Gossip column: Brahimi, Morata, Lukaku, Maxim, Pjanic

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TRANSFER GOSSIP

Manchester City have been told they will have to pay £40m if they want to sign Porto's attacking midfielder Yacine Brahimi, 25. (Talksport)

Alvaro Morato
Morata only left Real in the summer

Real Madrid are considering a move to take 22-year-old striker Alvaro Morata - a Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United target - back to the Bernabeu from Juventus after one season away. (Daily Express)

Striker Romelu Lukaku, 21, who joined Everton for £28m from Chelsea in the summer, says he plans to leave the Toffees for a "top club" in the future. (Sun - subscription required)

Swansea City hope to strengthen their squad in the summer by signing Romanian midfielder Alexandru Maxim, 24, from Stuttgart and Serbian striker Aleksandar Mitrovic, 20, from Anderlecht. (South Wales Evening Post)

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers was photographed in the Vatican City on Thursday after flying to Rome in a bid to sort out a deal for Roma's Bosnia midfielder Miralem Pjanic, 24.(Daily Mail)

West Ham striker Carlton Cole says a shouting match with boss Sam Allardyce has eased the tension at Upton Park, after he missed out on a £5m contract at West Brom on deadline day.(Daily Mail)

OTHER GOSSIP

Paul Lambert told Aston Villa chairman Randy Lerner to sack him twice this season before he was finally dismissed as manager on Wednesday by telephone. (Telegraph)

Sun backpage
The back page of the Sun focuses on the fallout at Villa

Former Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes says Louis van Gaal's team is not living up to its attacking ethos and taking enough risks going forward. (Independent)

Celtic boss Ronny Deila believes the English Premier League is boring despite the new £5.1bn television deal. (Daily Record)

Newcastle's Netherlands right-back Daryl Janmaat, 25, says his team always play positive despite having only one shot on target in the 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace. (Newcastle Journal)

Daily Mail
Daily Mail back page

Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud, 28, says he could have been playing against the Gunners in the FA Cup this weekend, having turned down a move to Middlesbrough as well as Celtic in 2012. (Arsenal.com)

Angel Di Maria, 26, is happy at Manchester United despite the ongoing speculation surrounding his future, according to his agent Jorge Mendes. (Daily Express)

Meanwhile the French club have offered centre-half Marquinhos, 20, a new contract to avoid losing him to Manchester United in the summer.(Daily Express)

Manchester City midfielder Samir Nasri says league leaders Chelsea are "nothing special". (Guardian)

Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson, 24, has been working on his fitness by taking boxing tips from Amir Khan and in return he has been teaching the boxer how to play football. (Mirror)

Hull's veteran defender Liam Rosenior, 30, is close to agreeing a new deal with the club. (Hull Daily Mail)

BEST OF SOCIAL MEDIA

Liverpool have revealed on Instagram that defender Alberto Moreno, 22, has been learning how to celebrate with a little bit of help from team-mate Daniel Sturridge.

Alberto Moreno
Moreno has been learning Sturridge's trademark celebration

Midfielder Samir Nasri has tweeted that second-placed Manchester City will fight to the finish to pip Chelsea for the Premier League title.

Liverpool keeper Brad Jones says that the "gloves are back on" after returning to training following six weeks out with injury.

Manchester City's Ivory Coast midfielder Yaya Toure dedicated their Africa Cup of Nations victory to former Les Elephants striker Didier Drogba. He tweeted: "We all wished you were there with us Didier Drogba, but we did the job to make you proud and I know you are proud big man!!"

AND FINALLY...

Jose Mourinho replied to a six-year-old Aston Villa fan who requested the Chelsea boss join the managerless club and take Diego Costa with him. (Daily Mail)

Manchester City midfielder Frank Lampard made a point of swapping shirts with Stoke youngster Oliver Shenton on Wednesday, after the 17-year-old made his first-team debut just two days after the funeral of his mother. (Metro)

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