The following is a roundup of soccer stories from U.K. newspapers with clickable Internet links.
Arsenal is ready to relax the club’s wage structure to help attract the top talent that manager Arsene Wenger wants to boost his squad, the Daily Telegraph reported.
Theo Walcott and Lukas Podolski are the Gunners’ highest paid players on just under 100,000 pounds ($151,630) a week and there is a willingness to break through that barrier for the right player, the Telegraph said. Fiorentina striker Stevan Jovetic and Borussia Dortmund playmaker Mario Gotze are among Wenger’s targets, the newspaper added.
Arsenal is prepared to stretch to as much as 150,000 pounds a week for the right player and club executives want to help facilitate the outlay by offloading unwanted squad members, the Daily Mail reported.
The Gunners will save 7.5 million pounds a year on wages when Andrey Arshavin and Sebastien Squillaci’s contracts expire at the end of this season, the Mail said. A further 24 million pounds a year could be saved if they shift Bacary Sagna, Nicklas Bendtner, Andre Santos, Johan Djourou, Ju-Young Park, Marouane Chamakh, Emmanuel Frimpong and Denilson, the Mail added.
Tottenham Hotspur rejected a bid from Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala to take defender Younes Kaboul on loan until the end of the season, the Guardian reported.
Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas is said to have personally indicated his desire to keep Kaboul, who is likely to be offered new terms to extend his contract beyond 2014, the newspaper added.
West Bromwich Albion manager Steve Clarke wants to keep Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku, who’s scored 12 Premier League goals so far in his loan spell with the Baggies, for another season, the Daily Mirror reported.
“If Chelsea want to leave him out for another season somewhere, I think we would have a strong chance of getting him back here,” the Sun cited Clarke as saying. “It’s a package that’s been good for all three parties.”