Gossip column: Messi, Koke, Riordan, Sterling, Van Gaal

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TRANSFER GOSSIP

Eric Abidal believes former Barcelona team-mate Lionel Messi, 27, may be tempted to leave the Nou Camp for a new challenge - with Paris St-Germain a possible destination. (TF1 - French).

Independent back page
Tuesday's Independent back page

Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini hopes to scupper Chelsea and Manchester United's plans to sign Atletico Madrid midfielder Koke, 23. (Daily Star)

Arsenal are ready to make an £80m offer for Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba, 21, as Barcelona watch Southampton's Morgan Schneiderlin, 25.(Daily Express)

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal was desperate to sign Borussia Dortmund's Germany defender Mats Hummels, 26, last summer, according to fellow Dutchman Ruud Gullit. (Manchester Evening News)

Former Celtic, Hibernian and Scotland forward Derek Riordan, 32, is set to make a comeback with Scottish League two side East Stirlingshire. (The Scotsman)

Former Sunderland striker Jozy Altidore, 25, says he was not forced out of the club in the deal that saw Jermain Defoe arrive from Toronto in the January transfer window.(Sunderland Echo)

Reports in Spain claim Liverpool want to sign Juventus striker Alvaro Morata, 22, to boost their forward options for next season. (Metro)

Newcastle manager John Carver blocked the sale of striker Papiss Cisse to Al Ahli in the United Arab Emirates two weeks ago. (Daily Mirror)

OTHER GOSSIP

Liverpool forward Raheem Sterling, 20, says he is close to agreeing a new deal at Anfield. (Daily Star)

Barcelona coach Luis Enrique has played down a visit by Lionel Messi and team-mate Gerard Pique to a casino prior to their Champions League trip to Manchester City. (Daily Mail)

Match delegate Steve Greaves reported that referee Martin Atkinson got all his decisions right in Chelsea's controversial match against Burnley. (Sun - subscription required)

Nigeria will try to persuade Liverpool youngster Jordon Ibe, 19, to commit his international future to them rather than England. (Daily Express)

The use of video technology to overturn refereeing decisions during a game could move closer this weekend when the game's rule-makers decide whether it can be used in an official match. (Daily Telegraph)

Former Everton title-winning striker Andy Gray says he thinks the Toffees could be drawn into a relegation fight. (Talksport)

Southampton manager Ronald Koeman says Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal puts fear into his own team. (Daily Mirror)

BBC Match of the Day pundit Kevin Kilbane made a complaint to the FA about alleged chanting from West Ham fans that mocked the disabled. (Daily Mail)

Liverpool midfielder Joe Allen, 24, claims Brendan Rodgers's side may actually have improved since the departure of striker Luis Suarez. (Sun - subscription required)

BEST OF SOCIAL MEDIA

Steven Caldwell

Former Burnley captain and Scotland international Steven Caldwell, 34, is embracing life with Toronto FC in the MLS as he shows via his Instagram account.

Wales and Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey expressed his sympathy via Twitter at the death of long-serving Wales kitman Dai Williams.

Hull City captain Curtis Davies tweeted his delight at picking up a cup - in the shape of a special gift from a supporters' club where the defender, 29, was guest speaker.

AND FINALLY...

Brooklyn Beckham, 15, is set to be released by Arsenal but his brothers Romeo, 12, and Cruz, 10, will stay on at the Gunners' academy. (Daily Mail)

It seems wrestling moves are the current fashion in football. Following Shab Khan's 'body slam' on a Stockport player, a steward wrestled a Liverpool fan to the ground to stop him joining in with Reds players as they celebrated their second goal at Southampton on Sunday. (Guardian)

A Brazilian player had to be taken to hospital after being bitten on his arm by a police dog during a game. (Guardian)

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