Premier League - Papers: Liverpool go French

Sun, 05 Dec 06:31:00 2010

A foreign legion of stars from across the Channel are set for Liverpool as Damien Comolli plans a French revolution at Anfield.

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The Reds' new director of football strategy has targeted no fewer than four of our Gallic brethren to turn around the club's fortunes in what promises to be a huge shopping spree this January and next summer.

Rennes midfielder Yann M’Vila, Marseille striker Loic Remy, Lille centre-back Adil Rami and St Etienne attacking midfielder Dimitri Payet have all attracted Comolli's attentions. All played for France against England at Wembley last month and all are under the age of 25.

And with the super-talented Belgian international Eden Hazard of Lille and Borussia Dortmund's Serbian central defender Neven Subotic also identified on the hit list, Liverpool's spending could top 80 million - an immediate test of new owner John Henry's commitment to the club. (Sunday People)

Across Stanley Park, Everton have run into difficulties over their pursuit of Tottenham midfielder Niko Kranjcar, with the Croatian refusing to move to Goodison Park on loan.

But with the 3m price tag slapped on his head too high, the debt-addled Toffees will have to turn their focus elsewhere. (Mail on Sunday)

Down the M62 now, and Manchester United club captain Gary Neville is set to retire at the end of this season - marking the end of an era at Old Trafford.

The 35-year-old has struggled for fitness and form this season and is unlikely to be offered a one-year extension to his current deal, which expires in the summer. (Mail on Sunday)

Meanwhile, United are likely to 'take a 34.5m hit' on injury-prone Owen Hargreaves by allowing the midfielder to leave for free at the end of the season.

Hargreaves, whose tendonitis in both knees has limited him to just 39 appearances since arriving at Old Trafford in 2007, has six months left on his contract. Quite where he will go is another story. (Sunday Mirror)

In other news today, West Ham are set to fail in their bid to lure Wayne Bridge to Upton Park in January.

The former England left-back, accused earlier in the week of never being fit enough to play for Manchester City by boss Roberto Mancini, does not want to return to London. (Sunday Mirror)

The fallout from this week's World Cup decisions is still, well, falling out, with England's bid chief apparently knowing for nearly a year that 13 of the 24 voting FIFA members were 'buyable'. (Mail on Sunday)

And the FA will shortly instigate a behind-the-scenes revolt with the express purpose of ousting Sepp Blatter from his role as FIFA president and making the World Cup bidding process more democratic. (Sunday Telegraph)

But, the Telegraph reports, the FA - while wishing to stir up a protest - has no desire to lead the revolt and will hope to find other FIFA members who have lost faith in Blatter to run the campaign against him.

And finally, David Beckham is closing in on fulfilling his dream of owning his own football club.

Under the terms of his contract with the MLS and LA Galaxy, Becks has an option to purchase an existing club or create a new one.

And with his family settled in California, the former England captain may snub offers from Europe to extend his playing career beyond next November, and join the ranks of club owners instead.


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