Paper News & Gossip: Jack Wilshere Row, New Man United Deals, Cristiano Ronaldo

Ian RodgersWorld Football Staff WriterNovember 21, 2013

Paper News & Gossip: Jack Wilshere Row, New Man United Deals, Cristiano Ronaldo

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    Jack Wilshere is at the centre of another club versus country row after the Arsenal midfielder picked up an ankle injury while on England duty, claim newspaper reports on Thursday.

    The England international has also voiced a concern over a first-team spot with Roy Hodgson's side ahead of the 2014 World Cup.

    Manchester United manager David Moyes is poised to offer new deals to two key players, while the Old Trafford club are also interested in the "Snow Messi."

    Real Madrid and Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo may snub the Ballon d'Or ceremony if he wins the FIFA award, according to one report.

    Who else is making the headlines in Thursday's papers? Read on to find out more. 

Jack Wilshere in Club-Country Row as Steven Gerrard Offers World Cup Realism

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    Arsenal star Jack Wilshere is the focus of a club versus country row after picking up an ankle injury during England's friendly defeat to Germany on Tuesday, reports John Cross of the Daily Mirror.

    The midfielder was brought on from the bench at Wembley after Gunners manager Arsene Wenger had requested that Wilshere feature in only one of the two friendly matches against Chile and Germany, claims Cross.

    Wilshere has also voiced a concern that he may lose his international place ahead of the 2014 World Cup, reports Simon Yeend of the Daily Express:

    You have seen over the past couple of months the talent there is, even in the Under-21s. Ravel Morrison and all these players are coming through.

    You are never guaranteed, and cannot rest on your laurels.

    You are only as good as your last game, they say, so when the time comes, I have to be on top form, and there will be a lot of players looking to be as well.

    Meanwhile, Steven Gerrard has called for realism over England's chances at the World Cup in Brazil next year, reports David Hytner of The Guardian:

    We're not one of the favourites, we know that.

    At the same time, you've got to go into the tournament with a bit of belief and confidence, and give it your best shot.

    But, of course, there are better teams out there than us. You only need to look at the rankings and where we are.

    I think these results will bring people a little bit down from where they were after Poland and Montenegro. There will be a bit of realism and perspective out there.

Michael Carrick and Nemanja Vidic Set for New United Deals as 'Snow Messi' Eyed

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    Manchester United pair Michael Carrick and Nemanja Vidic have agreed new deals with the club, reports Jeremy Cross of the Daily Star.

    Both players were in the final year of their current contracts. Midfielder Carrick has signed a new two-year deal while defender Vidic has agreed a 12-month extension, claims the article.

    Carrick has also boosted United after returning to light training following an operation on his Achilles injury, reports Simon Jones of the Daily Mail.

    John Cross of the Daily Mirror reports that United and Chelsea are monitoring the progress of eight-year-old (yes, eight-year-old!) Claudio Gabriel Nancufil.

    The youngster plays for a junior club in Bariloche in the foothills of the Andes, and has consequently earned the nickname of the "Snow Messi," according to the report.

    The far more experienced pair of Koke and Angel Di Maria top Moyes' shopping list in January, reports Nick Lustig of the Daily Star.

Cristiano Ronaldo Could Boycott Ballon D'or Award over Perceived FIFA Bias

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    Real Madrid star Ronaldo could boycott the Ballon d'Or ceremony in January even if he wins the coveted award, reports Mark Ogden of the Daily Telegraph.

    The Portugal international scored a hat-trick against Sweden on Tuesday to send his country through to the World Cup finals in Brazil.

    FIFA has delayed the voting on the Ballon d'Or winner until Nov. 29, which has seen Ronaldo emerge as favourite to win the prestigious trophy after his performance in the World Cup play-off second leg.

    However, the former Manchester United man is set to snub the award ceremony over his perceived bias of FIFA president Sepp Blatter towards Lionel Messi, claims Ogden.

    If Ronaldo does not attend the ceremony, it will "humiliate" Blatter, claims the article. 

Arsenal Defender Bacary Sagna Is Transfer Target for Napoli

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    Napoli manager Rafael Benitez has targeted Arsenal defender Bacary Sagna, reports David Wright of the Daily Star.

    The France international has been an integral part of the Gunners' flying start to the Premier League campaign, and Benitez views him as a potential solution to his right-back problem at the Serie A club.

    David Hytner and Dominic Fifield of The Guardian claim the Champions League clash between Napoli and Arsenal on Dec. 11 could be played behind closed doors following crowd trouble after the Italian club's tie with Marseille.

    Schalke midfidler Julian Draxler has played down talk of a January move to the Emirates Stadium, reports Darren Lewis of the Daily Mirror.

    Arsenal are facing competition from Roma for the signature of former Chelsea midfielder Salomon Kalou, claims Nick Lustig of the Daily Star.

Bits and Pieces: Ashley Cole, David Beckham, Stephan El-Shaarawy, West Brom

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    Chelsea defender Ashley Cole may be forced to miss the Premier League game against West Ham after aggravating a rib injury in England's friendly defeat by Germany on Tuesday, reports Matt Hughes of The Times (subscription required).

    Football icon David Beckham has revealed that he would have liked to become a painter if he had not found success as a player, reports Tom Sheen of the Daily Mail.

    AC Milan forward Stephan El-Shaarawy has opened the door to a move to Galatasaray in January, reports Ben Jefferson of the Daily Express.

    West Bromwich Albion could lose manager Steve Clarke in the summer after failing to open negotiations on a new deal for the former Chelsea No. 2, claims Martin Lipton of the Daily Mirror.

    Referees' chief Mike Riley has apologised to the Baggies over the controversial penalty awarded at Chelsea which cost West Brom victory, reports The Sun (subscription required).

    Hull City have offered refunds on season-ticket prices to supporters who have been angered at the club's proposed change of name to Hull City Tigers, reports James McMath of the Daily Star.