Wednesday's gossip column

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TRANSFER GOSSIP

German striker Lukas Podolski is close to joining Arsenal from Cologne. The 26-year-old has apparently already agreed personal terms with the Gunners, although the two clubs are yet to agree a fee.

Full story: Bild (in German)

Cologne striker Lukas Podolski
Lukas Podolski could be on his way to Arsenal

Napoli have issued a 'hands-off' warning to Manchester City and Chelsea over their pursuit of Ezequiel Lavezzi. The striker has impressed for the Serie A club but president Aurelio De Laurentiis says the club will ignore any offers.

Full story: talkSPORT

Asamoah Gyan is a wanted man in the Middle East. Al-Ain, the club where the striker is currently on loan, want to make the move permanent while at least one other United Arab Emirates-based side are interested in the Sunderland player.

Full story: Evening Chronicle

Spanish giants Barcelona are interested in Chelsea youngster Ruben Loftus-Cheek. The 16-year-old caught the eye of the Catalan side when he scored for England schoolboys against Wales last year.

Full story: Daily Mirror

Chelsea boss Andre Villa-Boas is hoping to lure Inter Milan playmaker Wesley Sneijder to Stamford Bridge this summer as he bids to add more creativity to the Blues midfield.

Full story: Caught Offside

Manchester United are the latest Premier League side to be watching Torino attacking midfielder Alen Stevanovic. Scouts from the Premier League's top six clubs were at a recent match to see the 21-year-old in action.

Full story: Daily Mail

Contract rebels Paul Pogba and Ezekiel Fryers have been told to sign new deals in the next 48 hours or forget about playing for Manchester United again.

Full story: the Sun

Leeds have handed a trial to Swedish midfielder and free agent Dulee Johnson, 27.

Full story: Daily Mirror

Ajax defender Jan Vertonghen has issued a 'come and get me' plea to Tottenham after Harry Redknapp watched him in action against Manchester United.

Full story: Daily Express

OTHER GOSSIP

Arsenal, Tottenham and Chelsea have been put on alert after reports that ex-Blues boss Jose Mourinho is returning to London.

Full story: Daily Mirror

Jose Mourinho is looking for a new house in London — fuelling talk of a return to Chelsea.

Full story: the Sun

Ahmed Hassan, right, challenges Kenya's Raphael Mungai Kiongera
Ahmed Hassan, right, made his Egypt debut in 1995 and is set to win a record 179th cap

Chelsea striker Didier Drogba is demanding £6m a year to stay at Chelsea after talks over a new deal at Stamford Bridge stalled.

Full story: Daily Mail

Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley is set for a quick return to action after scans revealed no serious damage to his ankle.

Full story: Manchester Evening News

Tottenham youngster Adam Smith could make his debut against Manchester United at the weekend after being recalled from his loan spell at Leeds. The defender could come in for Kyle Walker, who was forced to pull out of the England squad for the friendly with the Netherlands.

Full story: talkSPORT

Bolton midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker has dubbed the next month as "March madness" because he believes that could be the spell that decides their Premier League fate.

Full story: The Bolton News

Liverpool striker Craig Bellamy could call time on his Wales career after leading his country in the Gary Speed memorial match against Costa Rica.

Full story: Daily Telegraph

AND FINALLY

Zamalek SC midfielder Ahmed Hassan, 36, is to become the most capped international footballer as he is set to make his 179th appearance for Egypt on Wednesday.

Full story: The Times (subscription needed)

Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli could be set to star on the small screen after striking up an unlikely friendship with The Only Way is Essex star Mario Falcone.

Full story: Metro

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