Gossip column: Rodriguez, Balotelli, Carroll, Vermaelen

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TRANSFER GOSSIP

Colombia World Cup star James Rodriguez, 23, looks to be on the verge of a move to Real Madrid after he told Monaco he did not want to play in a pre-season friendly for them because he fears getting injured ahead of his possible transfer. AS (in Spanish)

James Rodriguez
Colombia's James Rodriguez won the Golden Boot at the World Cup after scoring six goals in five games

Arsenal have had a £24m bid for Sporting Lisbon midfielder William Carvalho, 22, rejected by the Portuguese club. Sunday Express

Southampton midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin, 24, wants to team up with former Saints manager Mauricio Pochettino at Tottenham despite interest from north London rivals Arsenal. Mail on Sunday

Barcelona want to sign Tottenham's Belgium international centre-back Jan Vertonghen, 27. Talksport

Swansea full-back Ben Davies, 21, is set to have a medical with Spurs ahead of a transfer that will see Gylfi Sigurdsson, 24, rejoin the Welsh club. Guardian

Newcastle want to bring former striker Andy Carroll back to the club from West Ham, three-and-a-half years after the 25-year-old left for Liverpool.Sunday People

Southampton have targeted Serbia international Dusko Tosic, 29, to fill the left-back spot created by Luke Shaw's departure for Manchester United. Mail on Sunday

AC Milan are interested in signing Nani from Manchester United, but are not impressed by the £11m asking price for the 27-year-old Portugal winger.Sunday Express

Fabio Borini's proposed £14m transfer from Liverpool to Sunderland remains in the balance, with the 23-year-old Italian forward not keen on a permanent move to the side he played for on loan last season. Guardian

Arsenal are close to completing a £15.8m deal to sign Italy and ex-Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli, 23, from AC Milan.Caught Offside

Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku
Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku enjoyed a successful spell on loan with Everton last season

Netherlands defender Stefan de Vrij, 22, is set to become Louis van Gaal's first signing since he took charge of Manchester United in a £10m deal with Feyenoord. Sunday Mirror

Jose Mourinho wants to keep 21-year-old Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku at Chelsea this season.Sun (subscription required)

Arsenal are preparing for life without Thomas Vermaelen as Manchester United line up a £10m move for the 28-year-old Belgium defender. Daily Star Sunday

Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette, 23, has agreed a move to Newcastle in principle, but the French club are demanding 20m Euros (£15.8m) for the international forward.Newcastle Chronicle

Mexico's World Cup winger Javier Aquino, currently with Villareal, is on the verge of a loan move to Scottish champions Celtic. Sunday Express

Crystal Palace midfielder Jose Campana, 21, is in Italy for a medical ahead of a proposed move to Sampdoria. Sky Sports

OTHER GOSSIP

Manager Manuel Pellegrini is ready to show his commitment to Manchester City despite interest from Brazil in appointing him as Luiz Felipe Scolari's successor. Sun (subscription required)

Daily Star Sunday
The Daily Star Sunday back page

Chelsea's pre-season plans have been disrupted by the news that midfielder Mohamed Salah, 22, could be forced to go back to Egypt to do military service. Sunday Express

Italian football officials have confirmed that Serie A and Serie B will be adopting the vanishing spray used by referees during the 2014 World Cup - but it will not be used in the Premier League this season. Daily Mirror

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has suggested Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho may have stretched the truth when he said Cesc Fabregas preferred a move to Stamford Bridge to a return to Emirates Stadium. Talksport

Wenger will speak to Gunners midfielder Jack Wilshire about photos of the England international, 22, smoking while on holiday recently. Independent

Newcastle midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa, 27, has not been given a squad number for the new season. Daily Mirror

Manager Louis van Gaal is considering delaying the announcement of who will be Manchester United captain until Michael Carrick returns from injury. Mail on Sunday

Van Gaal has already ordered several changes to United's training ground, including installing extra floodlights to allow training at night and beds for players to sleep in between the Dutchman's new double-session regime. Daily Star Sunday

BEST OF SOCIAL MEDIA

Newcastle United greeted with haka
Newcastle United had a traditional greeting when they arrived in New Zealand

Newcastle United tweeted a photo of their squad being greeted with a traditional Maori haka when they arrived at Dunedin Airport in New Zealand for their pre-season tour.

Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey took to Twitter to express his delight at being named captain in the Gunners' 2-0 friendly victory over Boreham Wood.

West Bromwich Albion defender Joleon Lescott tweeted to welcome record signing Brown Ideye to the West Midlands club.

AND FINALLY

Geoff Cameron
Geoff Cameron (r) teamed up with Johnny Gomes of the Boston Red Sox

Stoke City's American defender Geoff Cameron was given the honour of throwing the ceremonial first pitch for the Boston Red Sox against the Kansas City Royals as a thank-you for his efforts for the US in their recent World Cup campaign. Stoke Sentinel

Nuneaton fans performed 'Klinsmann-style' dives on the pitch after flash floods caused the abandonment of their friendly with Coventry City. 101greatgoals

Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand treated a Red Devils fan to a surprise on her big day when the new QPR signing recorded a video message to be played during the speeches as happy couple Clara and Ryan Maybin celebrated their marriage. Daily Mirror

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