Gossip column: Messi, Mata, Delph, Kovacic, Xavi, Sterling

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TRANSFER GOSSIP

Manchester United are willing to offload midfielder Juan Mata, 26, for £20m, with Atletico Madrid, Juventus and Valencia all interested. (Daily Express)external-link

Chelsea are set to make 24-year-old forward Andre Schurrle, who has started just four Premier League games this season, available in January to make way for new signings. (Sun - subscription required)external-link

Southampton midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin, 25, linked with Arsenal in the summer, has reiterated his desire to play for a "big club". The France international says he will decide his future at the end of the season. (L'Equipe - in French)external-link

Fabian Delph
Fabian Delph will be out of contract at Aston Villa in the summer

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has earmarked 20-year-old Athletic Bilbao defender Aymeric Laporte as his first-choice January transfer target.(Daily Star)external-link

But Gunners striker Lukas Podolski, 29, could be on his way out of Emirates Stadium after the Germany international admits he is unhappy with a bit-part role at Arsenal. (Guardian)external-link

Manchester United see the signing of former Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes, 32, as a replacement for David de Gea, not a back-up, with De Gea set to join Real Madrid. (Independent)external-link

Tottenham are planning a January transfer move for Aston Villa's England midfielder Fabian Delph, 24, who is nearing the end of his contract and would be available on a free transfer in the summer. (Daily Mirror)external-link

Croatia captain Darijo Srna has advised his international team-mate Mateo Kovacic to quit Inter Milan for the good of his career. The 20-year-old midfielder has previously interested Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United and Real Madrid. (InsideFutbol.com)external-link

OTHER GOSSIP

Manchester City have earmarked Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone to replace Manuel Pellegrini, should the club's hierarchy lose patience with the 61-year-old Chilean. (Daily Star)external-link

Daily Star
The back page of Wednesday's Daily Star

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy is attempting to bring Southampton's head of recruitment Paul Mitchell, who worked with manager Mauricio Pochettino at St Mary's last season, to White Hart Lane. (Daily Mail)external-link

Southampton are trying to tie striker Jay Rodriguez, 25, to a new five-year contract, even though he is recovering from a cruciate knee ligament injury. (Daily Mirror)external-link

The FA Cup third round Saturday on 3 January, widely regarded as the most romantic day in the football calendar, is set to have a raft of ties moved to Sunday or Monday in order to accommodate a full Premier League programme on New Year's Day. (Daily Mail)external-link

Barcelona legend Xavi says Everton midfielder Ross Barkley and Liverpool forward Raheem Sterling are good enough to play for the Spanish giants. (Squawka.com)external-link

Manchester United striker Radamel Falcao, 28, has only an outside chance of being included in the squad for their next game against Arsenal on 22 November because of a calf problem. (Times - subscription required)external-link

Radamel Falcao
Radamel Falcao has been plagued by injury setbacks since joining Manchester United

But Falcao appears to have denied reports from earlier this week that he is treating his knee with an ice pack after every match and training session. (Independent)external-link

Chelsea defender Gary Cahill, 28, says England have been too nice in the past but now have an edge ahead of their Euro 2016 qualifier against Slovenia on Saturday. (Daily Express)external-link

Swansea City winger Jefferson Montero says the best is yet to come after he gave a dazzling display in their 2-1 victory over Arsenal.(WalesOnline)external-link

BEST OF SOCIAL MEDIA

Real Madrid striker Cristiano Ronaldo, 29, has used his Facebook pageexternal-link to deny using a swear word to describe Barcelona rival Lionel Messi, 27.

Dan Potts meets Lionel Messi
Dan Potts gets a selfie with Lionel Messi

West Ham defender Dan Potts took advantage of the Argentina squad training in east London before their friendly against Croatia on Wednesday to grab a selfie with Lionel Messi, which he shared on Twitter.external-link

Tottenham striker Emmanuel Adebayorexternal-link apologised to supporters in a series of tweets for newspaper reports which appeared to show him criticising them for a lack of support.

Chelsea defender Felipe Luis shared a picture on Twitterexternal-link showing himself alongside Brazil team-mates Neymar, Oscar and Willian.

AND FINALLY

Several hundred waiting schoolchildren cheered Lionel Messi and his Argentina team-mates when they arrived for training at West Ham's Rush Green academy. (Daily Telegraph)external-link

Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has outshone his team-mates with his keepy-uppy skills in a promotional video, putting some of his outfield colleagues to shame. (Daily Mirror)external-link

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