From the back pages, January 6: Ferguson: I was talking about Newcastle’s lack of trophies, not the Toon Army, when I made the ‘wee club’ comment

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini and Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini and Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson
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Sir Alex Ferguson claims he has received backing from many Toon Army members following his controversial comment that Newcastle United is a ‘wee club in the North East’.

The Manchester United manager revealed that, among many emails he received about the issue from fans of the Tyneside club, several welcomed what he said. ‘Among the criticism there were also messages from people who feel they have been let down by the club and that it has not matched their own ambitions for success,’ he said. (Daily Mail)

One million pound drop: Mario Balotelli’s bad form costs him massive Manchester City bonus. Blues bad boy could have banked a packet if he managed to beat the likes of Ronaldo and Messi to the Ballon d’Or. (Mirror)

Real Madrid will move for Manchester City’s £50millionrated striker Sergio Aguero if his marriage break-up leaves him feeling isolated in England. (Express)

After months of speculation about his future, Chelsea admit they are in negotiations to extend Frank Lampards contract. (The Independent)

This was supposed to be Joe Cole’s day. This was supposed to be the moment the prodigal returned, and proved to the doubters and the critics what West Ham knew all along. And it so nearly, nearly was. Until injury time, that is. Until Robin van Persie scored a last minute equaliser. (Telegraph)

Wenger has so much stability but I’d pressure myself to win things. Jose Mourinho talks to The Sun.