The following is a roundup of soccer stories from U.K. newspapers, with clickable Internet links.
Arsenal is best-placed to sign goalkeeper Asmir Begovic provided it meets Stoke’s 15 million-pound ($23 million) valuation, the Daily Telegraph reported.
The Gunners inquired about Begovic during the January transfer window and have made further contact in recent weeks, the newspaper added. Arsenal’s negotiating position has been boosted by Manchester United’s decreasing need to sign a new first-choice goalkeeper following David de Gea’s improved form, the Telegraph said.
Manchester City is prepared to spend as much as 10 million pounds to sign 19-year-old Leeds United right-back Sam Byram, the Daily Mail reported.
Byram is top of a list of English players wanted by City manager Roberto Mancini and the Premier League club plans to pay about 6 million pounds up front and the rest in “add-ons,” the newspaper reported.
League Cup champion Swansea will use the incentive of playing in the Europa League to tempt Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku to join on loan next season, the Daily Mirror reported.
The Belgium international, who’s scored 13 goals at West Bromwich Albion this campaign, will ask the Blues to loan him out for a second straight season, the newspaper added.
Aston Villa will delay contract talks with Christian Benteke and Andreas Weimann so it doesn’t distract them as the club fights for Premier League survival, the Sun reported.
Striker Benteke has three years remaining on his deal and is set to be offered more money and an extra year, while Austrian forward Weimann’s agreement expires at the end of next season, the newspaper added.