Last updated : 19 August 2004 By Editor
From the MEN:

Monaco claim that Nicolas Anelka will decide today whether to quit Manchester City. But the Blues have once again re-iterated that there has been no substantial bid for the French striker, who netted 25 goals for the Blues last season, and cost £13m two years ago.

City's head of communications Paul Tyrrell said today: "The manager has made it absolutely clear that it would take a considerable bid from any club before we would consider selling Nicolas.

"We have not had a substantial bid of any sort for him."

A Monaco spokesman today told PA international that negotiations with both Anelka and Saviola had been ongoing.

"We are waiting for Anelka and Saviola's decisions today. We have been conducting parallel negotiations with both players for a while and we should know more this afternoon."

New Liverpool signing Antonio Nunez, has been injured in his very first training session at his new club. Nunez twisted his left knee and has suspected ligament damage. A scan today is expected to reveal the extent of the problem.

Jonathan Woodgate is reported as a surprise new target for Real Madrid, for fees rumoured between £8m and £14m.

From the Guardian:

Last night Madrid sources confirmed the club's senior transfer negotiator Jose Angel Sanchez, who masterminded the deals that took David Beckham and Michael Owen to the Bernabeu, was on Tyneside attempting to tie up the transfer.

From the Sun:

Roberto Carlos has warned Michael Owen to prepare for life on Real Madrid’s bench.

“The question is whether Michael Owen will be able to play in this team because we now have Fernando Morientes back from his loan spell with Monaco.

“I thought the club were trying hard to buy a midfield player — which we needed — because our attack is already very good.

“But if the club considers it will benefit from the arrival of Owen then he will be very welcome. But I ask myself whether or not he will be playing.”

Manager Camacho has now warned Owen to get used to being rotated. He said:

“I am not annoyed at all by Owen’s arrival. Football is different these days and Real Madrid have the philosophy they have to have an impact worldwide.

“That is what this kind of player gives you. The squad will have to start to get used to the rotation system.

“In every game there will be one or two players who think they are going to play and who then won’t.

“There are eight or nine players who will be regular first choice but who could be rested depending on their condition, the opponents and how they play.

“We didn’t have many alternatives in attack last season and now we have more choice.”

Down at Southampton:

Paul Sturrock is facing the sack at Southampton after little more than five months in the job. The Scot will take charge of Saturday's home game against Blackburn Rovers but could be dismissed as early as next week.

Southampton have decided to dispense with Sturrock largely because they feel he does not command the respect of the players with his man-management or coaching.

Though it seems remarkably early for a manager's fate to have been sealed, Southampton have had ongoing concerns about the dressing-room response to Sturrock as well as about results, which were disappointing at the end of last season. The club finished with four defeats and two draws in seven matches.