Paper Round: City to buy RVP, keep Balotelli


The Daily Mirror and The Sun both report that City will offer the Dutchman £250,000-a-week to move to the champions, trebling his wages and putting him in the same earnings bracket as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Arsenal's objections to selling the player will apparently be answered by a £25 million transfer fee - an astonishing amount considering that he has just one year left on his contract.

Juventus and Manchester United still have their hats in the ring, but the Mirror claims Van Persie will tell Gunners chiefs on Wednesday that he is off to City.

Roberto Mancini will be rewarded for winning the title to the tune of £20 million, according to the Daily Express: the Italian is apparently to be offered a new four-year deal with £5m a season to stay with Manchester City.

The paper also quotes City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak praising Mancini's incredible will to win and his handling of the constant stream of on-and-off-pitch controversies which have followed the club this year: "We've managed some very difficult situations - and still managed to complete our objective in winning the league. That is a credit to Roberto's managerial skills."

At the heart of several of those controversies was Mario Balotelli , who Mancini had vowed to sell due to his unfortunate habit of getting himself sent off in key moments of crucial matches.

But Balotelli is now set to stay at Eastlands , with Mancini telling the Daily Mirror that "He will be a City player next season, 100 per cent."

If only Kenny Dalglish had such certainty in his future: the Liverpool manager is widely reported to be flying to Boston for crisis talks with John W Henry. Dalglish is making the trip "in a bid to save his job", according to the Daily Star, with the billionaire's Fenway Sports Group apparently none too pleased that their £110m faith in Dalglish's purchases was only good enough for eighth place in the table.

Steve Kean faces a similar long-distance flight to learn his fate, the Mail reports, with the Scot heading to India for face-to-face talks with Blackburn Rovers owners Venky's about his future.

Also in line for the sack is Joey Barton , according to the Daily Mail, which reports that the midfielder's actions in earning his dismissal on Sunday are so serious that Queens Park Rangers are looking into throwing him out. Barton is unsellable thanks to both his vicious streak and his £70,000-a-week wages , but QPR are said to be so desperate to rid themselves of his presence that even if they are unable to fire him for gross misconduct they will consider paying off his contract despite the cost of £11m.

The Daily Mail reports that Chelsea are keen on signing Atletico Madrid striker Radamel Falcao , but that Atletico want £50m cash for the Colombian. The Blues are apparently happier offering Fernando Torres plus £15m .

Ajax skipper Jan Vertonghen looks increasingly likely to join Tottenham after being spotted touring both White Hart Lane and Spurs' new training facility, according to The Sun.

Harry Redknapp sees the £13m-rated defender as a like-for-like replacement for Ledley King - though hopefully not in the sense that his knees are fashioned from finest bone china .

Wolverhampton winger Matt Jarvis will still be in the top flight next year as Southampton will offer Wolves £4m (The Sun) while Nigel Reo-Coker is also to stay in the top flight as his contract allows him to quit Bolton on a free transfer in the event of relegation (The Sun).

And finally, most ridiculous story of the day goes to Sun columnist Ian Wright, who declares that "City can sign anyone they want to now", in a story illustrated by pictures and price tags of Lionel Messi (£200m), Wayne Rooney (£75m), Robin van Persie (£25m) and Cristiano Ronaldo (£150m).

"I genuinely believe the Etihad Stadium will now turn into one of THE places where any footballer on the planet would want to ply his trade. And yes, you can include the likes of Lionel Messi and even Cristiano Ronaldo in that," declares the former Arsenal star, in an almost inspiring display of hubris that is sadly undermined by UEFA and their pesky financial fair play regulations.

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