Champions League – Paper Round: Rooney back on Wednesday?

Wayne Rooney could make a shock return to action in Wednesday’s Champions League clash with Bayern Munich at Old Trafford.

Both the Sunday Mirror and Sunday Star claim that Manchester United’s star striker could feature despite the ankle ligament injury picked up in last Tuesday’s 2-1 first leg defeat that was set to sideline him for three weeks.

Rooney was at Old Trafford for United’s 2-1 defeat to Chelsea wearing a protective boot on his damaged right foot but Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed that his 34-goal striker has already been doing some carefully monitored cardiovascular work

The Mirror also reveal that United may soon only have the second biggest stadium in Manchester as they claim City’s owners are assessing plans to make Eastlands the biggest stadium in English club football.

Abu Dhabi United Group’s blueprint to oversee a major regeneration of the East Manchester area will include a project to expand their council-owned ground.

One of the plans being discussed is to add another tier and 30,000 seats to take the capacity of the City of Manchester Stadium to almost 80,000.

The managerial merry-go-round is the order of the day in most of the red tops with the Mirror saying Gianfranco Zola has no long-term future at West Ham.

Zola’s decision to return home to Sardinia for three days last week to film a TV commercial infuriated owner David Sullivan with Slaven Bilic and Steve McClaren waiting in the wings

Both the Sunday People and News of the World say that Arsene Wenger wants to remain at Arsenal beyond his current deal, which expires at the end of next season.

But the Frenchman must feel certain that the Gunners can win silverware next season before he commits himself to a new agreement.

The same two papers say Mark Hughes is red-hot favourite to be the next Aston Villa manager if Martin O’Neill decides to go at the end of the season.

Cutbacks and doubts over long-term spending plans at Villa Park could see O’Neill shortly review his future.

In transfer news, Tottenham have joined Chelsea and Manchester City in the race for £25million-rated Wolfsburg striker Edin Dzeko (Mirror)

The 24-year-old Bosnian has opened the door for a possible summer move to the Premier League after previously claiming he would prefer to move to Serie A.

Manchester United hopes of landing long-term target Karim Benzema have been boosted by claims Real Madrid are ready to let the Frenchman leave the Bernabeu on loan next season (Mirror).

While Barcelona and Real Madrid are waiting in the wings with big wage offers if Jonny Evans fails to agree a new deal with Manchester United (People)

Both Spanish giants are willing to pay him at least £90,000 a week and former Old Trafford team-mate Gerard Pique has sung Evans’ praises at the Nou Camp while Cristiano Ronaldo has told Madrid’s coaches that the defender is “top drawer”.

Manchester City are heading the chase for unsettled Inter’s teenage striker Mario Balotelli who has fallen out with Jose Mourinho (People).

Arsenal and Tottenham have both shown interest in Balotelli in the past but have baulked at Inter’s £15million asking price.

Instead the Gunners will confirm the signing of Bordeaux’s Moroccan striker Marouane Chamakh on a £12m four-year deal (Mail on Sunday).

And City must fight off a late swoop from neighbours United to snap up Hamburg defender Jerome Boateng who is rated in the £11 million bracket (News of the World).

The Eastlands club are in pole position to sign the 21-year-old centre-back, younger brother of Portsmouth midfielder Kevin Prince.

And Liverpool are set for a £150million cash injection via a new shirt deal with adidas (News of the World).

The sports giants are to offer the Reds a massive contract extension to rival Manchester United’s record-breaking deal with Nike.


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