Barcelona told Suarez to say sorry: Suarez has finally apologised for his bite to the shoulder of Giorgio Chiellini - but the papers report that he has only done so to facilitate a big money move to Barcelona, a transfer that will make him one of the best-paid players in the game.
With Liverpool having had no involvement in the apology and with no prior warning it was coming, it is understood Suarez and his agent were the sole driving force behind it. The Uruguay FA also had no idea it was coming, according to the Independent. The Daily Telegraph reports there are suggestions the carefully worded apology - and promise he will never do it again - is a pre-requisite for a potential bid from Barca, Meanwhile, according to the Daily Mirror, the Catalan club are keen to know that he has finally learned his lesson before they launch a bid for him.
Paper Round's view: It took Suarez six whole days to admit what most of the world already knew: that he had indeed bitten Chiellini on that fateful day. We can only assume that period of time was not spent desperately racking his brains trying to remember what he actually did to cause such a fuss, but rather he and his agent have been busily attempting to engineer a move away from Liverpool, with Barcelona foremost in their minds. Given Suarez's flat denial that anything untoward had happened prior to his confession, Barcelona - a club which prides itself on its positive philosophy and high moral standards - would not have gone anywhere near him.
In other words, it is entirely conceivable that Barcelona ordered Suarez to release a contrite statement. Indeed, there is enough to suggest from Suarez's past behaviour that self-interest would have prompted an apology that to anyone else would have been a simple act of common decency.
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Liverpool splurge could top £100m: Brendan Rodgers has promised there will be more signings to come with Adam Lallana on the verge of completing a £25m move from Southampton. The Daily Mirror reports that the Reds boss, who has already bought in Rickie Lambert and Emre Can, is also pursuing deals for Alexis Sanchez (Barcelona), Lazar Markovic (Benfica) and Divock Origi (Lille). Liverpool also remain interested in Sevilla full-back Alberto Moreno and another Southampton player, defender Dejan Lovren.
Paper Round's view: The report claims that Origi looks the most likely to be next through the door but that Sanchez may prove difficult to acquire, with the Chilean World Cup star preferring a move to Arsenal if he does leave Barca. However, the latest Suarez developments could well change that: Sanchez could be used by the Catalan club as bait to tempt Liverpool to sell the Uruguayan. If so, Liverpool could be onto a winner - they would be getting rid of an (admittedly talented) but known trouble-maker while bringing on board a proven goalscorer with Champions League experience (and who is a couple of years younger).
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United close on Vermaelen: Manchester United are closing in on the signing Thomas Vermaelen from Arsenal, having already secured the services of Luke Shaw. The Daily Express reports that United, who have already had a £6m offer for the Belgian World Cup star rejected, are ready to go back to the Gunners with an improved £11m bid once he returns from Brazil.
Paper Round's view: The jury is still out on whether this will be a good signing or not. Vermaelen lost his place in the Arsenal side with Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny preferred at centre-back and whenever he did feature he looked shaky. But does he just need regular game time to rediscover his form which, once found, can be excellent? Louis van Gaal could yet get a close-up look at Vermaelen if his Netherlands side meet Belgium in Brazil.
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Navas wanted by Arsenal and Liverpool: Keylor Navas, the Costa Rican goalkeeper who has taken the World Cup by storm, is wanted by Arsenal and Liverpool, reports the Daily Mirror. The Levante shot-stopper is one of the most sought-after keepers in the world at the moment and the good news for the Premier League duo is that he has a £6.5m buy-out clause in his contract with the Liga club.
Paper Round's view: By all accounts Navas was the best keeper in Spain last year, alongside Chelsea's Thibaut Courtois who was on loan at Atletico Madrid. But, while we heard all about Courtois, there wasn't a peep about Navas. That has now changed though and it seems inevitable he will leave for a 'bigger' club this summer. It does rather make a mockery of the scouting system though, having taken a couple of decent performances on the world stage to make other clubs sit up and take notice.
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Lampard to be farmed out to Melbourne: Frank Lampard is set to follow in David Villa's footsteps and spend some with Australian A-League side Melbourne City FC before taking his bow as a New York City FC player. The Daily Mirror reports that Lampard, who has signed for Manchester City's US off-shoot club, will head Down Under for the start of the season in October before moving to the MLS next spring. The paper claims a deal has been agreed and an announcement is expected soon. It has already been confirmed that Villa will do likewise and play in Melbourne to keep match-fit ahead of the New York franchise's debut in the MLS.
Paper Round's view: This makes sense: post World Cup, Lampard will not play again until March if he does not go somewhere else. He has already said he will not play for one of Chelsea's rivals in the Premier League and considering the Manchester-New York-Melbourne axis - and that Villa has already taken the plunge - it wouldn't be surprising to see Lampard do that same.
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- Sports & Recreation
- Giorgio Chiellini
- Daily Mirror
- Frank Lampard
- Keylor Navas
- Thomas Vermaelen