Liverpool May Take $23Mln Loss on Downing: Soccer Roundup

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

Downing Dumped?

Liverpool has told Newcastle United it can buy winger Stewart Downing for a reduced price of 5 million pounds ($7.7 million), the Liverpool Echo reported.

Liverpool paid 20 million pounds for Downing when he joined two years ago from Aston Villa. He has two years left on his contract.

United Tension

The relationship between Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney and teammates Rio Ferdinand, Ryan Giggs and Patrice Evra has become “strained,” over his intention to leave, the Independent reported.

Even after their pleas that he stay with the club, Rooney still wants to go and may use his increasingly difficult relationship with the fans and fellow players as a reason to quit Old Trafford, the newspaper said.

United, the Premier League champion, yesterday rejected a second bid, worth 25 million pounds “plus add-ons” from Chelsea for Rooney, the British Broadcasting Corp. reported.

Luiz Staying?

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has made it clear David Luiz isn’t going anywhere even amid interest from Barcelona, the Daily Mirror reported.

Mourinho has complimented Luiz -- who missed the start of pre-season training because he was at the Confederations Cup -- saying the player “has come back with us fantastically and we have to use his quality.”

Luiz, who joined Chelsea from Benfica in 2011 for 21 million pounds, is now valued at 45 million pounds by the Blues.

Cesar Exit?

Queens Park Rangers goalkeeper Julio Cesar is close to joining Italian side Fiorentina after the London club was relegated to the Championship last season, the Daily Star reported.

Cesar, 33, had also been a target of Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.

QPR manager Harry Redknapp is keen to offload the Brazilian, who is paid 90,000 pounds a week and joined only a year ago, the Star said.

Everton Target

The agent of Belgium international and Ajax player Toby Alderweireld says Everton wants to sign him, the Guardian reported.

The value of the 24-year-old central defender has declined to 6 million pounds because he is in the final year of his contract, the newspaper added.

Alderweireld, who last month rejected a move to Norwich City, is also on Liverpool’s radar, the paper said.