Press Watch: Manchester City 'woo Russians' while Ranieri is linked with Lazio

Click to follow
The Independent Football

Two papers, one exclusive: the Russians are coming to Manchester City. So say the Sunday Express and the News of the World, although closer examination reveals that there might be two stories after all.

Two papers, one exclusive: the Russians are coming to Manchester City. So say the Sunday Express and the News of the World, although closer examination reveals that there might be two stories after all.

According to the Express, City, who have debts of around £60m, are "in advanced talks with a wealthy group of Russian backers" seeking to emulate the Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich. It says three directors from the Moscow club Torpedo Metallurg attended the game against Chelsea in February as guests of the club, then throws in the name of Ralif Safin, one of the founders of Lukoil, Russia's largest oil company, as the major prospective investor.

But the News of the World says City have agreed an informal tie-up with FC Moscow after entertaining a delegation from that club, and reckons they are braced for a £35m takeover by Vladimir Potanin, a former Deputy Prime Minister of Russia who owns the country's largest industrial empire and is "worth over £1.6bn".

The Sunday Mirror says that the Chelsea manager, Claudio Ranieri, is set for "showdown talks" with the chief executive, Peter Kenyon, over his future on Wednesday. The Express says Ranieri, who has been linked with Real Madrid, could replace Roberto Mancini at Lazio. The Express and the People say Mancini has been offered Carlos Queiroz's job at Real, the latter suggesting that Queiroz may return to Manchester United as Sir Alex Ferguson's No 2.

The Mirror says the Chelsea midfielder Juan Sebastian Veron has been the subject of two bids from Internazionale, the second being £10m plus the Nigerian striker Obafemi Martins.

The People reckons Gérard Houllier has been told he will stay in charge at Liverpool even if they do not qualify for the Champions' League. The Mirror says Houllier is ready to sacrifice Emile Heskey, but the News of the World claims that the Liverpool manager insisted the England striker will not be sold.

Liverpool is named as a likely destination for the Nottingham Forest centre-half Michael Dawson, said by the People to be heading out of the City Ground for £5m in the summer along with his team-mate Andy Reid, possibly bound for Charlton for £4.5m.

The News of the World says City's Shaun Wright-Phillips may be a £10m target for Arsenal, and Manchester United are closing in on the £12m-rated Deportivo la Coruña defender Jorge Andrade.

According to the People, Newcastle are set to land PSV's Serb striker Mateja Kezman for £6m, while the Express reckons Fulham are favourites to land Cardiff's Rob Earnshaw for £5m.

Comments