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May 31, 2009
Posted by Dale Johnson on 05/31/2009

Big talk about Manchester City this Sunday, no surprise there then, as they believe they have pulled off a double coup in signing both Carlos Tevez and Gareth Barry.

If the, er, News of the World is to believed then a £42m combined outlay is on the cards. The paper reckons they'll splash out £32m on Tevez and somehow get Barry from Aston Villa for just £10m.

May 30, 2009
Posted by Dale Johnson on 05/30/2009

Much of the usual rumour and counter rumour is masked on Saturday by the build up to the FA Cup final - but we know it will be back with a vengence on Sunday!

Top of the bill today is little Micky Owen. He's got 31 more days left of his hefty £120,000-a-week deal at Newcastle but he's going to be on the dole come July 1... but not for long.

Everton boss David Moyes has been linked with the former England international for some time - and now it seems, according to the Daily Mail, he will head there on a free. We're not surprised, though, as rumour has it Louis Saha is looking for a new friend. Mikel and Phil will be along shortly.

May 29, 2009
Posted by Jon Carter on 05/29/2009

He didn't do himself any favours with his comments after the Champions League final, but it didn't need much to get the Cristiano Ronaldo to Real train running again.

United will be thrown ''into turmoil'' say the Sun, when the Portuguese winger demands himself a move to the Bernabeu. Given that the figure being thrown about a few months ago was in excess of £80m, the recession seems to have hit hard as Ronaldo is now only worth £50m apparently.

May 28, 2009
Posted by Dom Raynor on 05/28/2009

Forget Real Madrid and Manchester United, it's Chelsea who are now leading the race to sign Bayern Munich star Franck Ribery, according to Thursday's UK newspapers.

The Sun report that the France international is set for a £43million switch to Stamford Bridge, if he can agree personal terms. Ribery is apparently holding out for £125,000-a-week but Chelsea are reluctant to offer more than £90,000-a-week.

May 27, 2009
Posted by Dom Raynor on 05/27/2009

Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez is preparing to re-shape his squad in the summer but budget constraints means it could be a case of one in and one out.

The first high-profile player expected to head through the Anfield exit is Ryan Babel, at least according to The Sun, as the Reds boss looks to boost his summer transfer kitty. The Dutch international, who joined Liverpool for £11.5m from Ajax two years ago, is on wages of around £60,000 a week and has hardly played this season.

The Daily Telegraph claim Rafa is set to spend any spondoolics he raises on a cut-price bid for England U21 defender David Wheater after his club, Middlesbrough, were relegated from the Premier League.

May 26, 2009
Posted by Phil Holland on 05/26/2009

There's only one place to start and that's to offer congratulations to Burnley who won the Championship play-off final at Wembley on Monday to seal promotion to the Premier League and a return to the top flight after a 33-year absence.

Understandably the UK's papers are full of coverage, with The Times leading with the £60m windfall that winning promotion to the Premier League brings with it.

May 25, 2009
Posted by Jon Carter on 05/25/2009

The dust has settled, and it's 'as you were' for the teams in the relegation race. None of them were good enough to even mount a decent attempt at staying and, in the end, all four sides in the mix lost their final games of the season.

'Shear drop', 'Sob on the Tyne', 'Sheer agony', 'Tears on the Tyne' - take your pick of the headlines in today's papers, all very sad indeed that Newcastle have dropped out of the Premier League.

Quotes from Alan Shearer have blamed everyone. Mike Ashley, himself, the players, the tea ladies and even the bloke who puts the shirts out in the dressing room (he failed to hide Michael Owen's). Indeed, the Sun carries the news that the Messiah says they have ''huge problems'' to fix if they're going to get back up.

May 24, 2009
Posted by Dom Raynor on 05/24/2009

The Sunday newspapers are full of tales of unlikely returns with Thierry Henry and David Beckham both linked with moves back to Premier League.

The Sunday Express claim that Henry could make an emotional return to Arsenal after his contract ends at Barcelona and could even take over from manager Arsene Wenger when he quits the Emirates.

The bombshell came as Wenger announced that Henry still loves Arsenal so much that he continues to watch ALL the Gunners games - including the reserves.

May 23, 2009
Posted by Dom Raynor on 05/23/2009

Chelsea will not be satisfied with just pinching manager Carlo Ancellotti from AC Milan in the summer, the Premier League club also want Brazil superstar Kaka to follow him to Stamford Bridge.

Italian Ancelotti is expected to be unveiled as the new Blues boss when interim coach Guus Hiddink returns to the Russia national team and is eager for his playmaker at the San Siro to join him in London, according to the Daily Mail.

The newspaper also claim Milan are set to unveil Marco van Basten as Ancelotti's successor on Monday.

May 22, 2009
Posted by Jon Carter on 05/22/2009

Normally teams are announced an hour before kick-off, but not if you're the Sun. They have the inside scoop on the United team to face Barcelona in the Champions League final and it's... well... pretty unsurprising.

Carlos Tevez is out, Dimitar Berbatov is out, Park Ji-Sung and Ryan Giggs are in. The paper claims it's a real ''insult'' to Tevez to be left out, but we're not sure why as no-one has expected him to play from the start with all the focus on his future.

May 21, 2009
Posted by Phil Holland on 05/21/2009

Thursday's UK newspapers carry quotes from Rio Ferdinand that will be of concern to both Barcelona and Hull City, but ease fears across the north east of England.

Sir Alex Ferguson's had suggested that his defender might miss out on a starting place in next week's Champions League final because of a calf injury.

But Ferdinand has told the Guardian there is "no chance" of him not being fit enough to start against Barcelona in Rome and claimed in the Daily Mirror to have won his fitness race.

May 20, 2009
Posted by Dom Raynor on 05/20/2009

Not content with provoking Sir Alex Ferguson during the season and then failing to offer his congratulations to the Manchester United manager upon winning the Premier League title, Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez is set to further annoy his nemesis with an astonishing £50million swoop for Carlos Tevez.

Benitez's attempt to lure Gabriel Heinze to Anfield from Old Trafford ended with the lawyers being brought in to block the move but with on loan Tevez owned by Kia Joorabchian and not United, Ferguson will have little say in the transfer - unless he decides to sign up the Argentina striker himself.

May 19, 2009
Posted by Dom Raynor on 05/19/2009

With the European football season drawing to a close the attention of the UK press is fully focused on transfer tittle-tattle and Tuesday's big money move centres around Wigan Athletic winger Antonio Valencia.

The Daily Mail 'exclusively' reveal that the Ecuador international is set to join Real Madrid after Latics boss Steve Bruce thrashed out a £21.5million deal with the Spanish club.

May 18, 2009
Posted by Jon Carter on 05/18/2009

Monday morning, another title gone up north and Arsenal fans wake up to the news that manager Arsene Wenger finds Real Madrid 'interesting.'

Now this would be fine if it was the type of 'interesting' usually reserved for that person on the bus with tin foil on his head, but quotes attributed to the Frenchman in the Guardian suggest that it might be more than a passing flirtation.

May 17, 2009
Posted by Dale Johnson on 05/17/2009

Plenty of Tevez talk doing the rounds on Sunday, but we'll get round to that!

The more interesting story concerns Arsenal, with the News of the World claiming that the Gunners are considering cashing in on their niggle-friendly forward. He's yet to sign a new £70,000-a-week contract at the Emirates and Monsieur Wenger could use that money to strengthen elsewhere - notably at the back!

May 16, 2009
Posted by Dale Johnson on 05/16/2009

It's one of those transfer sagas that seems certain to run and run, no matter how much you want it to end. Yes, it's Mr Carlos Tevez.

There's quite a few stories doing the rounds on Saturday, including The Sun's story. The paper has quotes via Argentina coach Diego Maradona which suggest that Sir Alex Ferguson does not like the little striker, and Tevez sees his boss as an "old man" who is just trying to lower his value. Remember, Diego is quoted and not Tevez himself.

May 15, 2009
Posted by Jon Carter on 05/15/2009

It's a bad day to be the Daily Express, as they've angered little Mike. The paper has ticked off the smaller Michael (Owen, not Ashley) on Tyneside by creating a story claiming that the striker is ready to retire from the game at the end of the season and take up a new career as a full-time racehorse trainer.

Given that he's only 29 and seems to have a bit more desire to prove himself worthy of that £17m fee and £115,000-a-week wage packet, it seems unlikely he'd want to retire. But it's ok, Soccernet can bring you the inevitable denial, lawyer-speak and a nice ''professionally offended'' quote.

May 14, 2009
Posted by Dom Raynor on 05/14/2009

Manchester United's 2-1 win over Wigan Athletic looks likely to pip Liverpool for the Premier League title and the Red Devils are also set beat their arch-rivals to the signature of Latic's winger Antonio Valencia, according to Thursday's newspapers.

Sir Alex Ferguson is leading the race to sign the £20million-rated Ecuadorian, who is also attracting interest from Bayern Munich and Real Madrid. Sources close to United told The Sun that the player wants to move to Old Trafford and Wigan boss Steve Bruce said: "It's inevitable Antonio will leave - but where he goes I'm not quite sure."

May 13, 2009
Posted by Dale Johnson on 05/13/2009

We're approaching the time of the year when the press goes into overdrive to mix up as many stories as possible. Without any matches the football pages have to be filled somehow.

And, of course, one club who will feature in this column on a daily basis are Manchester City.

This summer's mini transfer saga looks set to be the race for Carlos Tevez. And it seems something of a shock that it's taken a paper, in this case the Daily Express, this long to link the little Argentine with a move across the city from United. They want to sign everyone else so why not Carlos?

May 12, 2009
Posted by Phil Holland on 05/12/2009

There's only one place to start with a round-up of Tuesday morning's UK papers and that's with the fallout from Newcastle's 3-1 win over Middlesbrough.

The Magpies went behind early but managed to equalise before the break and allowed Alan Shearer to pull off what the Sun called a "tactical masterstroke" and the Daily Mail labelled "the managerial magic that could keep Newcastle in the Premier League".

May 11, 2009
Posted by Phil Holland on 05/11/2009

Manchester United's win over Manchester City on Sunday might have put United within touching distance of a third consecutive Premier League title, but the UK's papers have been given something a bit more salacious to get their teeth into.

The Daily Mirror
said Carlos Tevez and Cristiano Ronaldo "mutinied" while the Daily Star branded United's match-winners as "strop stars".

May 10, 2009
Posted by Jon Carter on 05/10/2009

So it's official. After months of 'Will he? Won't he?', Carlos Tevez finally looks like he's definately on his way out of Old Trafford.

He told the News of the World that he's not wanted, not happy and pretty much not going to tolerate it anymore. The Argentine also expressed a desire to stay in the Premier League and continue playing at the top level - as long as he's actually playing. Can anyone say Manchester City?

May 9, 2009
Posted by Jon Carter on 05/09/2009

So after a mauling at the hands of Man Utd, one would imagine Arsene Wenger is now fairly keen to add some experience, maybe write a few cheques to improve his young side this summer. Not so. In fact, Wenger has cited the likes of Nicklas Bendtner as proof that he doesn't have to! Oh dear.

The Sun have the news that most Arsenal fans will be dreading to hear: that Wenger is still as stubborn as ever when it comes to transfers.

May 8, 2009
Posted by Phil Holland on 05/08/2009

The fallout from Chelsea's furious reaction to crashing out of the Champions League semi-final continues to dominate the UK's papers, who all agree that it doesn't look good for Didier Drogba.

The Sun, the Daily Mail and the Daily Express report that the Ivory Coast striker will be forced out of the club this summer as a result of his actions.

May 7, 2009
Posted by Dom Raynor on 05/07/2009

There's only one topic dominating the back pages of the newspapers on Thursday morning and that is the angry scenes that followed the final whistle at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea crashed out of the Champions League following a 1-1 draw with Barcelona.

After having three clear penalty decisions turned down by Norwegian referee Tom Henning Ovrebo Barcelona scored with their first shot on target and it was too much to take for Blues striker Didier Drogba. The Sun's headline of 'Drog Attacks Ref In Tunnel - Vicious F-Word Rant' says it all really.

May 6, 2009
Posted by Dom Raynor on 05/06/2009

One man's scrap is another man's gold and while Newcastle United bad-boy Joey Barton is on the Toon rubbish heap Blackburn Rovers boss Sam Allardyce could offer him a chance to shine again.

The Guardian report that the troubled 26-year-old has played his last game for the Magpies following his argument with manager Alan Shearer, after his sending-off against Liverpool last Sunday, and the club are willing to make take a big loss on the £5.8m they paid Manchester City.

May 5, 2009
Posted by John Brewin on 05/05/2009

There are three round of the Premier League and the season is ending. That means a new one is upon is. Yes, here comes the summer, as The Undertones would have it. And here comes the silly season.

Big rumour alert. Could this be the one that keeps us guessing all summer? Franck Ribery to Manchester United with Cristiano Ronaldo heading to his "dead dream" of Real Madrid is the first in a series. The Guardian's German correspondent Rafael Honigstein is the architect of this one. He even suggests that the deal, worth over £60m and making Ribery United's best paid player will be completed before Franck hits the beaches. That at least, looks highly unlikely.

May 4, 2009
Posted by Jon Carter on 05/04/2009

It's the news that most Liverpool fans have wanted to hear for a while now. No, not the fact that the entire United team have been mauled by penguins, but that Lucas Leiva could be on his way out of Anfield this summer for a cool £6m.

The Daily Mirror have the story and reckon the much-derided Brazilian midfielder is happy to pack his bags. Strange that this story has appeared when Lucas could be set to play a massive part in the title run-in after Joey Barton's assault on Xabi Alonso, but it could all change if he wins Liverpool the trophy.

May 3, 2009
Posted by John Brewin on 05/03/2009

While the Sundays are full of United's stroll at Middlesbrough and Real Madrid's humiliation at the hands of Barcelona, it's the business of speculation we're in here.

Bad news for Michael Owen. First, says the News of the World, he won't play against Liverpool. Even though Alan Shearer will still play three striker. Second, Rafa Benitez won't be offering him a return in the style of Robbie Fowler's recent sinecure at Anfield. So say the Sunday Mirror.

May 2, 2009
Posted by John Brewin on 05/02/2009

Could Alan Shearer be about to abandon his old pal's act with Michael Owen and drop the misfiring striker? It seems he might. The Daily Telegraph say that "Magic Mike", or "Mediocre Mike", as he was once labelled in these pages, is going to be riding pine when Newcastle United travel to Anfield.

The Mirror, Daily Mail, Sun and Times run the same story. If you ask us at Soccernet, Big Al might well be making the right decision.

May 1, 2009
Posted by Dom Raynor on 05/01/2009

Having been publicly snubbed by Brazilian playmaker Kaka and Italy's World Cup winner Fabio Cannavaro, nouveau riche Premier League club Manchester City, who, we're told, weren't rejected by Samuel Eto'o because their meeting with Barcelona boss Joan Laporta had nothing to do with a bid for the striker, have now set their sights on Arjen Robben.

Despite being described by interim Real Madrid president Vicente Boluda as "more electric" than Lionel Messi the Daily Mirror claim that the Dutch winger is something of a misfit at the Bernabeu and does not feature in the plans of presidential election favourite Florentino Perez.

© ESPN Soccernet 2009