A round-up of sports and football stories from the UK newspapers and websites including news from Swansea, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool, West Brom, and Manchester United.
DAILY MAIL: Manchester City’s hopes of buying Napoli striker Edinson Cavani are looking increasingly thin with Real Madrid ready to offer significant competition in the race for his signature. The Uruguayan has been earmarked as a summer replacement for Mario Balotelli by the Premier League champions, but Spanish side Real have already opened talks with the 26-year-old’s representatives.
DAILY MIRROR: Stoke City boss Tony Pulis is keen on signing Bolton’s Spanish left-back Marcos Alonso. Pulis watched the 22-year-old defender in Bolton’s 1-0 win against Peterborough on Tuesday. Also: Sir Alex Ferguson has moved to quell dressing-room unrest by telling his fringe players they can still play a key part in Manchester United’s treble quest.
THE SUN: West Brom manager Steve Clarke wants to keep on-loan Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku, 19, at The Hawthorns for another season. Also: Rio Ferdinand claimed fans who compare Gareth Bale to Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi do not know football.
THE INDEPENDENT: Ian Bell has called on the cricket authorities to pull out all the stops to prevent a repeat of the tragic circumstances of Tom Maynard’s death. Also: Rafael Benitez’s patience finally snapped last night when the Spaniard claimed that it had been a mistake to make him interim manager of Chelsea in the first place and admitted he will definitely leave Stamford Bridge at the end of the season.
THE GUARDIAN: Tottenham have rejected a bid from Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala to take 27-year-old defender Younes Kaboul on loan until the end of the season. Anzhi are searching for a replacement for Christopher Samba, who left for QPR in January.
DAILY EXPRESS: Fernando Torres set Chelsea on their way to an FA Cup sixth-round clash with Manchester United - but he did not know much about his crucial goal. Also: Santi Cazorla has joined the growing fan club for his Arsenal team-mate Jack Wilshere by hailing him as a “complete footballer” with a “spectacular future”.
DAILY STAR: Cardiff City striker Robert Earnshaw, 31, is in talks to sign for MLS club Toronto on loan. He had a spell earlier in the season on loan in Israel with Maccabi Tel Aviv.
THE TIMES: Sir Alex Ferguson believes that Manchester United could be on the brink of something “big” this season as the manager urged his players to take “full advantage” of a critical month. Also: It did not feel, at the end, as if anything had substantially changed. Chelsea’s supporters were still barracking Rafael Benitez and Fernando Torres was still looking a pale imitation of his old self.
DAILY TELEGRAPH: Poor before the break, Chelsea improved markedly in the second half, a reality that will lead to inevitable speculation over who spoke the most stirring words in the dressing room at the interval. That is one of the problems with Chelsea currently: even doubts follow successes for Rafael Benitez. Also: Arsenal are ready to relax their wage structure this summer to help attract the genuinely world-class talent that Arsene Wenger wants to boost his squad.
METRO: Liverpool striker Luis Suarez, 26, has fuelled speculation linking him to Bayern Munich ahead of Pep Guardiola’s arrival as the German side’s manager by admitting he would not “automatically” reject an offer. Guardiola’s brother Pere represents the Uruguay international.