Thursday 22 February 2018

Soccer in Brief: Fellaini, Baines off United's radar

Marouane Fellaini, right, and Leighton Baines are prized assets at Goodison Park
Marouane Fellaini, right, and Leighton Baines are prized assets at Goodison Park

The chances of Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini starting the season at Goodison Park are increasing after Everton manager Roberto Martinez revealed that Manchester United's interest in the pair had gone cold, writes Gordon Tynan.

The left-back was the subject of an offer from United last month, while Fellaini has been linked with a move to Old Trafford to join former Everton manager David Moyes.

There have been rumours that Moyes will return with an improved offer for Baines, but Martinez, who succeeded the Scot at Goodison, insisted that has not yet been the case.

Martinez said: "Not at all. And I know that's not something you (the media) want to hear but it's clearly what it's been in the last two or three weeks."

United have not given up their pursuit of Barcelona's Cesc Fabregas, however, and talks to bring the Spanish midfielder to Old Trafford are "ongoing", Moyes said.

Toon and Cisse reach compromise on logo

Newcastle striker Papiss Cisse has agreed to wear the logo of sponsor Wonga on his shirt.

The 28-year-old Muslim had refused to display the pay-day loan company's branding on his kit because earning interest is forbidden by Islamic law.

However, after several weeks of delicate negotiations, the Senegal international and the club have found a solution and Cisse, who missed the club's training camp in Portugal as a result of his stance, will return to the squad.

Blow for Redknapp as Hooper signs for Norwich

Norwich have agreed a fee with Celtic for striker Gary Hooper.

The news will come as a blow to QPR manager Harry Redknapp, who thought he was in the driving seat to capture the prolific 25-year-old frontman.

Norwich manager Chris Hughton, who is currently in the United States with his players preparing for the new season, expects Hooper to complete his medical and agree personal terms within the next 48 hours.

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