Gossip column: De Gea, Paulista, Douglas Costa, Pato, Lennon

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David De Gea's Portuguese agent Jorge Mendes has refused to rule out a move to Real Madrid for the Manchester United goalkeeper, 24. (Marca - in Spanish)external-link

Manchester United are preparing a late bid to sign Villarreal defender Gabriel Paulista, 24, who is already in talks with Arsenal.(Daily Star)external-link

Chelsea are working on a deal to sign 24-year-old Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Douglas Costa.(Sun - subscription required)external-link

Daily Telegraph
Friday's Daily Telegraph back page

West Brom boss Tony Pulis has confirmed his interest in signing 23-year-old Wigan winger Callum McManaman and Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher, 30.(Times - subscription required)external-link

QPR have been offered Corinthians' former AC Milan striker Alexandre Pato, 25.(Daily Mail)external-link

Swansea City manager Garry Monk has confirmed his interest in Norwich left-back Martin Olsson, 26, and Stuttgart midfielder Alexandru Maxim, 24. (Wales Online)external-link

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers expects England winger Raheem Sterling, 20, to commit his long-term future to the club very soon. (Sky Sports)external-link

Manchester City have asked to be kept informed about the availability of Southampton striker Jay Rodriguez, 25. (Manchester Evening News)external-link

Hull City are tracking Tottenham and England winger Aaron Lennon, 27, who is set to leave White Hart Lane this month. (Hull Daily Mail)external-link

Wolfsburg's former Chelsea midfielder Kevin de Bruyne, 23, a reported target for Arsenal and Manchester United, is not interested in a move back to the Premier League. (Daily Star)external-link

Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez, 26, looks unlikely to turn his loan deal at Real Madrid into a permanent move and could return to Old Trafford in the summer. (Daily Express)external-link

Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny's position has been cast into further doubt after it emerged the club are monitoring Fiorentina goalkeeper Norberto Neto, 25. (Daily Mail)external-link

Roma are trying to persuade Chelsea to accept just £380,000 to take 22-year-old winger Mohamed Salah on loan until the end of next season. (London Evening Standard)external-link

Birmingham City have rejected a third bid from Championship rivals Bournemouth for their 18-year-old winger Demarai Gray. (Birmingham Mail)external-link


Three of Fifa's biggest sponsors - Castrol, Continental and Johnson & Johnson - have severed ties with football's beleaguered world governing body. (Daily Telegraph)external-link

Daily Mirror
Friday's Daily Mirror back page

Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville will decide in the next 18 months whether he wants to leave his job as a television pundit and go into management. (Guardian)external-link

Mike Riley, general manager of the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL), says referees are better than ever. (Times - subscription required)external-link

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger wants the Football Association to scrap work permits for all non-European Union players, saying the rule wrecked his bid to sign Angel Di Maria when he was 17. (Independent)external-link

Liverpool's England midfielder Jordan Henderson, 24, can become the new Steven Gerrard, 34, says Anfield boss Brendan Rodgers. (Sun - subscription required)external-link

Match fixers have rigged almost 1,000 football games in the last five years according to the world's leading match-fixing watchdog. (Daily Telegraph)external-link

Cambridge United's former Manchester United winger Luke Chadwick says he is more comfortable in the Fens than he ever was at Old Trafford. (Daily Star)external-link

Former Tottenham boss Tim Sherwood says there is no chance of him becoming the next Newcastle United head coach.(Talksport)external-link

Meanwhile, Dutchman Frank de Boer is open to an approach from Newcastle to become the club's new head coach this summer. (Guardian)external-link

Arsene Wenger has delivered a gloomy prognosis on the fitness of 28-year-old midfielder Abou Diaby, who now appears increasingly likely to have played his last game for Arsenal. (Daily Telegraph)external-link

Manager Brendan Rodgers admits Liverpool had little chance of winning the Premier League this year - but is convinced they can challenge for the title again next season.(Liverpool Echo)external-link

Former Rangers midfielder Barry Ferguson has urged supporters to put their differences with the club's board aside at Sunday's testimonial for ex-Ibrox player Fernando Ricksen, who has Motor Neurone Disease.(Sky Sports)external-link

AFRICA CUP OF NATIONS 2015 GOSSIP (sourced by BBC global monitoring)

Zambia coach Honour Janza fears his side could be heading out of the Africa Cup of Nations following their 2-1 loss to Tunisia. "It's now difficult for us to make it to the quarter-finals because we needed to win this match," he said. "It's painful to lose a game we dominated." (Times of Zambia)external-link

South Africa asssistant coach Thabo Senong lamented missed chances after they lost 3-1 to Algeria. "The passing game is so smooth but when we get into the box we just forget that it is time to shoot," he said. They now probably need to beat Senegal to progress. (Times Live)external-link

Ghana coach Avram Grant is hoping former Sunderland striker Asamoah Gyan is available for Friday's match against Algeria after Gyan had fallen ill with a mild bout of malaria. (Ghana News Agency)external-link


Peter Crouch with jockey Nathan Alison
Peter Crouch with jockey Nathan Alison

At 6ft 7in, Stoke City's Peter Crouch is used to towering above people, but took that to a whole new level when he encountered jockey Nathan Alison during a trip to the races in Dubai. The former England international tweeted:external-link "Perhaps I shouldn't stand next to jockeys."

Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge is edging closer to making his return after several months out injured, and in an Instagram postexternal-link on Thursday he was seen with fellow Reds striker Mario Balotelli. "My man! We're gonna be linking up soon!" the England international wrote.

Kyle Walker reacted to Tottenham team-mate Kyle Naughton's transfer to Swansea on Thursday in a Twitter post.external-link Walker and Naughton both joined Spurs from Sheffield United in 2009, and Walker said: "Good luck at Swansea. Gonna be strange not having you around the place!"

QPR midfielder Alejandro Faurlin, who is recovering from a third cruciate ligament injury in as many seasons, gave his Twitter followers an update on his progressexternal-link on Thursday. "I'm on the mend once again. It's been really hard four and half months," he wrote.


Cambridge United manager Richard Money has warned his players that if they swap their shirt with a Manchester United star after Friday's FA Cup fourth round tie they will have to pay for it. (Express)external-link

Hull City winger Ahmed Elmohamady hired a taxi to transport his missing wallet 50 miles from Scarborough to Hull, the Yorkshire Post reports.external-link The wallet reportedly contained the Egyptian's travel visa, which he urgently needed to board a flight.

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