Premier League – Paper Round: QPR and Spurs fight over Beckham

When news emerged that QPR owner Tony Fernandes was trying to lure David Beckham back to the Premier League, we all had a good laugh at the Malaysian tycoon’s chutzpah and PR savvy in mooting a transfer that could never happen.

Yet our cynicism last weekend may have been a little hasty.

The Daily Mail claims this morning that moles inside Loftus Road are saying contact has been made with Beckham’s representatives about a move in November, when his LA Galaxy contract expires, while in the Daily Telegraph Neil Warnock says that his chairman might well pull it off: “I think anything is possible. He is a very astute businessman.”

The Daily Mirror, however, claims that Tottenham will step in to trump any offer for the 36-year-old – and the paper reports that Beckham would prefer a move to White Hart Lane in order to play European football, thus boosting his hopes of forcing his way into the Great Britain side for next year’s Olympics.

The Mirror adds that Spurs boss Harry Redknapp would welcome the chance to see Beckham provide crosses for new striker Emmanuel Adebayor to nod into the net.

Rumours have been circulating for months that the Beckhams’ boys have been enrolled in a fancy public school near their ‘Beckingham Palace’ home in Hertfordshire, which is conveniently placed for the training grounds of both Tottenham and QPR.

Most of the papers lead with news that England manager Fabio Capello is planning a clearout of fading, ageing England stars who he believes are mentally scarred by years of failure and underachievement.

“Capello’s clearout”, runs the Telegraph’s headline; “Their heads were gone”, says the Daily Mirror; “Old guard put on alert as Capello vows to make changes”, says The Times; while The Sun simply booms “On yer bikes” with a rubbish Photoshop picture of Frank Lampard, James Milner and Gareth Barry riding along on, well, bikes.

The record spending among Europe’s football elite this summer appeared to make a mockery of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations, which will force clubs to balance their books or face a ban from European competition.

Yet Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini has confirmed that the new regulations did indeed force him to stop spending, and thereby lose out on Real Madrid’s Fernando Gago and Roma’s Daniele De Rossi.

“We couldn’t spend any more money, also, for the question of financial fair play,” Mancini says in The Sun, adding that the same financial restrictions lay behind City’s free transfer move to sign Owen Hargreaves.

A few bits of transfer news are floating around, with Steed Malbranque eyeing a Premier League return after having his contract cancelled by St Etienne after three weeks, Alan Pardew hoping to bring Basel winger Xherdan Shaqiri to Newcastle in January and Arsenal looking at Fiorentina midfielder Riccardo Montolivo to use as a holding player.

And finally, the Daily Mirror reports that Fernando Torres has been “dumped by Spain”, off the back of comments from national team coach Vicente Del Bosque. Not unfairly, the World Cup-winning manager insists that “Those who stand out with their clubs will get the call to the national team, not the other way round”.

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