World Football

Paper News and Gossip: Radamel Falcao out of World Cup, '16 Clubs' Chase Lampard

Ian RodgersWorld Football Staff WriterJune 3, 2014

Paper News and Gossip: Radamel Falcao out of World Cup, '16 Clubs' Chase Lampard

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    Eduardo Di Baia/Associated Press

    It wasn't the most unexpected news of the World Cup build-up, but the withdrawal of Radamel Falcao from the Colombia squad is still central to the headlines on Tuesday.

    The Monaco striker has been battling for fitness after a long-term knee injury, and he has finally admitted defeat in his bid to play in Brazil.

    The departure of Frank Lampard from Chelsea is also making the news in the papers, with one report claiming 16 clubs are now chasing the free agent.

    But who else is making the headlines on Tuesday? Read on to find out more.

Radamel Falcao Admits Defeat in Fitness Battle for World Cup with Colombia

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    Getty Images/Getty Images

    Radamel Falcao has conceded defeat in his fight to be fit for the World Cup finals, reports Neil Rowlands of the Daily Mirror.

    The Colombia striker had been facing a race against time to take his place in the squad for Brazil, after suffering a serious knee ligament injury earlier in the season with Monaco.

    But Colombia head coach Jose Pekerman has confirmed he will not be taking Falcao to the tournament as he confirmed his final 23-man delegation for the World Cup.

Frank Lampard Wanted by '16 Clubs' After Confirming Chelsea Departure

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    Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

    Frank Lampard is wanted by 16 clubs after confirming his departure from Chelsea, reports Andrew Dillon of The Sun (subscription required).

    The England international announced his decision to leave Stamford Bridge after 13 years of success at the club.

    But Dillon claims the 35-year-old is now being chased by a host of clubs, and Lampard will make a decision once his involvement with the World Cup has ended.

    Lampard is quoted as saying:

    When I arrived at this fantastic club 13 years ago, I would never have believed I would be fortunate enough to play so many games and share in so much success.

    This club has become part of my life and I have so many people to thank.

    As a Chelsea man, I have no doubt that with the quality of players there they will continue the success we have all enjoyed.

    Whatever the next challenge is for me, I will always be amongst you and have Chelsea in my home and in my heart.

    Meanwhile, Matt Law of the Daily Telegraph reports that Jose Mourinho will replace Lampard with Cesc Fabregas this summer.

Gary Lineker Questions Wayne Rooney's 'Right to Start' for England at World Cup

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    Matt Dunham/Associated Press

    Former England international Gary Lineker believes current Three Lions manager Roy Hodgson must consider omitting Wayne Rooney from his starting XI in the World Cup, reports Sam Wallace of The Independent.

    The BBC Match of the Day presenter, who played in the 1986 and 1990 World Cup finals, claims that Daniel Sturridge should be considered as the lead striker for England.

    And Lineker is quoted as saying:

    But then you’ve got the conundrum; if Sturridge is up top in the system, where do you play Wayne Rooney? Wayne can play anywhere. He can play on the right, he can play on the left, he can even play a forward midfield role.

    But the question then is, ‘Have you better players in those particular positions than Wayne Rooney?’

    We’ve got all sorts of options. You could have [Raheem] Sterling playing on one side, the possibility of [Adam] Lallana playing on either side, [Danny] Welbeck, of course, which has been favoured by Roy in his teams and you’d expect him to play on the left-hand side because he covers a lot of ground.

    So it will be interesting to see which way Roy Hodgson goes. Or whether he sets back to that old way we played two years ago against Italy, with two lines of four, Rooney and someone else up top. So all sorts of possibilities. It will be fascinating to see which way he goes.

    Meanwhile, former Uruguay international Gus Poyet has warned England to be wary of the dark arts of his countrymen in the World Cup, reports Mike Walters of the Daily Mirror.

    Liverpool striker Luis Suarez has returned to light training with Uruguay after knee surgery, claims Phil Cadden of the Daily Star.

Louis Van Gaal Admits He Was 'Close' to Spurs Job Before Joining Manchester Utd

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    Ermindo Armino/Associated Press

    Incoming Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has admitted he came very close to accepting the Tottenham Hotspur job, reports Phil Cadden of the Daily Express.

    The Netherlands head coach was a boyhood Spurs supporter, with White Hart Lane legend Jimmy Greaves his hero.

    Van Gaal was linked with Spurs before succeeding David Moyes at Old Trafford, and the Dutchman is quoted as saying:

    I came very close (to the Tottenham job). Very close.

    As a little boy I was a fan of Tottenham with the team of Jimmy Greaves when he was the champion. Jimmy Greaves was my idol.

    So I was very close. Why? Because I was a fan of Spurs during my childhood. Those fantastic white shirts and Jimmy Greaves.

    Meanwhile, United are facing a fight with Liverpool to land Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona, claims Jack Wilson of the Daily Star.

Swansea City Warn Arsenal That Striker Wilfried Bony Will Cost '£19 Million'

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    Julian Finney/Getty Images

    Swansea City insist any move for striker Wilfried Bony will be subject to potential suitors agreeing to meet a £19 million buy-out clause, reports Darren Lewis of the Daily Mirror.

    Lewis notes that Arsenal have been strongly linked with a move for the Ivory Coast international, while Newcastle United and West Ham United are also interested.

    Former Vitesse Arnhem forward Bony, who is in the Ivory Coast squad for the World Cup finals, scored 25 times for the Welsh club in all competitions last season.

Aston Villa Approach Roy Keane over Assistant Manager Role

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    Patrick Bolger/Getty Images

    Roy Keane is weighing up a move to become assistant manager to Paul Lambert at Aston Villa, reports James Nursey of the Daily Mirror.

    The former Manchester United midfielder has turned down an approach to become Celtic manager, but the Villa Park role will allow Keane to maintain his place as an analyst for ITV Sport, claims the article.

    Keane would also be able to continue in his position as No. 2 to former Villa boss Martin O'Neill with the Republic of Ireland, according to the article.

    Meanwhile, Aston Villa owner Randy Lerner has slashed the asking price for the club by £50 million to encourage potential buyers, reports Alan Nixon of the Daily Mirror.

James Milner Revelling in Fake 'Boring' Twitter Account

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    Marc Serota/Getty Images

    Manchester City midfielder James Milner has voiced his love for the fake Twitter account set up in his name, reports David Woods of the Daily Star.

    The England international, who is in Miami with the World Cup squad, is the subject of an account named Boring James Milner and is trying to work out who is responsible for it.

    Milner is quoted as saying:

    It's not doing badly, whoever it is. The foundation (the James Milner Foundation) has 15,000 followers and I'd like it to have as many followers!

    It's good fun. I've read a few of them, and some of them are very funny. We went through this (at the club) wondering who it was.

    There were a few tweets about Asda so I was asking the masseurs where they shopped.

    I don't think it's anyone at the club. I've never got close enough, though. I thought I had but I realised they didn't have enough banter.

    Who knows who it is? It's good fun. No, I've never accused anyone. It's pointless. It's irrelevant. People enjoy it, that's the main thing.

Atletico Madrid Fans Launch Campaign to Prevent Purchase of Roberto Soldado

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    Angel Martinez/Getty Images

    Atletico Madrid supporters have started an online petition against the possible transfer of Roberto Soldado to the club, reports Darren Lewis of the Daily Mirror.

    The former Valencia striker has been linked with a move to the Vicente Calderon despite a disappointing campaign with Tottenham Hotspur last season, claims the article.

    But some Atletico fans are determined to ensure that their club does not buy Soldado, claims Lewis, who writes:

    Atletico’s interest in him (Soldado) emerged last week with David Villa bound for MLS franchise New York City and Diego Costa being targeted by Chelsea.

    Atletico fans, however, have opposed the move starting an online campaign with the hashtag ‘UnAtletiSinSoldado’, translated as ‘An Atletico Madrid Without Soldado’.

    The backlash has gathered pace with supporters insistent that their club should look elsewhere rather than snap up Soldado who is prepared to take a drop in his £80,000-a-week wages to join them.

    Part of the anger stems from the fact that the striker graduated from the academy of Atletico’s bitter rivals Real.

    There is also lingering resentment several flashpoints involving Soldado and Atletico players during his time as a Valencia player.

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