What the papers say

  • Last Updated: January 1 2013, 8:43 GMT

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

Mario Balotelli: Has a future at Manchester City
Mario Balotelli: Has a future at Manchester City

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THE SUN: Mario Balotelli is staying at Manchester City - because club owner Sheikh Mansour is his No 1 fan. Also: Theo Walcott last night dropped his biggest hint yet that he is ready to sign a new Arsenal contract.

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: Demba Ba's £7million move to Chelsea has been held up over the club's refusal to pay his agents the £2million in fees they are demanding. Also: Arsenal are today expected to sound out Southampton over their 17-year-old defender Luke Shaw, with manager Arsene Wenger having identified the left-back position as one of his transfer priorities for 2013.

THE TIMES: Roberto Mancini set the tone for the new year by stating that Manchester United use their "power" to "control" English football and that Manchester City are paying the price for their failure to act swiftly in transfer market last summer. Also: Alan Pardew has called on Demba Ba to make his intentions clear after the breakdown of the striker's transfer discussions with Chelsea.

THE INDEPENDENT: Alan Pardew has urged Demba Ba to ignore the "sharks" surrounding him and accept the £50,000-a-week final offer to stay at Newcastle United. Also: Roberto Mancini believes the failure to land Robin van Persie might cost Manchester City the title.

THE GUARDIAN: Alan Pardew has challenged Demba Ba to commit himself to Newcastle United by signing a contract extension or admit he wants to leave the club. Also: Wilfried Zaha could be the subject of an auction among Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur this month, with all four clubs monitoring the Crystal Palace winger, whose price would be around £10m.

DAILY MAIL: Alan Pardew has torn into the agents chasing a staggering £5million in commission for the sale of Demba Ba, branding them "sharks". Also: The FA have fired a New Year warning across football that their ailing Respect campaign must be stepped up.

DAILY EXPRESS: Billionaire owner Sheikh Mansour will not sanction the sale of Mario Balotelli because he is a great "worldwide advert" for Manchester City. Also: Alan Pardew insists top scorer Demba Ba must sign a new contract in the next seven days or move in this month's transfer window.

DAILY MIRROR: Roberto Mancini fears missing out on Robin van Persie will ultimately cost Manchester City their Premier League title. Also: Demba Ba's agents expect talks with Chelsea to resume this week after a hitch in his move to Stamford Bridge.

DAILY STAR: Sir Alex Ferguson will offer Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole the chance to join Manchester United when they are dumped by Chelsea. Also: Tottenham are ready to offer £10m for Crystal Palace whizz-kid Wilfried Zaha.

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