Euro 2012 - Paper Round: Capello to axe Rooney if ban upheld
The Daily Mirror, Daily Mail and Daily Star all report that Fabio Capello will consider ditching England's top striker if he is unable to take part in the group stage of the tournament, which is currently the case following Rooney's three-match ban for a daft red card against Montenegro.
"I need to wait. I need to see how the appeal goes," Capello said when asked if he will take Rooney to the tournament.
Genuine concern about maximising England's chances, or a nifty bit of PR trying to put pressure on UEFA, who will no doubt be fretting about ticket sales and TV ratings in the event England's number one man stays behind? We'll let you make your own minds up.
Chelsea could have a very different-looking squad by the end of January, with six players set for the exit in the New Year according to the Daily Mail.
Anelka is set to join Chinese side Shanghai Shenua on a £6.4 million-a-year deal, while Alex is expected to join Juventus. Both players have reportedly had their lockers cleared and have been told they cannot use either the Blues' main training centre or, horror of horrors, the first team car park.
The paper claims that Drogba, who scored against Newcastle at the weekend, is now expected to head to the Middle East and will likely sign a pre-contract agreement in January.
The Times, meanwhile, reports that Chelsea have stepped up their interest in Bolton's Gary Cahill as the replacement for Alex. Andre Villas-Boas has apparently spoken to Owen Coyle about a deal which will be formalised in January.
The Sun quotes Lazar Markovic, Partizan Belgrade's 17-year-old striker, saying that "it's my dream" to join Chelsea despite interest from 20 clubs around Europe.
The Serbian, apparently a boyhood Chelsea fan, is expected to fetch around £10m.
Manchester City have nabbed Norwich goalkeeper Angus Gunn for a bargain-basement £250,000, the Daily Mirror reports. The Canaries wanted £1m plus add-ons for the 16-year-old, who has already left for Eastlands rather than stay at the club where his father Bryan Gunn is a legend.
Fulham have instituted new rules gagging their players after a string of embarrassing leaks, the Mail reports. Martin Jol's struggling side have been dogged by unflattering media stories, including one about up-and-coming teenage star Pajtim Kasami being fined £500 for missing a penalty (albeit one that he was not supposed to have been taking).
In other news, with the final round of Champions League group stage matches looming, the Daily Telegraph has an utterly baffling piece by Alan Hansen claiming that, "the Premier League dominance of the Champions League is over."
Is that the domination of the old European Cup by Nottingham Forest and Liverpool in the late 70s that he's referring to? Because last time we checked the Champions League has only been won by English sides twice in the last dozen years, compared to five times by Spanish sides and three by Italians.
And finally, The Sun reports from England's training base for Euro 2012, claiming that the resort in Poland is a "shambolic dump".
"The muddy, waterlogged pitch and rubble-strewn changing rooms are barely fit for a pub team," the paper screams in what, unbelievably, is its front page story. "Yet this tumbledown stadium, home to Polish part-timers Hutnik Krakow FC, will be England's Euro 2012 training base in six months."
The piece is illustrated with pictures of shower heads sticking out of unplastered walls, with unfinished concrete floors.
Needless to say, The Sun conveniently ignore the fact that the place is full of builders' paraphernalia, with windows and ceilings that are clearly brand new, and that this is very obviously a building site in the final stages of being finished up. Even the pictures of the pitch (taken in Poland in December, remember) show turf that, while well used, has clearly been carefully rolled, sanded and seeded in preparation for arrival of the illustrious visitors/pampered prima donnas.
Never mind all that, though, let's all join in with The Sun's insincere fury! Focus on that outrage! Boo! Hiss! What are the FA doing to our Lions? Cheapskates undermining our boys' hopes! Throw them all out now, we say!