Gossip column: Bale, De Gea, Falcao, Eto'o, Modric, Robben

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TRANSFER GOSSIP

Manchester United have begun a complex £100m deal to sign Real Madrid's 25-year-old midfielder Gareth Bale - with David de Gea, 24, heading to the Bernabeu. (Sunday People)

Daily Star Sunday back page
The back page of the Daily Star Sunday

But according to another report, Real are ready to make a world-record bid for De Gea, with no Bale involvement. (Daily Star Sunday)

Meanwhile, United will attempt to renegotiate the £43m transfer fee they agreed to pay Monaco for Radamel Falcao, 28, should they decide to keep the striker beyond his season-long loan. (Daily Telegraph)

Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City have enquired about Falcao's availability as the Colombia international struggles at the Old Trafford club. (Sunday Times - subscription required)

Tottenham Hotspur have renewed interest in winger Yevhen Konoplyanka, 25, who plays for Ukranian side Dnipro and is out of contract in the summer. (Mail on Sunday)

Liverpool will be open to allowing striker Rickie Lambert, 32, to leave the club if they can recall 19-year-old striker Divock Origi, who they signed last summer, early from his loan at Lille. (Sun - subscription required)

Everton manager Roberto Martinez will meet Samuel Eto'o, 33, this weekend to discover his plans as the striker edges closer to leaving Goodison Park. (Mail on Sunday)

Toffees forward Kevin Mirallas, 27, has 18 months left on his contract with the Goodison Park club and is a target for German club Borussia Dortmund.(Sunday People)

Manchester United and Chelsea's hopes of signing former Tottenham midfielder Luka Modric, 29, could be boosted by reports that his wife is unhappy in Madrid which could play a major role in her husband's return to the Premier League. (Sunday Express)

Crystal Palace want to sign Swansea left-back Neil Taylor, 25, and Blackburn Rovers forward Rudy Gestede, 26, for a combined £9m. (Sunday Telegraph)

Eagles boss Alan Pardew is also considering whether to return to former club Newcastle to try to sign 29-year-old striker Papiss Cisse. (Sunday Mirror)

Real Sociedad manager David Moyes is waiting for an answer from Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger about signing Gunners striker Joel Campbell, 22, on loan. (Sunday People)

Manchester United will wait until the summer to make a move for Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels, 26, and Roma midfielder Kevin Strootman, 24. (Sunday Mirror)

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has played down reports that the club are weighing up a move for 27-year-old Barcelona forward Lionel Messi. (Sunday Times - subscription required)

OTHER GOSSIP

Bayern Munich midfielder Arjen Robben was reportedly bitten by a crocodile when retrieving a ball from a lake during his team's training camp in Qatar. The 30-year-old was left with a bandage around his "heavily bruised thumb, middle and ring fingers". (Bild - in German)

Arjen Robben of Bayern Munich
Bayern Munich's Arjen Robben with a heavily bandaged left hand during a friendly in Saudi Arabia

West Brom manager Tony Pulis, who has run two marathons, climbed Kilimanjaro and cycled from John O'Groats to Lands End, is to row from Tower Bridge to the Eiffel Tower for charity. (Sunday Mirror)

Manchester City midfielder James Milner, 29, says becoming a dad is inspiring him - and he relishes being a father figure in the club's dressing room. (Sun - subscription required)

AFRICA CUP OF NATIONS NEWS (sourced by BBC Monitoring)

Despite criticism of hosts Equatorial Guinea's infrastructure, the Guinea Equatorial Press celebrates that the country fulfilled its commitment to host the event with only 50 days of preparation. (www.guineaecuatorialpress.com) (In French).

Guinea will install 164 giant screens to enable fans of the national team to watch the tournament. Sites for the giant screens will be equipped with generators in order to prevent any power outages during the tournament. (www.guinee7.com) (In French).

BEST OF SOCIAL MEDIA

Eljero Elia of Southampton
Eljero Elia is on loan from Werder Bremen

New Manchester United goalkeeper Victor Valdes, 33, posted a picture of himself "with my friend Radamel 'Tigre' Falcao" while hailing "another great victory" for his team at QPR.

After his side came from two goals down to beat Burnley 3-2, Crystal Palace's 24-year-old striker Dwight Gayle tweeted: "Great comeback from the boys and pleased to get double figures. Nice to repay the travelling fans."

Southampton midfielder Eljero Elia, 27, posted a picture of himself in the dressing room with his man-of-the-match award after scoring twice in his team's 2-1 win at Newcastle.

Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge, 25, was delighted by his side's 2-0 win at Aston Villa. He said: "Three points again! Team's getting stronger each game. Soon I'll be amongst it all."

Following a 2-0 defeat by Manchester United at Loftus Road, QPR midfielder Karl Henry, 32, tweeted: "Shame about the result today but if we play like that for the rest of the season we will be ok. That means away games too."

AND FINALLY...

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal posed for a 'selfie' with a 'lookalike' young fan following his team's win at QPR. (Sunday Express)

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