Premier League - Paper Round: Bets off on shock Suarez move

Bookmakers have stopped taking bets on Luis Suarez leaving Liverpool and joining one of their biggest Premier League rivals.

Premier League - Paper Round: Bets off on shock Suarez move

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Suarez/Wenger montage (Reuters)

The Sun reports the controversial Uruguayan striker is on the brink of quitting Anfield - and making a stunning move to Arsenal.

William Hill were forced to close their book on the rumoured move following a series of huge outlays in Spain, the paper reports under the blazing no-nonsense headline 'Suarez Arsenal frenzy'.

Spokesman Rupert Adams said: “It would suggest they have heard something substantial.”

'You never see a poor bookie', the saying goes. There's a reason for that: they're usually on the money, so to speak. Perhaps this news is not to be sniffed at.

Yet there's a twist: at the time of writing, Victor Chandler and Skybet have very much not closed their books on Suarez joining Arsenal. In fact, they're both offering a healthy 11-4 and 7-2 respectively on the Uruguayan going to the Emirates, compared to a miserly 5-6 on to join Real Madrid.

Still, if William Hill's information is right it would represent a substantial coup for Arsene Wenger and Arsenal, who are making waves in the transfer market so far this summer, at least in terms of rumours.

Another Wenger target, Gonzalo Higuain, is close to signing terms at the Emirates, with the Daily Mail reporting that his father has indicated his son’s protracted £22million move should be completed shortly.

The Real Madrid striker's brother and agent claimed a deal was as good as done last week, but no matter, if his dad now says so, then it must be true.

Or maybe not. Certainly, the Daily Star isn't buying it just yet, with the paper claiming the Gunners have "stalled negotiations" as they refuse to pay over £21m for the Argentine.

The Star also reports that the Gunners are set to go head-to-head with Manchester City for Fiorentina star Stevan Jovetic. The 23-year-old's club have revealed they are open to selling their biggest asset.

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Now, wasn't there some crunch talks or something going on up in Manchester? Well, it's uncertain whether Wayne Rooney actually had time to sit down with Manchester United boss David Moyes for a second time as the striker returned to training, and today's papers believe there is somewhat of a stand-off between the two parties.

The Sun reports that United will not pander to Rooney's demands and the reigning champions will not be rushed into offering the striker a new mega contract.

"And neither are they willing to bow to any demands to contradict Sir Alex Ferguson’s claim the player asked to leave," the paper adds.

Meanwhile, both The Guardian and the Daily Mail claim Rooney will have to submit a written transfer request if he does want to leave. The latter publication suggests that would mean Rooney would write off any money owed on the two remaining years of his £250,000-a-week contract.

The Rooney situation is just one of a number of issues facing Moyes as he takes his first tentative steps into management of his new club.

Another concerns Nani, who has failed to perform consistently for United and has been linked with a move away for some time. The Daily Mail claims Roma are interested in the Portugal international, with United wanting around £12m for the winger, who has a year left on his contract.

Tottenham Hotspur have won their battle with Real Madrid over Gareth Bale, with the Spanish giants conceding defeat in their pursuit of the Welshman.

Both The Sun and the Daily Mail report that Bale, who was a £80million target for Madrid, is set to sign a new deal with the North London club. Real will renew their interest in 12 months though.

The Daily Mirror reports that Henrikh Mkhitaryan is ready to break his contract to force a cut-price £20m move to Liverpool.

The paper reveals that "the Armenian midfielder is in dispute with his Ukrainian club Shakhtar Dontesk - and has effectively gone on strike - over the terms of that deal, which contains a clause allowing him to terminate it and move for that figure".

Meanwhile, Manchester City are interested in an £18m move for Sevilla striker Alvaro Negredo, according to The Sun. New boss Manuel Pellegrini has identified the Spain international as a possible replacement for Carlos Tevez and, with relations between the two clubs good, is hopeful a deal can be struck.

In other titbits from the papers today, Roque Santa Cruz could yet be heading to Stoke City after his wife vetoed a proposed switch to Hamburg (The Sun), Aston Villa have their eyes on Nuremberg’s Japanese striker Hiroshi Kiyotake and have already made enquiries (Daily Express), Paris Saint Germain are eyeing up Newcastle's Yohan Cabaye (Guardian) and QPR are ready to pay Tottenham £2m for England midfielder Scott Parker (Guardian).

And finally, what with Andy Murray's Wimbledon heroics, the British and Irish Lions on tour and Mark Cavendish sprinting to a Tour de France stage win, there is little room for football on today's back pages.

That's certainly refreshing, although one story that did manage to muscle its way onto the Daily Mirror's back page reveals the true plight of the England national side: they are now officially worse than Greece.

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The report reads: "A year ago, the Three Lions were rated by FIFA, the game's world governing body, as the third best team on the planet. When the new list is published on Thursday, they will have slipped to 13th." Which is lower than Greece. Although the implied shame in being worse than a nation that has actually won a major international tournament in the past 40 years is debatable.

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