What the papers say

  • Last Updated: December 21 2012, 7:31 GMT

A look at what is making the back-page headlines in today's national newspapers:

Paul Scholes: Set to retire in the summer
Paul Scholes: Set to retire in the summer

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DAILY MAIL: Paul Scholes plans to retire once and for all at the end of this season as Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson prepares for another summer shake-up at Old Trafford. Also: Manchester United will hope to take advantage of chaos at Real Madrid after being drawn against the Spanish giants in the last 16 of the Champions League yesterday.

THE GUARDIAN: Just short of five years after helping Manchester United win the European Cup, Cristiano Ronaldo will return to Old Trafford for the first time as Real Madrid were on Thursday paired with Sir Alex Ferguson's side in the last 16 of the Champions League. Also: For India some sort of order was restored. The England captain Eoin Morgan and his men could produce no miracles and India won the first of the two Twenty20 matches by five wickets with 13 balls to spare.

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: Jose Mourinho would deny it but he will be auditioning for the Manchester United job when he leads his Real Madrid side to Old Trafford in March for the tie of the Champions League round of 16. Also: It was predictable yesterday morning that Arsene Wenger should single out Barcelona as the team he most wanted to avoid in the Champions League draw but, in also highlighting the German threat, it was equally certain that Bayern Munich were not far behind.

THE INDEPENDENT: The Real Madrid president, Florentino Perez, said last night he was more than happy to have drawn Manchester United in the Champions League. Also: Celtic midfielder Scott Brown admits he will face a formidable opponent when he lines up against Andrea Pirlo in the Champions League but he will not stand back and admire the Juventus midfielder.

DAILY EXPRESS: English football is facing the embarrassing prospect of not having a club in the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time in 17 years. Also: Arsene Wenger has told Theo Walcott it is time to pay back the faith Arsenal showed him as a teenager by signing a new contract.

THE TIMES: Sir Alex Ferguson said that he would find a special bottle of wine to toast a tantalising reunion with Cristiano Ronaldo and Jose Mourinho as Manchester United were paired with Real Madrid in the pick of a mouthwatering Champions League draw yesterday. Also: Neil Lennon insisted yesterday that there is no fear from Celtic over their Champions League round-of-16 assignment with Juventus and urged his players to set the bar even higher to seize the prize of a place in the quarter-finals.

DAILY MIRROR: Rio Ferdinand is relishing his showdown with old pal Cristiano Ronaldo in the Champions League. Also: Newcastle boss Alan Pardew has agreed a £10m deal for Loic Remy - paving the way for Demba Ba to leave next month.

DAILY STAR: Ryan Giggs has started the mind games with Cristiano Ronaldo by telling him: Lionel Messi is the greatest - not you. Also: Chelsea have been told to cough up £30million if they want to sign Corinthians striker Paulo Guerrero next month.

THE SUN: Manchester United were last night warned: Cristiano Ronaldo will dump you out of the Champions League. Also: Paul Scholes will quit football next summer - and this time there is no coming back.


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