Friday's gossip column - transfers and rumours

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TRANSFER GOSSIP

France coach Laurent Blanc has emerged as the leading contender to be the next Chelsea manager, should preferred targets Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho prove beyond reach.

Full story: the Times (subscription required)

Blues owner Roman Abramovich is ready to hand Barcelona coach Guardiola a four-year deal worth £40m after tax to become Chelsea boss.

Full story: the Sun

Chelsea will have to fight to keep defender David Luiz, 24, this summer, with Barcelona preparing to offer £35m for the Brazil international.

Full story: Daily Mail

France national football team's head coach Laurent Blanc
Laurent Blanc took charge of the France national team in 2010

Manchester United are set to sign Crystal Palace defender Nathaniel Clyne, 20, when his contract expires this summer, and will throw in £2.5m to avoid a tribunal.

Full story: Metro

Meanwhile, the Red Devils have launched a second bid of around £20m for Benfica midfielder Nicolas Gaitan, 24, according to sources in Portugal.

Full story: talkSPORT

Arsenal are reportedly monitoring Manchester City's Bosnia international forward Edin Dzeko, 26, as Gunners boss Arsene Wenger scouts possible attacking additions this summer.

Full story: Caught offside

Highly rated Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling, 17, could quit in the summer over frustration at a lack of first-team opportunities, with his mum wanting him to return to his native London, where Tottenham are watching events.

Full story: Daily Mirror

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew is hoping to seal a deal for PSV Eindhoven's 23-year-old left-back Erik Pieters and FC Twente centre-back, 24, Douglas.

Full story: Daily Mail

Midfielder Alberto Aquilani, 27, is set to finally sever his ties with Liverpool by joining AC Milan on a permanent basis for £6m.

Full story: Daily Mail

Paris Saint-Germain captain Mamadou Sakho, 22, has urged the club to move for Chelsea striker Didier Drogba.

Full story: Inside Futbol

Alex McLeish insists the days of big-money arrivals at Aston Villa are not necessarily over - despite the club reporting losses of £54m last month.

Full story: Daily Express

Villarreal will sell striker Giuseppe Rossi, 25, in the summer and have sounded out interest from Premier League clubs including Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham.

Full story: Goal.com

OTHER GOSSIP

Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes is ready to extend his comeback to another season. The 37-year-old came out of retirement in January and now wants to commit to another season.

Full story: the Sun

Paul Scholes
Scholes made his Manchester United debut in 1994

Former Sampdoria and Italy team-mate Gianluca Vialli says Roberto Mancini has what it takes to lift the Premier League title for Manchester City.

Full story: talkSPORT

Manchester City playmaker Samir Nasri, 24, bizarrely claims he wants title rivals Manchester United to keep winning over the next few weeks.

Full story: Daily Mirror

Argentina legend Diego Maradona says he told compatriot and striker Carlos Tevez to end his feud with Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini and return to help the club's Premier League title push.

Full story: the Sun

Fabrice Muamba has still not seen his three-year-old son Joshua, four days after waking up after his cardiac arrest at White Hart Lane on Saturday.

Full story: the Sun

Millwall will search their fans for Turkey flags when they play Leeds on Saturday to avoid a repeat of last season's taunts over the two United fans stabbed to death in Istanbul in 2000.

Full story: Daily Mail

AND FINALLY

Amateur football club Wheel Power, leaders of the Torbay Sunday League, inflicted what's believed to be the heaviest defeat in British history - beating Nova 2010 FC 58-0.

Full story: Metro

If Manchester City are in the market for a new striker they may need to look no further than one of their own. John Guidetti, on loan from City at Feyenoord, has 18 goals in 17 starts for the Rotterdam club.

Full story: Daily Mail

Wolves boss Terry Connor has told captain Roger Johnson's wife: I pick the team - not you. The defender's wife Melissa criticised the decision when she tweeted before last Saturday's match against Manchester United game: "Trying to understand why my hubby's on the bench #ridiculous". Connor responded: "I don't tweet and she doesn't pick the team — so whatever."

Full story: the Sun

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