What Saturday’s papers are saying:
THE INDEPENDENT: Another test match, another hundred for Ian Bell. Perfectly delightful it was too, like its three predecessors this summer and if anything on a higher artistic plane. He becomes better and better, the must-watch batsman of this generation. Also: Chelsea were last night on the brink of sealing a £26m deal for Juan Mata, the Valencia winger who has previously been a long-term target for Arsenal this season.
DAILY MAIL: Ian Bell and Kevin Pietersen rewrote the record books with a swagger yesterday as England humiliated India in the fourth npower Test at The Oval. Also: Kenny Dalglish has launched an impassioned defence of his rival Arsene Wenger - claiming the Frenchman has been brilliant at Arsenal.
THE TIMES: Arsene Wenger claimed yesterday that Samir Nasri’s desire to leave Arsenal is financially motivated, but that he will depart with his blessing. Also: Arsenal have made an approach for Lucho Gonzalez, the Marseilles and Argentina attacking midfield player, as a replacement for Cesc Fabregas.
THE GUARDIAN: Arsene Wenger has praised Samir Nasri’s professionalism and will consider selecting the France international against Liverpool today, despite the Arsenal midfielder being on the verge of a £22m move to Manchester City. Also: Has any batsman had to wait so long to stake his claim for a Test place? At Edgbaston Ravi Bopara entered the fray when England were 596 for four. Here he has had to twiddle his thumbs for another two days, wondering if England’s prolific upper order will ever allow him to bat.
DAILY TELEGRAPH: Never in his 15 years shaping Arsenal’s fortunes has Arsene Wenger faced such a torrent of trouble as this. Also: Never in his 15 years shaping Arsenal’s fortunes has Arsene Wenger faced such a torrent of trouble as this.
THE SUN: Sam Allardyce believes England boss Fabio Capello is trying to persuade Scott Parker to quit West Ham. Also: Roberto Mancini was on the receiving end of more Argy-Bargy yesterday.
DAILY MIRROR: Samir Nasri could make a shock appearance against Liverpool today - despite being on the brink of a £22million move to Manchester City. Also: Most players knock on the manager’s door when they are not getting a game. But Pablo Zabaleta tried another approach when he bumped into boss Roberto Mancini on the training pitch yesterday.
DAILY STAR: Arsene Wenger has told contract rebel Samir Nasri: You will play for Arsenal as long as you are paid by this club. Also: Carlos Tevez is set to make his first appearance of the season tomorrow - but has been warned his place in the team is no longer guaranteed.
DAILY EXPRESS: Arsene Wenger has hit back at his critics by saying he should be trusted to get it right amid fears that he could quit if the Arsenal fans do not get behind him. Also: Kevin Pietersen saluted England’s record-breaking top-order, insisting four of them can go on to pass the existing best mark of 22 Test centuries.