Cleverley in line for new Man Utd contract

Tom Cleverley is to be given a new contract by Manchester United that would see the England international’s weekly wage doubled, bringing him closer to his more senior teammates in the Old Trafford financial pecking order, the Daily Mail has reported.

The Mail adds that Cleverley currently takes home £40,000 per week from United, which, if doubled, would see him receive the kind of pay packet usually reserved for key members of Sir Alex Ferguson’s side. With the bump in income would come a multi-year extension to Cleverley’s contract, tying down the 23-year-old for the foreseeable future.

Having previously spent time on loan at Wigan Athletic, Cleverley was introduced to the United first team at the start of last season, only to suffer an injury against Everton at Goodison Park that left him on the sidelines for much of the campaign. Since regaining fitness, however, Cleverley has been a regular in the United team and made his senior England bow under Roy Hodgson.

Podolski a better player thanks to Arsenal move, says Germany boss Low

Joachim Low believes Lukas Podolski has become a better player as a result of his move to Arsenal, ESPN has reported. The Germany Coach added that Podolski was now one of the first names on his team sheet due to the start he has made in the Premier League.

Podolski has passed the 100-cap mark for Germany but ESPN notes his future in the national team was thought to be under threat, thanks to the proliferation of young attacking talent making its way through the ranks. Low however has moved to dismiss such speculation, insisting that Podolski has an important role to play – thanks in large part to his summer transfer to the Gunners.

Low said: “I have always been able to count on him for many years. That makes him indispensable for us. Even if he did not always start games, I always rated him very highly.

I think the progress he is making at Arsenal is very positive. He always has such a positive energy about him and is benefiting from his experiences with Arsenal.

Podolski has made nine appearances for Arsenal so far this season, scoring four times, including two goals in the Champions League in as many games. The 27-year-old was previously with FC Koln, and also spent time at Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich.

Injury-free Rodwell relishing fight for places at Man City and England

Jack Rodwell is looking forwards to establishing himself as an England international and Manchester City regular now he is fit and injury-free, the Daily Mail has reported, with the former Everton midfielder equally keen to take England U-21s to the 2013 European Championships.

Rodwell made his senior England bow in late 2011 but was struck down by injury shortly after, missing much of the latter half of the Premier League season with Everton and missing out on a chance to go to Euro 2012 with the full national team.

A summer departure from Goodison Park to league champions City has brought questions as to how often Rodwell will feature in the first team, such is the depth of Roberto Mancini’s squad, but Rodwell insists he is not concerned about that.

He said: “I have not got a bad word to say about the club. If Manchester City want you and they sign you, then they have got intent for you. Young players have got a choice then and if they go, they will be managed in the right direction. You can’t turn the league champions down.

Rodwell added that he has recently been hampered by a succession of muscle injuries, dating back to his time at Everton, which led the Toffees to send their academy product to one of Europe’s leading specialists to correct the issue. Now fully fit, Rodwell believes he can again make an impact on the national scene.

Chelsea and England defender Bertrand to avoid FA punishment for offensive tweet

Ryan Bertrand is not expected to face disciplinary action after issuing a foul-mouthed message on Twitter, the Daily Telegraph has reported, but the Football Association will speak with the Chelsea and England full-back.

Bertrand reacted to media reports that he had pulled out of the England squad to play San Marino with a sore throat by seeking to clarify that he had an illness more severe than a simple sore throat. But in doing so, Bertrand used a hashtag containing an expletive, the same day as his Chelsea and England teammate Ashley Cole admitted an FA charge for a similar offence.

The 23-year-old’s outburst comes in the same week the FA chairman, David Bernstein, announced the implementation of a code of conduct for England footballers, including rules on their use of Twitter and punishments for any indiscretions.

Bertrand is nevertheless expected to escape sanction for a lesser offence than Cole, while Bertrand’s speedy deletion of the offending tweet and subsequent apology are also factors in his favour.

England manager Roy Hodgson said on the matter: “I think his sentiments were laudable, in telling you how much he wants to play for England, but his choice of words was wrong.

Borini injury leaves Liverpool short on strikers

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers will be without Italy international Fabio Borini for up to two months after the Italy international was found to have a broken foot after complaining of pain in his right foot while on national team duty, the Liverpool Echo has reported.

Borini moved to Liverpool from Roma over the summer, signing in at Anfield for a fee of just over £10m, having previously worked with Rodgers during a brief loan spell at Swansea City while a contracted Chelsea player. Borini has yet to score for his new club in any of his five appearances.
The injury to Borini leaves Luis Suarez as the only senior striker available to Rodgers, the Echo notes.

Following the loan departure of Andy Carroll to West Ham United, Liverpool attempted to sign Clint Dempsey from Fulham but were unable to agree a deal with the Cottagers, and Dempsey instead moved to Tottenham Hotspur. That means Rodgers will be forced to turn to youngsters to supplement his attack, if need be.

Hodgson expects England players on best behaviour

Roy Hodgson has called for his England players to act with maturity and behave themselves after a series of high-profile incidents involving internationals in recent weeks, ESPN has reported.

In the aftermath of the John Terry suspension and the written report into the case that questioned the evidence offered by Ashley Cole, Cole responded with an abusive tweet and was subsequently charged by the Football Association.

Another Chelsea player, Ryan Bertrand, also resorted to profanity on the social networking site when he was irritated by reports he had pulled out of the England squad because of a sore throat. Both Cole and Bertrand have since apologised.

A code of conduct for England players is to be introduced by the FA, part of which will govern how Twitter is used, laying out clear guidelines as well as punishments for when a player uses the forum in a manner unbecoming of an England international.

Hodgson said: “When we behave well, we can do a lot of good. When we behave badly… and this week, we have had a couple of big reminders. The FA are very keen to make certain we continue the style we had in the Euros – which was compared favourably to some of the things that happened previously.