Premier League - Paper Round: Clattenburg to sue Chelsea

It is day four of the papers' coverage of Clattenburg-gate and the story gained new legs on Wednesday evening as Chelsea made an official complaint to the FA regarding alleged comments made by referee Mark Clattenburg toward midfielder John Obi Mikel.

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Premier League - Paper Round: Clattenburg to sue Chelsea
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Daily Express 01/11/2012

There could be a twist in the opposite direction still to come though if the Daily Express back page is to be believed as they claim that Clattenburg is set to sue Chelsea for defamation.

The paper says that the referee is 'angry and confused' by the claims and has been advised by friends within the refereeing community to fight Chelsea's claim with action of his own.

The Express says that Clattenburg is keen to "protect his already battered reputation from being further damaged."

However, the paper also reports the flip side saying that "at least three Chelsea players are prepared to go on the record to say that they heard FIFA official Clattenburg call Mikel a 'monkey' on Sunday."

They add: "Mikel, however, is understood not have heard the alleged insult, but been told about it at the time by team-mate Ramires."

Chelsea seem to have learned from mistakes made during the John Terry case though and have submitted a "dossier of statements" to the FA supporting the allegation of racism, according to the Daily Telegraph.

The paper reveals that "players and club officials have had a series of interviews with external legal counsel" since the match on Sunday.

"Signed witness statements, including those from Mikel and Ramires, were forwarded to the FA who, along with the Metropolitan Police, will now investigate the allegation.

"Chelsea have not complained directly to the police, regarding the FA as the appropriate body to investigate. There is pressure now on the FA to quickly conclude their inquiries. They will seek interviews with all relevant witnesses, including Mikel, Clattenburg and his team of officials, and will also request available video footage.

"After Ashley Cole was accused of providing 'evolving' evidence in an interview that was based on the notes of an FA investigator during the investigation into John Terry, Chelsea will insist that all interviews for the Mikel complaint are taped."

Meanwhile, the Daily Mirror speculates that the Chelsea players who complained about Clattenburg might have misheard his Geordie accent.

The paper says that officials asked the players whether they might have heard "Shut up, monkey" when he might have said "Shut up, Mikel."

Paper Round will hope to lead on something else tomorrow but there is still no sign of this story going away.

To some transfer and managerial rumours and Manchester United have joined the list of clubs scouting Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha. Tottenham are understood to be in pole position but Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool are also watching him. (Daily Mail)

Birmingham's England starlet Jack Butland admits he is powerless to control his future with the club in takeover limbo. Manchester City, Everton and Stoke are already in the queue for the keeper. (Daily Mirror)

Newcastle are in a fight with Napoli and Roma for German Pezzella. The Argentinian centre-half, 21, has impressed for River Plate and will cost around £4.5million. (The Sun)

Crystal Palace are ready to ask Portsmouth for permission to speak to Michael Appleton about becoming their new manager. (Daily Mirror)

Manchester City are in talks over a role for Barcelona's former director of youth Jose Ramon Alesanco, while also showing interest in Real Betis midfielder Benat. The stylish Spain international, 25, is struggling to agree new terms on his contract at Betis and can leave for his buy-out clause of £16million. (Daily Mail)

And finally, Leeds United risk losing El Hadji Diouf for nothing in January after failing to agree terms on a new contract. The 31-year-old signed on a short term deal at the start of the season on a cut-price £5,000 a week deal. (Daily Mail)

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