed tackle on Jack Wilshere. Though they are banned from commenting on controversial decisions, referees believe overruling Mike Dean’s decision sets a dangerous precedent and increases the chance of players being seriously injured, the Mail said.