The following is a roundup of soccer stories from U.K. newspapers with clickable Internet links.
Arsenal is preparing to offer manager Arsene Wenger a two-year extension to his contract that expires in June 2014, the Sun reported.
Wenger’s future has been in doubt after eight trophy-less seasons and he last year he rejected an informal approach from the club to arrange contract talks, the newspaper added.
Wenger held an immediate 45-minute inquest into Arsenal’s failings after the F.A. Cup defeat by Blackburn two days ago, the Daily Mail reported.
The Gunners manager kept his players in the locker room after the team was jeered off the pitch following the fifth-round defeat, the newspaper said.
Arsenal’s board is still backing Wenger and will give him transfer funds to rebuild his squad in the offseason, the Daily Mirror reported.
Wenger is targeting Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina, Marseille defender Nicolas N’Koulou, Toulouse midfielder Etienne Capoue and Fiorentina forward Stevan Jovetic, the newspaper said, adding that Wojciech Szczesny, Abou Diaby and Gervinho are the current squad members most at risk.
Southampton risks losing winger Jason Puncheon by stalling on the offer of a new contract to the 26-year-old, the Daily Mirror reported. Newcastle and West Ham are interested in Puncheon, who’s scored six Premier League goals this season, the newspaper added.