Premier League - Paper Round: Cole ready to quit Chelsea

Eurosport - Tue, 23 Feb 09:00:00 2010

A look at the gossip from this morning's papers, with Ashley Cole threatening to hit back at Chelsea and leave the club if they single him out for harsh treatment.

2009-2010 Chelsea defender Ashley Cole - 0

Cole (pictured) will fight Chelsea as the club's owner Roman Abramovich looks to adopt his new hard stance on discipline by making an example of the defender, who is now considering leaving the Blues in the summer. (Daily Express)

The left-back believes he is being made the victim of Chelsea's crackdown on sleaze and, after imposing a 200,000 fine, he is threatening the club that he will escape to ply his trade abroad for next season. (Daily Mirror)

Cole believes he has the choice between Real Madrid and Barcelona with both clubs reportedly monitoring his situation at Chelsea very closely, willing also to meet the club's 25 million valuation. (The Sun)

Steven Gerrard has revealed that, unlike in 2006, he will be practising penalty kicks ahead of the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa, admitting that he cracked under pressure in Germany. (Daily Mirror)

Michael Owen says his Manchester United team-mate Wayne Rooney was a "local scally", but now he has made good, and believes the forward will continue to grow in popularity as a result. (The Sun)

Carlo Ancelotti believes that the whole of Italy will be cheering on his Chelsea side against Internazionale in their Champions League clash on Wednesday, as his war of words with Jose Mourinho intensifies. (Daily Mail)

Petrobras has been identified as a potential suitor for Chelsea's stadium-naming rights and the Brazilian oil company is keen to take on the 10m-a-year naming-rights offer. (Guardian)

Sir Alex Ferguson's increasingly fractious relationship with Anderson has left the Brazilian reeling at the club after being frozen out of the last seven matches and not even being included for the trip to Milan. (Guardian)

England responded to the shoddy condition of their proposed World Cup training base at the Royal Bafokeng building site by refusing to meet an 11am deadline imposed by FIFA to sign off the complex. (Daily Star)

Everton have issued a hands-off warning over Jack Rodwell as Manchester United continue to closely monitor the midfielder's progress, and David Moyes believes that his club are now big enough to hold on to their best young players. (Daily Mirror)

Tottenham last night signed Zambia's 16-year-old left-back Emmanuel Mbola, paying 1m for the youngest player at the recent African Cup of Nations. (Daily Mirror)

Gary Neville has been touted as the new Alan Hansen as the highly-opinionated defender is chased by ITV, among other media heavyweights, to be a World Cup pundit - ratings for the channel on Merseyside are set to plummet. (Daily Mail)

Sol Campbell issued a high court writ against Portsmouth last month, demanding payment of 1.67m allegedly owed in unpaid earnings, and the breakdown he provided has alarmed the taxman.

In 2008, Campbell was picking up 30,000 a week, but he claims he was also contracted to earn an equivalent sum through an offshore trust in return for the use of his image in commercial, sponsorship and endorsement deals. (Guardian)

A new, positive message has come out of FIFA today ahead of the World Cup this summer, courtesy of the governing body's chief medical officer, Professor Jiri Dvorak.

"Before the last World Cup, it was said that there would be thousands of fans and there would be an AIDS issue but, just like then, they will be concentrating on the football and not 'other activities'." Dvorak said. (Daily Express)

Finally, Roy Keane believes watching Ipswich is better than any Disney film, or indeed going on a ride at one of the company's theme parks: "If you have been to Disney, you would know that it does not even compare. That is why we all love it!" (The Sun)

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