Football - Premier League

Paper Round: Something in the air for Nando

Chelsea's £50 million striker Fernando Torres looks set to leave the club this summer, according to Friday's papers.

 
Papers: Torres up for sale - Football - Premier LeagueEurosport
 

The Daily Mirror reports that Russian big-spenders Anzhi Makhachkala will offer the Blues £45m for the 28-year-old, while the Daily Star claims that it is Roma - now backed by American money - who will come in for the player.

Roman Abramovich doesn't want to sell the player if he can avoid it, however: he still has faith that the Spain international will come good despite an awful 14 months at Stamford Bridge.

On top of that, the Russian oil billionaire clearly doesn't need the money (if you've been anywhere near a petrol station recently you'll know why), but should Chelsea miss out on a spot in the Champions League then they will be forced to offload the player so as not to fall foul of the UEFA Financial Fair Play regulations.

The Mirror reports that missing a Champions League spot would cost Chelsea £30m, and without selling a big-name player they will have no chance of meeting the limit on losses.

How all that tallies with The Sun's report that the Blues want to spend £35m on Real Madrid's Angel Di Maria we're not entirely sure; but the fact that the Daily Telegraph also reports that Torres could go (citing quotes from the player's agent), while the Daily Express says Paris St Germain want Ashley Cole, then anything could happen.

Friday's other big story is that Tottenham have decided who they want to succeed Harry Redknapp as manager.

The Daily Express and The Sun both report (and both claim 'exclusives' on) the story that Swansea manager Brendan Rogers is Daniel Levy's number one choice if and when the FA finally get around to appointing Redknapp. Jose Mourinho and Jurgen Klinsmann have both been written off, the Express claims (Mourinho is too expensive at £11m a year, while Klinsmann is apparently unwilling to leave the USA even for Tottenham) leaving Rogers in the frame thanks to his ability to get a string of journeymen to mid-table in the Premier League while still playing attractive football.

Papers: Torres up for sale - Football - Premier League Speaking of Redknapp, Terry Venables has hit out at the FA for dithering over the appointment of the new England boss - though we're quietly convinced that all the necessary discussions have long since been concluded behind closed doors. Neither Redknapp nor any of the outside contenders (Roy Hodgson being the likely best-of-the-rest option) would want the end of their Premier League seasons compromised by an announcement before the end of the season.

North of the border the chaos at Rangers continues, with the Daily Record reporting that there are '14 days to save Rangers' after Brian Kennedy's offer to take over at Ibrox was rejected by administrators. Considering that the offer was rejected because "at least two rival consortiums" have offered more suggests that the survival of the club is scarcely in question any more.

West Brom boss Roy Hodgson is hoping to be one of the beneficiaries of the Rangers debacle, the Baggies boss hoping to sign Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor and striker Steven Naismith. The duo will go for a cut-price £3.5m. The Sun reports that the bargain-basement fee is due to both players agreeing to massive salary cuts in exchange for low-end release clauses in their current deals. Needless to say, those low transfer fees will ensure the pair of hefty wages at their next clubs, wherever they may end up. The Mirror, meanwhile, reports that West Brom are favourites to Derek Boateng from Ukrainian side FC Dnipro.

In the day's other transfer gossip, Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill is keen on signing his former favourite Gabriel Agbonlahor from Aston Villa (Daily Mirror), while Villa will axe veteran striker Emile Heskey this summer (The Sun).

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini has set transfer speculation in motion by admitting how much he admires Tottenham's Luka Modric (The Sun), while Ricardo Fuller will be offered a new deal by Stoke City despite only starting one game this season - and getting sent off that time (Daily Mirror).

And finally, Manchester City are hoping to ease David Silva's homesickness and persuade him to sign a new contract by offering him an Everest-sized pile of cash. The Spanish star will be offered £250,000-a-week to sign up to a new long-term contract. Homesick? For a million quid a month, he could probably afford to have the whole of his native Gran Canaria towed up the Atlantic and moored off the Lancashire coast.

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