Club close-in on £18m deal for 17-year-old wonderkid

Manchester's Wayne Rooney
Manchester's Wayne Rooney
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WE take a look around the papers for the latest from Stoke City, Manchester United, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool and Newcastle United.

THE SUN: Chelsea are closing in on the £18m capture of 17-year-old Anderlecht striker Romelu Lukaku, who is being tracked by a host of top European clubs and has been labelled the ‘new Didier Drogba’.

Wayne Rooney last night admitted he was wrong to try to turn his back at Manchester United. Also: Alex Ferguson’s worst nightmare came true last night as Lionel Messi set up a dream Champions League final.

Spurs midfielder Niko Kranjcar could also be on his way out of White Hart Lane after failing to cement a permanent spot in Redknapp’s plans this season. “I would definitely be interested in moving to Italy,” he said. “I think I would adapt quickly to Italian football.”

THE TIMES: Wayne Rooney has revealed his deep regret over his threat to leave Manchester United six months ago. Also: Matthew Etherington will discover from a specialist today whether he has a chance of playing in the FA Cup final two weeks on Saturday.

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: Manchester United have been handed an 11th-hour opportunity to lure Schalke’s Manuel Neuer to Old Trafford as an escalating war of words between Schalke and Bayern Munich threatens to scupper his anticipated £15million transfer between the Bundesliga rivals. Also: UEFA has announced a new three-year deal for Champions League rights with Sky and ITV - but England’s top clubs face a major drop in their income from the competition if a European ruling goes against them.

THE INDEPENDENT: FIFA presidential candidate Mohamed Bin Hammam will meet the FA chairman David Bernstein today - but has said that repairing relationships between British football and the world governing body would have to be reciprocal. Also: Lionel Messi scored one of the best goals in Champions League history last night to settle one of the competition’s ugliest matches.

THE GUARDIAN: There was fighting and faking but not much football until the 88th minute and then there was a moment of rare beauty. Also: London 2012 organisers said they were “thrilled” after revealing they had received applications for more than 20million Olympics tickets during the first phase of sales.

DAILY MAIL: Liverpool are also interested in a £5m move for Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton, with Reds manager Kenny Dalglish keen to reunite him with former Magpies team-mate Andy Carroll.

Wayne Rooney has confessed he could not have been more wrong to question the quality of Sir Alex Ferguson’s squad with Manchester United now on course for a European and domestic double. Also: Jose Mourinho accused referee Wolfgang Stark of bias towards Barcelona after Real Madrid’s Champions League dream was dealt a devastating blow.

DAILY EXPRESS: Wayne Rooney yesterday admitted that he realises the full enormity of what he almost threw away by threatening to leave Manchester United and reflected that the club’s ascent to a possible Premier League and Champions League double has vindicated his decision to put his faith in Sir Alex Ferguson and stay. Also: Lionel Messi scored one of the best goals in Champions League history last night to settle one of the competition’s ugliest matches.

DAILY MIRROR: Wayne Rooney admits he was mad to even consider quitting Manchester United this season. Also: Florent Malouda and Nicolas Anelka are set to head the casualty list as Chelsea plan a second summer revamp.

DAILY STAR: Sir Alex Ferguson will make a £24million bid to blow Bayern Munich out of the water and clinch the signing of Manuel Neuer. Also: The showpiece semi-final between the giants of Spanish football exploded into violence at half-time on a night when two-goal Lionel Messi was superb but football was the loser.