What Saturday’s papers are saying:
THE SUN: Paul Scholes is ready to answer an SOS from Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson and come out of retirement. Also: Oldham midfielder Tom Adeyemi was reduced to tears during last night’s FA Cup clash at Liverpool after alleged abuse from a section of the Anfield crowd.
THE INDEPENDENT: The Christmas bust-up between Wayne Rooney and Sir Alex Ferguson has run so deep that it could lead to the player’s departure as early as the current transfer window. Also: The simmering tension between Liverpool and Manchester United looks unlikely to be resolved before the two teams play each other next month.
DAILY MAIL: Demba Ba put the Barclays Premier League’s top clubs on red alert last night when it emerged he has a £10million release clause in his Newcastle contract. Also: Thierry Henry will return for Arsenal on Monday after being cleared to face Leeds in the FA Cup.
DAILY MIRROR: Steven Gerrard started and scored as Liverpool went into the fourth round draw - but the night ended on a sour note. Also: Furious Manchester United last night issued a statement denying they are ready to sell star striker Wayne Rooney.
DAILY EXPRESS: Oldham defender Tom Adeyemi was left in tears last night after an angry confrontation with Liverpool supporters. Also: Roberto Mancini says Sir Alex Ferguson has developed a blind spot about Manchester City.
THE GUARDIAN: Sir Alex Ferguson has said he will not use the ordeal of Manchester City’s 6-1 win at Old Trafford in October, a result that left him “shattered” and reflecting on “our worst ever day”, as a motivational factor for his Manchester United players before tomorrow’s FA Cup tie. Also: Queens Park Rangers have had offers rejected for the Fulham striker Andrew Johnson and the Blackburn Rovers defender Christopher Samba.
THE TIMES: Roberto Mancini has dismissed Sir Alex Ferguson’s claims that Manchester City are not playing the best football in the country as tensions rise before their eagerly awaited FA Cup third-round match. Also: Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted for the first time that Manchester United need to buy, but the manager has warned fans that he will not lower his sights just to pacify the masses.
DAILY STAR: Manchester United are prepared to sit tight until the end of January in their pursuit of Chelsea star Frank Lampard. Also: Roberto Mancini reckons rival boss Sir Alex Ferguson is too stubborn to admit Manchester City have been the best side this season.
DAILY TELEGRAPH: Manchester City have stoked up the derby intensity ahead of the FA Cup third round by accusing Manchester United of being in denial about their rivals’ current ascendancy in English football. Also: Chelsea expect to complete the £7million signing of Gary Cahill this weekend.