wHAT today’s papers are saying:
THE SUN: Manchester City will offer Robin van Persie a £41.6million deal to join them in the summer. Also: Manchester United aces are pressing midfield legend Paul Scholes to come out of retirement.
DAILY MAIL: Great Britain’s Olympic football team will be denied England’s best players after Stuart Pearce announced that nobody involved in Euro 2012 will be considered for selection for the London Games. Also: Newcastle want to sign Crystal Palace’s £10m-rated teenage sensation Wilfried Zaha in the January transfer window.
DAILY MIRROR: Struggling Samir Nasri has been told by Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini: Raise your game. Also: Ben Youngs has assured new England boss Stuart Lancaster that he has the full backing of every Red Rose player.
DAILY EXPRESS: Arsene Wenger has sparked fears Arsenal could lose more of their stars to Manchester City after admitting they do not have the money to keep their best players long term. Also: Luis Suarez’s racism hearing will drag on into next week after the FA disciplinary panel requested more time to consider evidence.
DAILY STAR: Andre Villas-Boas’ bid to land striker Gonzalo Higuain is set to be dashed - on the orders of Jose Mourinho. Also: Joleon Lescott has laughed off Chelsea’s tunnel taunts, insisting their over-the-top celebrations prove Manchester City are now the real deal.
THE GUARDIAN: Roberto Mancini has laughed off suggestions that fault lines may be emerging in Manchester City’s dressing room, in the wake of Thursday’s training-ground fight between Mario Balotelli and Micah Richards. Also: The draw for the last 16 of the Champions League must leave Arsenal and Chelsea uneasy.
THE INDEPENDENT: Not since Graeme Le Saux and David Batty traded punches 16 years ago has English football been without a representative in the Champions League quarter-finals but that prospect loomed yesterday after the surviving clubs, Arsenal and Chelsea, were handed demanding second-round ties against Italian opposition. Also: The three-man commission hearing the racial abuse charges against Luis Suarez announced last night it would delay its decision and work through the weekend, a reflection of the complexities of one of the most sensitive cases in football in recent years.
THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: Manchester’s Champions League dropouts must overcome illustrious opposition to reach the last 16 of the Europa League. Also: Samir Nasri may have to endure his Premier League reunion with Arsenal on the Manchester City substitutes’ bench after being warned by Roberto Mancini that he must “do more” to justify his £24million summer transfer to the Etihad Stadium.
THE TIMES: Thierry Henry is ready to make a surprise return to Arsenal after Arsene Wenger refused to rule out the possibility of re-signing the Frenchman yesterday. Also: Roberto Mancini believes it would be “impossible” for him to keep his job at Manchester City if he went six years without winning a trophy, as Arsene Wenger has at Arsenal.