Spurs Join Arsenal in Race for Diame, Guardian Says: Roundup

The following is a roundup of soccer stories from U.K. newspapers, with clickable links to the web.

London for Diame

Tottenham is considering joining Arsenal and Fulham in the race to sign West Ham midfielder Mohamed Diame, the Guardian said.

The 25-year-old from Senegal can get out of his contract with a payment of 3.5 million pounds ($5.5 million) and Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas may attempt to sign him since preferred target Joao Moutinho is too expensive at 20 million pounds, the newspaper said.

Diame, who was a late substitute in the Hammers’ game at Arsenal this week, said he is happy at the east London club, the Guardian said.

New Defender

Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson has decided to sign French under-19 team member Kurt Zouma as the replacement for central defender Nemanja Vidic, the Daily Mail said.

The 18-year-old from St. Etienne, who might cost about 8 million pounds, is Ferguson’s first choice after the coach also looked at Benfica’s Ezequiel Garay, the newspaper said.

Derry’s Dig

Queens Park Rangers midfielder Shaun Derry accused some of his teammates of not working hard enough to save the Premier League’s last-place club from relegation, the Daily Telegraph said.

QPR didn’t win any of its first 16 league matches and manager Harry Redknapp replaced the fired Mark Hughes in November. Derry said some members of the squad are “taking it for granted” that they and the team deserve to be in the top division, the newspaper said.

Barcelona Babe

Arsenal is looking to bring in Barcelona forward Isaac Cuenca on loan, the Daily Express said.

The 21-year-old hasn’t appeared for the Spanish league leader this season because of a knee injury, the newspaper said. He needs game time to help his recovery and is unlikely to play at Barcelona because of the number of attackers in the squad, the Express said.

Inspired Downing

Liverpool winger Stewart Downing said he was inspired to improve his play after manager Brendan Rodgers told him he could leave the club, the Sun said.

The 28-year-old signed for 20 million pounds in July 2011 when Kenny Dalglish was still manager, and lost his place when Rodgers took over, the newspaper said. He’s started the last 10 games after improving and winning over Rodgers, the Sun said.

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