The following is a roundup of soccer stories from U.K. newspapers, with clickable Internet links.
Manchester United’s 30.5 million-pound ($47.4 million) bid to sign Athletic Bilbao midfielder Ander Herrera collapsed amid Spanish media reports that hoaxers had turned up claiming to represent the Premier League champion, the Daily Mail said.
Three people saying they were United officials arrived at the Spanish league’s Madrid offices yesterday to pay Herrera’s buy-out clause before the deal broke down, the newspaper added.
United manager David Moyes said negotiations failed because the Red Devils weren’t prepared to meet Bilbao’s valuation of Herrera, according to the Mail.
With the Herrera deal in doubt, Real Madrid’s Sami Khedira emerged as a possible back-up option for United on the last day of the trade period, the Independent reported.
United inquired about Khedira without returning with a firm offer for the German midfielder, the newspaper added.
Chelsea Blocks Ba
Chelsea blocked Arsenal’s bid to take striker Demba Ba on a season-long loan yesterday as a backup to Oliver Giroud because Blues manager Jose Mourinho sees the Gunners as serious rivals for the Premier League title, the Daily Mirror said.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger persuaded Real Madrid’s Mesut Ozil to become the club’s record-signing even though Paris Saint-Germain offered the German midfielder a more lucrative contract, the same newspaper reported.
Arsenal made Ozil its highest-paid player with a five-year deal worth about 140,000 pounds a week, the Daily Mail reported.
“I will pay back the club and the fans in each game,” the newspaper cited Ozil as saying. “Now I want to help the club to finally win a title.”