Papers: Rio ready for Rome
Rio: I'll be ready for Rome
Rio Ferdinand has been told to prove his fitness against Hull on Sunday if he wants to play in the Champions League final against Barcelona. Sir Alex Ferguson is reluctant to risk the £30million centre-half against Barcelona unless he emerges unscathed from the trip to the KC Stadium. But Ferdinand insists: "I'm fine. I trained with the ball and done some running, so I'm doing all the movements I need to. I've not thought about not playing in the final. But this is perhaps the most important injury battle of my career because there's so much at stake." - Mark Ogden, Daily TelegraphThe Sun
says United have "bowed to pressure to field a stronger team at Hull", despite Premier League chief exec Richard Scudamore saying Sir Alex has the right to utilise his full squad. Sunderland's Ricky Sbragia says: "Sir Alex will pick a side that can beat Hull."The Guardian
, who last month claimed Cristiano Ronaldo
had a deal to sign for Real Madrid, now says politics at the Bernabeu mean Madrid will go for Kaka and Franck Ribery instead. President-elect Florentino Perez doesn't want to go for former bigwig Ramon Calderon's man. Yawn.Federico Macheda
wants to play in his home city next week. "It's a dream I've had many times, me with the champions in my own stadium. I hope it happens, but I don't even know if I'll be on the bench. United have many great players and there's big competition. It'd be fantastic playing for just a few minutes. In Manchester, people think I'm a hero, but I've done nothing and must show my value."
Elsewhere, it's reported that City want to sign Diego Forlan, while Liverpool are prepared to break their transfer record, funded perhaps by the £23m sale of Xabi Alonso to Real Madrid. Benitez couldn't resist a dig: "We may break our transfer record, but we certainly won't break United's." More yawning.