From the back pages, April 3: Spurs’ Gareth Bale is best player in Europe says Zinedine Zidane

Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale
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SPURS’ Gareth Bale has received a glowing endorsement from Zinedine Zidane, who believes he is the best player in Europe this season. (The Express)

Paolo Di Canio’s on-going refusal to clarify his previous pro-fascist comments are continuing to cause embarrassment for Sunderland football club amid further boycotts from fans and some of the club’s key sponsors forced to defend their involvement in the Premier League side following the Italian’s controversial appointment as manager. (The Independent)

Ahead of starting Paris Saint-Germain’s Champions League quarter-final clash against Barcelona, David Beckham has reiterated his desire to again play for England. The 37-year-old midfielder, regularly playing and training alongside some of Europe’s strongest players, believes himself to still be fit enough to continue at the highest level and wishes to remain available should Roy Hodgson look to use him. (Daily Mail)

Paris St Germain would love to sign Wayne Rooney — but have NOT made an approach for the Manchester United superstar. (The Sun)

Alastair Cook insists England are not expecting to trounce Australia in this summer’s Ashes, despite their rivals’ dismal recent tour of India. (The Telegraph)

Ireland are looking for a new head coach after deciding on Tuesday not to offer Declan Kidney a new contract, less than a month after the men in green’s worst Six Nations campaign. (The Guardian)

Manchester United are poised to withdraw Old Trafford as a venue for the World Cup in 2015 after groundstaff voiced concerns about potential damage to the pitch. (The Times)