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.