Sunderland Is Urged to Review Hiring Di Canio: Soccer Roundup

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

Political Pressure

Sunderland is coming under increasing political pressure to review its decision to hire Paolo Di Canio as manager following the Italian’s refusal to clarify his views on fascism, the Daily Telegraph reported.

The club has been urged by local council leaders and anti-fascist groups to reconsider his appointment as Martin O’Neill’s successor on a 2 1/2-year contract, the newspaper added. Di Canio, 44, refused to answer directly whether he was a fascist yesterday when questioned by reporters at a news conference.

Reina Staying

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers said he’s counting on goalkeeper Pepe Reina, who’s been linked with Barcelona and Arsenal, remaining at the club next season, the Daily Mail reported.

Reina, 30, has three years left on his contract and Rodgers doesn’t want to lose the Spaniard, the Mail added.

Drogba Endorsement

Didier Drogba said Chelsea needs to restore Jose Mourinho as manager and signaled that he would be keen to rejoin the Portuguese at the Premier League club as a player or coach, the Guardian reported.

“For the club it is the best solution to bring Jose back,” the Guardian cited Drogba as saying of Mourinho, who left Chelsea in 2007. “The fans want him back. He loves Chelsea. Because you want to rebuild a team and to give them the strength we had a few years ago, he could be the right person.”

Zidane Impressed

Real Madrid’s Director of Football Zinedine Zidane fueled speculation the Spanish club will try to sign Gareth Bale by naming the Tottenham forward as the player who’s impressed him the most this season, the Sun reported.

“He makes things look easy, his pace is frightening, his acceleration is unbelievable because of his ability to go through the gears in very little space,” the Sun cited Zidane as saying of Bale.

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