Ozil’s Sale Clouds Bale’s Arrival at Real Madrid: Soccer Roundup

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

Ozil Anger

Gareth Bale’s arrival at Real Madrid has been overshadowed by the departure of Mesut Ozil to Arsenal, with the Spanish club’s senior players lamenting the loss of the German playmaker, the Daily Telegraph reported.

Cristiano Ronaldo was cited by Diario AS newspaper as telling Portuguese teammates he was “angry” with the sale of the player who “best knows his movements on the pitch,” the Telegraph said. Sergio Ramos, Karim Benzema and Sami Khedira also are unhappy about Ozil’s departure, it added.

New Contracts

After signing Ozil for a club-record fee of 42.5 million pounds ($66.3 million), Arsenal turned its attention to new contracts for defenders Per Mertesacker and Bacary Sagna, and midfielder Tomas Rosicky, the Daily Mirror reported.

Mertesacker, who helped persuade Germany teammate Ozil to make the switch, is in the final two years of his deal, while Sagna and Rosicky each have one year left, the Mirror added.

No Regrets

Manchester United has no regrets about not signing Ozil ahead of Arsenal after being offered the 24-year-old a month ago, the Times reported.

United manager David Moyes wanted to concentrate on bringing in a central midfielder and a left-back and decided that breaking the club’s transfer record for Ozil did not make sense, the newspaper added.

Better Deal

Everton will offer defender Leighton Baines a contract extension before the January trade period to try to fend off interest from Manchester United, the Guardian reported.

Baines, 28, has two years remaining on his current agreement and the new deal will have improved terms to reflect his importance to the team, the Guardian added.

The England left-back can expect a minimum 50 percent raise on his 50,000 pounds-a-week deal and a three-year extension, the Daily Mirror reported.

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