Quote of the day: “Gutted to have picked up a niggling injury especially as training was going so well, heading back to Manchester to have it assessed fully but early indications are nothing to worry about.” – Wayne Rooney.
Runner-up: “Wayne Rooney and Manchester United go together. I’m aware of how big the football club is, and the fact you can achieve all your ambitions there. But Wayne is ambitious himself. He has to make his own mind up. There have been rumblings about Wayne but he has come back into pre-season without much of a fuss, and this will unfold in the next few weeks. The fans have been through this before, many times, and you have to understand: it is not unusual, if you go through a long period of your career, that you have moments of doubt or feel you might want to work for someone else. But then things settle down a bit. I think the fans will be fine with him. They get behind the players on the pitch. In 26 years I’ve not seen a United player treated badly by United fans. They love their own, particularly the ones who have served them well and given their all, and Wayne can certainly put himself in that category.” – Gary Neville.
Is Wayne Rooney really injured?
Fittest for five years? ‘Gutted’ Rooney flies home from United’s Far East tour with hamstring injury to cast fresh doubt over his future (Adam Crafton, Daily Mail) The news that Rooney has left United’s tour is sure to provoke speculation, with the player still to reveal whether he would like to remain at Old Trafford this season. United boss David Moyes retains a firm stance, saying that Rooney is not for sale under any circumstances – although the manager has passed up repeated opportunities to confirm that the player wants to stay at the club. Yesterday, Moyes told talkSPORT: ‘The club has already stated that Wayne is staying and is not for sale. I have met Wayne two, three, four times and he’s here every day. I have of course met him long before on many occasions.
Bangkok-Up (Neil Custis, Sun) The England striker is now nearly 6,000 miles away from his United team-mates in Bangkok. And, although the Premier League champions insist he has a hamstring injury, the distance between him and the club could be significant… After just 16 hours in Thailand — and one training session — he was on his way to the airport to begin the 5,961-mile 11-hour journey home. The timing triggered conspiracy theories, given it comes against the backdrop of uncertainty over his future.
Will Arsenal bid £40m for Luis Suarez?
Liverpool poised for Luis Suarez transfer talks with Arsenal.. if Gunners offer £40m for striker (David Anderson, Mirror) Arsenal must offer £40million for Luis Suarez to get Liverpool to even consider selling him. And the Gunners are set to increase their bid for the controversial striker after having a £30m offer flatly rejected last week. The Reds’ position remains that they do not want to sell the unsettled Uruguayan – who has also attracted interest from Chelsea and been linked with Real Madrid, Napoli and Bayern Munich – despite his claims that he is keen to go. However, as with their then-star striker Fernando Torres in 2011, Liverpool know every player has his price. They may be prepared to sit down with the Gunners for negotiations if the Londoners put £40m on the table.
Arsenal believe increased bid will pave Liverpool exit for Luis Suárez (Chris Bascombe, Daily Telegraph) Arsenal believe an increased bid for Luis Suárez will prompt the striker to force his way out of Liverpool. Liverpool rejected an opening offer of £30 million for the Uruguayan, but Arsenal will return with a higher valuation. Frustrated in their pursuit of Real Madrid’s Gonzalo Higuaín, Arsenal’s response has been a serious endeavour to prise Suárez – a Real Madrid target – from Liverpool. The interconnections between all these approaches cannot be ignored, Arsenal having hoped to make a breakthrough in the Higuaín deal much sooner.
Bayern bag Thiago
Bayern Munich appear to win race to sign Barcelona’s Thiago Alcântara (Jamie Jackson, Guardian) Manchester United appear to have missed out on their No1 summer transfer target Thiago Alcântara after reports that Bayern Munich have agreed a deal with the Barcelona midfielder. Pep Guardiola, who oversaw Thiago’s development when in charge at Barcelona, made his play for the 22-year-old on Thursday. According to reports in Italy, where Bayern are training, the Spaniard will sign a four-year deal with the European champions.
Negredo open to City deal
Alvaro open to City deal (Martin Blackburn, Sun) Negredo, 27, says he is happy in Spain but admits his ambitions are not really being met and has not ruled out a switch. He said: “Right now, I’m at Seville and like it very much. If I stay that’ll be fine but if I leave then it will be because it benefits both the club and myself. I’m happy on a personal level — but collectively we have not achieved the goals we wanted. Now perhaps I am at a decisive moment for my future.”
Redknapp wants Crouch, again
Surprise! QPR’s Redknapp wants to sign Peter Crouch from Stoke to fire Hoops back to the Prem (Darren Lewis, Daily Mirror) Harry Redknapp wants to work with Peter Crouch for a FIFTH time. Queens Park Rangers boss Redknapp would like the 32-year-old Stoke striker to join him at Loftus Road as he continues overhauling his squad for a crack at instant promotion back to the Premier League. Crouch – who Redknapp tried to sign in January during the Hoops’ futile fight against relegation – has already played for him at Portsmouth (twice), Southampton and Tottenham. Redknapp is moving for men he can trust as he bids to turn Rangers into a team capable of returning to the top flight at the first attempt. As we revealed yesterday, Redknapp has already persuaded chairman Tony Fernandes to raid Spurs for Scott Parker as his midfield general.
Gary Neville fears for England
Home-grown talent is best, Neville tells quick-fix clubs looking for success (Matt Barlow, Daily Mail) ‘You cannot be definite on this,’ said Neville. ‘No-one can be, but my gut feeling is we’ve maybe reached a tipping point where the pathways are being blocked and it’s not just the case of the cream will rise to the top. ‘I’ve always believed that if you’re good enough you will get the opportunities. We were always told that as kids. But I’m not quite sure anymore. I’m not quite sure if a player is good enough that they will actually have a chance of getting through because, actually, if you want instant success then they haven’t got time for them to develop.’ It is a sobering thought which will chime inside the Football Association. Roy Hodgson’s England team have endured a mediocre season, bereft of quality options and the repercussion was an awful summer for the nation’s development teams.