Paper review - September 19

Posted by ESPN staff

Here’s a rumour none of us probably saw coming – Barcelona have been linked with a move for Newcastle United goalkeeper Tim Krul, according to the Daily Mirror.

The paper says the Catalan club are searching for backup for Victor Valdes – and 24-year-old Krul, who has been consistently reliable for the Magpies, is on their radar.

The Mirror says: “Barcelona’s current reserve keeper, Jose Pinto, is 36 years old and is set to leave the Nou Camp when his deal expires next summer. Coach Tito Vilanova has ordered his scouts to find him a top-class replacement, and Krul has received favourable reports.”

Krul, currently recovering from an elbow injury, was linked with a move to Tottenham before they signed Hugo Lloris over the summer.

Meanwhile, the Sun reports that Wayne Rooney is on the mend more quickly than expected – he’s back in full training only weeks after suffering a severe gash to his thigh against Fulham.

The England star, who suffered the injury in a clash with Hugo Rodallega as United played Fulham at Old Trafford, had been expected to be on the sidelines for two months.

But the Sun says: “Roo, 26, has stunned United’s medics and has been back in training for five days. There is even a slight possibility he could be on the bench for tonight’s Champions League opener at home to Galatasaray.

“The England star will almost certainly be available for Sunday’s showstopper with Liverpool at Anfield.”

Roberto Di Matteo's Chelsea begin their Champions League defence against Juventus at Stamford Bridge tonight – and he enjoyed last season’s triumph so much that he wants to do it all over again, says the Mail.

The Italian said last season’s dramatic win against Bayern Munich, in their own stadium, on penalties, had paved the way for the arrival of sought-after stars such as Eden Hazard in London, and hit out at critics who claimed only industrial scale amounts of luck had won the trophy for the Blues.

The Mail quotes him as saying: “At a club like Chelsea, the pressure is always on to win more trophies and have more success.

“It just has proved impossible for anybody to win it twice. But we will try to do the impossible. It can't just be that [we were lucky]. We prepared ourselves very well against every opponent. We worked very hard. You need to deserve everything you get.”

And finally – and in all papers – Roberto Mancini vented his frustration in the direction of Joe Hart after his side were dramatically defeated by a late Real Madrid revival at the Bernabeu last night.

Hart made a succession of fine saves to keep his side in it, and when they took the lead with only five minutes remaining it seemed as though they were on course for victory.

But after two late goals ended that hope, Hart said: "You can't go 2-1 up with five minutes to go and lose the game. We can only blame ourselves." And that prompted Mancini to snap: "If anyone should criticise the team, I should criticise the team, not Joe Hart.

"Joe Hart should stay in goal and make saves. I am the judge, not Joe Hart."

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