Thursday's gossip column

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TRANSFER GOSSIP

Juventus have become the first club to publicly express an interest in signing Robin van Persie, 28, but Arsenal are confident they can keep the Netherlands striker at Emirates Stadium.

Full story: Guardian

Manchester United are lining up a sensational move for 28-year-old Van Persie, who has just one year remaining on his contract, as Sir Alex Ferguson attempts to compete with big-spending Manchester City in the transfer market.

Full story: talkSPORT

Ferguson is also preparing to make a £10m bid for Everton's 27-year-old left-back Leighton Baines.

Full story: Daily Mirror

Yaya Toure has dropped a transfer bombshell on Manchester City just days before the Premier League title decider after the 28-year-old said he would love to return to Barcelona.

Full story: Daily Express

Chelsea are set to defy the wishes of their fans by letting Didier Drogba, 34, leave this month - after the striker's demands for a new two-year deal fell on deaf ears.

Full story: Daily Mirror

Everton defender Leighton Baines
Leighton Baines has scored 11 Premier League goals since moving to Everton in 2007

Liverpool are chasing Juventus outcast and 27-year-old Serbia winger Milos Krasic.

Full story: talkSPORT

Reds boss Kenny Dalglish is also eyeing Real Madrid utility man Hamit Altintop, 29, as a possible replacement for Dirk Kuyt, who is wanted by Hamburg.

Full story: Metro

Goalkeeper Paul Robinson, 32, is considering his future at relegated Blackburn — and West Ham will lead the fight for his signature.

Full story: the Sun

Leicester City are willing to offer defender Kelvin Wilson a rapid return to the Championship in England after an injury-hit season with Celtic.

Full story: Daily Mail

Partick Thistle midfielder Paul Cairney is close to completing a move to Hibernian, with his contract expiring in the summer.

Full story: The Sun

Striker Lewis Guy, who signed a pre-contract agreement with St Mirren in January, is already training with the Paisley side after leaving MK Dons.

Full story: Daily Record

OTHER GOSSIP

Chelsea interim manager Roberto Di Matteo expects to be axed by Roman Abramovich — even if he wins the Champions League.

Full story: the Sun

Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour is not expected to be at Etihad Stadium on Sunday to watch Manchester City take on Queens Park Rangers as they attempt to win a first championship in 44 years. Instead, he is likely to watch the action unfold on television.

Full story: Guardian

Gus Poyet is on the verge of quitting as manager of Brighton after it emerged he is on the wanted list of three top West Midlands clubs. West Brom and relegated Wolves are on the lookout for new managers and Aston Villa are also considering Alex McLeish's future after a disappointing first season in charge.

Full story: Daily Mail

Liverpool striker Andy Carroll hopes he has caught the attention of England manager Roy Hodgson after his end-of-season goal flourish. Carroll has scored nine times this season, with three coming in his last six appearances.

Full story: Daily Telegraph

West Brom striker Shane Long says the Baggies need a "big manager" to replace Hodgson, who takes charge of the club for the last time on Sunday before leaving to lead England at Euro 2012.

Full story: Express & Star

Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour
Sheikh Mansour completed his purchase of Manchester City in 2008

Paul Gascoigne is worried Newcastle could lose some of their key players to Europe's heavyweights this summer - even if Alan Pardew's side qualify for the Champions League.

Full story: Newcastle Chronicle

Meanwhile, Newcastle duo Hatem Ben Arfa and Yohan Cabaye are among eight Premier League players who could face England after being named in France's Euro 2012 training squad.

Full story: Daily Mail

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce is ready to raid former club Blackburn for goalkeeper Paul Robinson following Rovers' relegation.

Full story: Daily Mirror

Former Everton player Ian Snodin insists the signing of Steven Pienaar, who is on loan from Tottenham, must be manager David Moyes's main priority in the transfer window.

Full story: Liverpool Echo

Graeme Souness has emerged as a key player in a surprise bid to land Rangers, with the former Ibrox player-manager being part of a consortium expected to be revealed as preferred bidder by administrator Duff & Phelps within 24 hours.

Full story: Daily Express

Former Rangers manager Graeme Souness is being lined up to be at the heart of two of the consortiums vying to take over the Glasgow club, with Sale Sharks owner Brian Kennedy also prepared to involve him in a new regime.

Full story: The Herald

Rangers owner Craig Whyte has agreed to sell his shares for a pound to a UK football consortium, with a deal to buy the club expected today.

Full story: The Sun

Walter Smith is being lined up to head a rescue package for crisis-hit Rangers, the former manager having been approached by a number of interested parties who believe he could unite the fans.

Full story: Daily Record

Graeme Souness has been earmarked for a sensational Ibrox return by two of the groups trying to buy Rangers.

Full story: Daily Mail

AND FINALLY

Mario Balotelli was pulled to one side in training on Wednesday by Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini, who appeared to wave his finger at the controversial Italian striker as the club prepared for Sunday's potential title decider with QPR.

Full story: Daily Mail

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