Liverpool eye Soldado: Liverpool are set to snatch Roberto Soldado from under the noses of Tottenham as the Anfield club look to find a replacement for Luis Suarez, reports the Daily Mirror. The paper claims the Reds are now in a straight fight with Spurs for the Valencia striker, with the "dithering" London club failing to meet his £26 million asking price.
Paper Round's view: The need for Liverpool to think about the post-Suarez era is now imperative, with the Mirror and other papers claiming the Uruguayan wants his future resolved in the next 48 hours. Cash-strapped Valencia could be the big winners if a bidding war between the English clubs breaks out - and they could yet get what they want for Soldado.
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Real Madrid pull out of Suarez race: Arsenal are now in pole position to sign Suarez after Real Madrid pulled out of the running to secure his services, The Sun claims. New Real boss Carlo Ancelotti believes he has enough strike power, despite selling Gonzalo Higuain to Napoli, Madrid sources say. That paves the way for Suarez and his agent to "sort out his contract wrangle with Liverpool" and clinch a £40m-plus move to the Emirates. Meanwhile, the Independent says that the Premier League may step in to help settle the contract issues - something that the Suarez camp would welcome.
Paper Round's view: With things getting more acrimonious by the day, it seems certain Suarez will not be a Liverpool player for much longer. And if the news about Madrid's withdrawal from the race is true, the line that Liverpool are stalling and waiting for another club to come in and spark a bidding war becomes redundant. Arsenal are clearly frontrunners, yet with disagreement persisting over the player's release clause, perhaps the only way for him to finally make his exit is through intervention from the League.
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Rooney to wear number 23: Wayne Rooney already has a Chelsea shirt number allocated, according to the Daily Star. The paper claims that the wantaway Manchester United star will sport the "iconic No.23 shirt", made famous by US basketball star Michael Jordan, if he joins the Blues. Meanwhile the Daily Mirror reports that Chelsea are "privately confident" they will land Rooney before deadline day and, like many other papers, carries Jose Mourinho's quotes about remaining "calm" about his pursuit of the England international.
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United will not sell Rooney even if they acquire another player: The Guardian claims that, despite popular consensus, United will not sell Rooney - even if they land Cesc Fabregas or another forward this summer. The paper says "there has been a sense on the pre-season tour that, if a like-for-like replacement was bought, this could shift United's stance" but it adds that the club will not change their stance and Rooney remains not for sale.
Paper Round's view: United are making themselves pretty clear on this one, but it could all change with a big offer from Chelsea or a big arrival at Old Trafford, perhaps in the shape of Cristiano Ronaldo or Gareth Bale.
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United's Fabregas hopes boosted: United's hopes of landing Cesc Fabregas have "dramatically improved", according to The Sun. The Barcelona midfielder is reportedly becoming worried as he is still waiting for assurances about his future at the Camp Nou. The paper says the former Arsenal man has told friends he would welcome a move to Old Trafford if his prospects do not improve under new Barca boss Gerardo Martino. The Daily Mail runs the same story, adding that Fabregas is keen on linking up once again with former Arsenal team-mate Robin van Persie.
Paper Round's view: We've heard from 'friends' of the player before, and this latest report changes little. United have still had two offers rejected and their pursuit of the player is "ongoing", as David Moyes has said.
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