Toure Gives Manchester City Contract Ultimatum: Soccer Roundup

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

Toure Troubles

Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure, 29, will start talking to other teams unless he’s offered a new contract by this weekend, the Sun reported, citing the player’s agent.

Toure is City’s top earner on 200,000 pounds ($301,800) a week and is ready to use FIFA rules that entitle players to buy out the remainder of their contracts if they haven’t signed a new deal by the end of the third year, the newspaper added.

“If he signs a contract in the next three or four days, OK,” the Sun cited Toure’s agent, Dimitri Seluk, as saying. “If not, we will not wait any longer and will start negotiations with different clubs.”

Renewed Efforts

Juventus has renewed its efforts to sign striker Luis Suarez from Liverpool, the Daily Mail reported.

The Italian league leader is in talks with Suarez’s agent about a possible 30 million-euro ($38.6 million) transfer after its previous attempt to acquire the Uruguayan ended when he extended his Liverpool contract until 2018, the Mail said.

Chelsea Chase

Chelsea is ready to go head-to-head with Arsenal in the chase to sign West Bromwich Albion’s 16-year-old midfielder Isaiah Brown, the Daily Telegraph reported.

The Blues are preparing a bid of 1 million pounds for Brown, who hasn’t signed a professional contract with West Brom and is yet to make a first-team appearance, the newspaper said.

Blackburn Targets Benitez

Rafael Benitez, Chelsea’s interim manager, tops Blackburn Rovers’ list of possible replacements for Michael Appleton, who was fired yesterday, the Daily Mirror reported.

Although Blackburn owner Venkys has the money to chase a top manager, Benitez is likely to be too proud to drop to the second-tier Championship, the newspaper said.

Defensive Measure

England manager Roy Hodgson is considering using Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick as a center-back during this week’s World Cup qualifier against San Marino, the Guardian reported.

Due to a series of injuries and withdrawals, Hodgson may start Joleon Lescott alongside Chris Smalling in the center of defense and move Carrick back if San Marino proves difficult to break down, the newspaper added.