The following is a roundup of soccer stories from U.K. newspapers, with clickable Internet links.
Chelsea faces a snub if it approaches Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp about taking over the Premier League club, the Daily Telegraph said.
Klopp, who’s led Dortmund to two straight Bundesliga titles, is more interested in becoming Germany coach, the Telegraph said. Current national team coach Joachim Low’s contract expires after next year’s World Cup and there’s feeling Klopp has become the obvious successor, the newspaper said.
Atletico Madrid’s Diego Simeone, Everton’s David Moyes, Swansea’s Michael Laudrup and Klopp, would also be on Chelsea’s shortlist to replace interim manager Rafael Benitez, the Telegraph said.
Mario Balotelli’s agent yesterday held talks with AC Milan, and a bid in the range of 24 million pounds ($38 million) could persuade Manchester City to sell the striker, the Sun reported.
City boss Roberto Mancini has lost patience with Balotelli after a training-ground altercation between the two and with Sergio Aguero expected back from injury tomorrow against Fulham, Balotelli will fall down the pecking order, the Sun said.
Wesley Sneijder may have to lower his wage demands if he wants to move to the Premier League, the Daily Mirror said.
Sneijder has been told he can leave Inter Milan in the January transfer period, but English clubs have been put off by talk of a 6 million pounds annual salary, about 240,000 pounds a week, after taxes, the Mirror said.
Sneijder is stalling on an offer of more than 200,000 pounds per week from Galatasaray as his wife does not want to move to Turkey, the Mirror said.
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew told owner Mike Ashley the club must sign two new players this month or face relegation, the Sun said.
Pardew thought he had signed Loic Remy this week, only to have the Marseille striker join QPR. Newcastle is two points above the drop zone in 16th place, the Sun said.
“We definitely need a player or two in this window to make sure of our Premier League status,” the newspaper quoted Pardew as saying.
Remy said he made up his mind to join QPR after playing a soccer computer game with owner Tony Fernandes after a four-hour negotiating session, the Telegraph said.
“It showed to me what a good person Tony is,” the newspaper quoted Remy as saying. “He showed his human side to me as owner of the club.”
Aston Villa is lining up Roberto Di Matteo as a replacement for Paul Lambert as the team falls down the Premier League standings, the Daily Express said.
Villa approached agents for Di Matteo, who was fired by Chelsea in November, to gauge interest and the response was encouraging, the Express said. Owner Randy Lerner will stand by Lambert if he can, with the coach coming under fire with Villa now in the relegation zone, the newspaper said.