Paper Review: England, Wayne Rooney, Petr Cech, Iker Casillas, Arsenal

Ian RodgersWorld Football Staff WriterSeptember 11, 2013

Paper Review: England, Wayne Rooney, Petr Cech, Iker Casillas, Arsenal

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    England's 0-0 draw against Ukraine in Kiev is the topic of choice for the newspaper back pages on Wednesday.

    Roy Hodgson and his team emerged from the game with a point, but the match itself was little to get excited about, which is reflected by the papers.

    Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney could be set for a return to action in a big game on the club's Premier League calendar, while Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech is the subject of interest from a major European club, according to reports.

    Real Madrid have turned to a legend of the club in a bid to prevent goalkeeper Iker Casillas making the move to the English top flight.

    Read on to find out more.

Mixed Reviews for England Display in Goalless Draw Against Ukraine

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    England returned from Kiev with a point to remain top of World Cup qualifying Group H, but it wasn't a pretty affair against Ukraine.

    Sam Wallace of The Independent noted that England have "stuttered and stumbled" throughout the qualification process and maintain only a "fragile grip" on the group.

    Surprisingly, The Sun (subscription only) takes a positive outlook on England with Charlie Wyett reporting Hodgson hitting back at critics, including former England striker Gary Lineker, who thought the performance was underwhelming.

    England have beaten only San Marino and Moldova so far in the group, and Martin Samuel of the Daily Mail insists that statistic must change if the team are to have any impact in Brazil next year.

    England need to beat Montenegro and Poland at Wembley next month to ensure progress to the World Cup finals, but John Dillon of the Daily Express warns that is not a foregone conclusion yet.

Wayne Rooney Poised for Return from Injury in Manchester Derby

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    Manchester United striker Rooney is targeting a return to action in the derby against local rivals Manchester City on Sept. 22, reports David McDonnell of the Daily Mirror.

    The England international was ruled out of the World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine after suffering a gashed forehead after a training-ground collision with Phil Jones.

    United manager David Moyes believed Rooney would be out for three weeks, but the forward could be available for the derby at the Etihad Stadium.

    Meanwhile, former United manager Sir Alex Ferguson predicted the dangers of player power before his relationship with Rooney fell apart at the end of last season, reports Martin Blackburn of The Sun.

    Ferguson spoke at the Harvard Business School before Christmas and the full details of his speech have now been printed in the Harvard Business Review.

    Current United boss Moyes is tracking Sheffield United central defender Harry Maguire, who was monitored by Ferguson last season, according to the Daily Mirror.

Chelsea Goalkeeper Petr Cech Emerges as a Target for Barcelona

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    Chelsea goalkeeper Cech is weighing up a move to Barcelona as a replacement for Victor Valdes, reports Adrian Kajumba of the Daily Star.

    The Czech Republic international, 31, has been at Stamford Bridge since 2004, but Blues boss Jose Mourinho is looking to bring through a younger generation, with 21-year-old Thibaut Courtois currently impressing while on loan to Atletico Madrid, according to Kajumba.

    Spanish reports had claimed a swap deal for Valdes could happen in January, but neither Mourinho nor Cech would want any departure to happen mid-season, claims the Star.

    Meanwhile, Chelsea are holding up England U21 international Nathaniel Chalobah's loan move to Watford due to a disagreement over the amount of money to be paid by the Championship side, reports Alan Nixon of the Daily Mirror.

Real Madrid Call on Zinedine Zidane to Urge Iker Casillas to Remain at Bernabeu

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    Real Madrid have called on one of their biggest guns to prevent goalkeeper and club captain Iker Casillas from quitting the Bernabeu for the Premier League, according to John Cross of the Daily Mirror.

    Real legend Zinedine Zidane, who is now sporting director at the club, will open peace talks with the 32-year-old, who has been linked with Arsenal and Manchester City, claims Cross.

    Casillas was dropped from the Real starting lineup by former head coach Mourinho and has not been restored by Carlo Ancelotti so far this season, preferring to keep faith with Diego Lopez.

    But Zidane is confident he can convince the Spain international to remain with Real, according to the article.

Bits and Pieces: Arsenal, Giovanni Trapattoni, Shinji Kagawa, Liverpool

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    Arsenal are on the verge of signing out-of-contract Romanian striker Ciprian Marica, reports John Cross of the Daily Mirror.

    The 27-year-old left Schalke at the end of last season and his agent is quoted as saying he is hopeful the deal will be completed next week, according to Cross.

    Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni is set to be axed after the Football Association of Ireland cancelled the former Italy manager's scheduled press conference on Wednesday following the defeat to Austria, claims Colin Young of the Daily Mail.

    Former Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp has launched a broadside at the Football Association over the lack of punishment meted out to Kyle Walker after he admitted inhaling the legal drug, nitrous oxide, reports John Drayton of the Daily Mail.

    Manchester United midfielder Shinji Kagawa has voiced his frustration at not playing for the club under manager Moyes, reports the Daily Express.

    Liverpool owner John W Henry insists the finances are available for the club to redevelop Anfield, according to the Daily Express.