Arsenal, Manchester Utd. Compete to Sign Cabaye: Soccer Roundup

The following is a roundup of soccer stories from U.K. newspapers with clickable Internet links.

Competing for Cabaye

Arsenal will vie with Manchester United to sign Newcastle United midfielder Yohan Cabaye, the Daily Express reported.

Gunners manager Arsene Wenger has been promised a 70 million-pound ($106 million) transfer fund and wants to use 15 million pounds on France international Cabaye, the Express said. United manager Alex Ferguson has ordered reports on Cabaye from his scouting network and is said to be impressed with the player’s passing and physical presence, the paper added.

Laudrup Laurels

Swansea wants manager Michael Laudrup to sign a new contract after guiding the Welsh club to its first major trophy by winning the League Cup yesterday, the Daily Mail reported.

The Swans want to improve Laudrup’s salary of 500,000 pounds a year and will ask the Dane to commit to a release clause of 5 million pounds, the newspaper added.

Ben Arfa Approach

Newcastle wants Hatem Ben Arfa to sign a new contract after Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers inquired about the French midfielder’s availability, the Daily Mirror reported.

Ben Arfa, 25, is due to negotiate new contract terms that will increase his salary and tie him to the Magpies for his peak years, the newspaper said.

De Vrij Watch

Rodgers stepped up his search to find a replacement for the retiring Jamie Carragher by conducting a personal check on Netherlands defender Stefan de Vrij, the Daily Mail reported.

Liverpool’s manager watched de Vrij, 21, captain Feyenoord to a 2-1 victory against Dutch Eredivisie leader PSV Eindhoven yesterday, the Mail said. Scouts from Newcastle were also present to observe de Vrij, who has 18 months left on his contract, the newspaper added.

Van Persie Boost

Manchester United striker Robin van Persie will be fit to face Real Madrid in their return Champions League game next week after injuring his hip in the win at Queens Park Rangers two days ago, the Mail reported.

Van Persie’s injury, sustained when the Dutch striker fell into a television camera pit, is limited to bruising and is expected to keep him out of training for two to three days, the newspaper said.

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