Premier League - Paper Round: Scholes to return for United

Sat, 07 Jan 04:11:00 2012

The back page of today's Sun carries the revelation that Paul Scholes is set to end his retirement and solve Manchester United's injury crisis.

2011 Manchester United Paul Scholes - 0

The 37-year-old, who hung up his boots at the end of last season, turned down an initial offer from United to return last month, but is now thought to be having a re-think.

The Sun reports that the former England international is ready to pull on the red shirt should Alex Ferguson come calling again in the second half of the season.

Scholes would be fit enough to step into the breach immediately as the paper points out he currently trains with United's reserves every day while on coaching duty.

Amid allegations of a new Anfield race row in all of today's papers (covered elsewhere on this site), there is plenty of transfer talk, with the Daily Mail claiming that some of the Premier League's top clubs have been put on red alert after it emerged that Demba Ba has a £10 million release clause in his Newcastle contract.

The Senegal striker, who has set the division alight with 15 goals for the Magpies since his summer move from West Ham, negotiated the clause when signing his £40,000-a-week deal.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is on the lookout for a left-back to ease his defensive injury headache.

The Gunners are currently missing Thomas Vermaelen, Bacary Sagna, Andre Santos and Kieran Gibbs and the Daily Mirror claims Wenger is currently eyeing a loan move for Lyon’s Aly Cissokho.

Further forward, Arsenal are lining up a January swoop for Argentina striker Matias Suarez, according to the Mail.

Today's Sun carries the revelation that Paul Scholes is set to end his retirement and solve Manchester United's injury crisis. - 2 The paper says that the Anderlecht ace is rated at just under £10m, but Wenger is unlikely to be prepared to pay that much.

Liverpool are after a South American striker too, with the Mail reporting that Colombian international striker Jackson Martinez has appeared on the Reds' radar.

The Anfield club has held talks with representatives of the Jaguares forward, but could face competition for his signature from Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal.

The 25-year-old could set whoever lands him back by the tune of £8.5m.

The Sun reports that Fulham have rejected an offer from QPR for Andy Johnson, while the Guardian says Rangers have also been unsuccessful in a bid for Blackburn Rovers defender Christopher Samba.

But Neil Warnock's side look like they may land Aston Villa defender James Collins, with the Midlands club already moving for West Brom star Jonas Olson to replace the Wales international, according to the Daily Mirror.

Meanwhile, The Sun claims that defender Carlos Cuellar could soon be back in Spain with either Espanyol or Villarreal, and Villa, along with Fulham and Blackburn, are interested in Australia international Brett Holman.

To Tottenham, where Harry Redknapp is prepared to wait until the summer to snare Moussa Dembele from Fulham.

The Daily Mirror reports that Spurs boss could offer cash plus midfielder Niko Kranjcar for the Belgian, 24, who is valued at £10million.

And finally, two stories from a rather leftfield position.

Firstly, that man Mario Balotelli manages to get his name in the Daily Mirror after the paper was tipped off about what the striker has been getting up to as he recovers from injury - hammering an amusement arcade’s punchball.

The night after missing Manchester City's New Year’s Day match due to injury, the Italian challenged a Manchester United fan to a contest on the machine - which he duly lost.

And the same paper reports that former Portsmouth ace Nadir Belhadj is being investigated in France after being accused of bigamy.

The report states: "A woman claiming to be the footballer’s wife reported him to police after learning he had wed again in Qatar last year.

"She said they were married in Algeria in 2009 and have a child. She told police that, while they have split, their divorce is not finalised.

"The 29-year-old Algerian international, who now plays for Qatari side Al-Sadd, could have his second marriage annulled and face charges."

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