Gossip column: Bale, Varane, Mata, De Gea, Mancini, Begovic

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Chelsea are ready to spend £150m on Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale, 25, and defender Raphael Varane, 21, this summer. (Daily Express)external-link

Manchester United will use goalkeeper David De Gea, 24, as bait to temp Real Madrid to sell Gareth Bale. (Daily Star)external-link

The Sun
The Sun backpage on Wednesday

Valencia are eyeing a £20m summer move home for Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata, 26, who played for them until his 2011 move to Chelsea. (Daily Mirror)external-link

Chelsea have made an approach to sign teenage Brazilian striker Kenedy, his representative has confirmed. The 19-year-old has already been the subject of a £5.7m bid from Manchester United. (Metro)external-link

Manchester United and Liverpool are on alert over 24-year-old Argentina winger Eduardo Salvio's ongoing contract talks at Benfica. (Daily Mirror)external-link

Tottenham are maintaining a keen interest in Cologne's 22-year-old defender Kevin Wimmer, an Austria Under-21s international. (Daily Mail)external-link

Stoke are offering £12m-rated keeper Asmir Begovic, 27, a new deal to fend off interest from Inter Milan and Tottenham. (Daily Mirror)external-link

Manchester City officials are thought to be losing patience with striker Edin Dzeko, and could listen to offers for the 29-year-old in the close season. (Daily Star)external-link


Former Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini says his successor Manuel Pellegrini was "really lucky" to inherit a strong side from him and he should be winning a trophy every year. (CNN)external-link

The Guardian sports section on Wednesday

Sunderland will face competition from Nigeria to land Sam Allardyce as their permanent manager from next season with Allardyce's contract at Upton Park due to expire at the end of the current season. (Sun - subscription required)external-link

Adam Johnson, currently on bail following his arrest on suspicion of having sexual activity with a 15-year-old girl, could feature for Sunderland manager Dick Advocaat after club confirmed it would "review its position" on the player's suspension.(Daily Mail)external-link

Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil prompted discussion during their Champions League clash with Monaco as the German international swapped shirts at half-time with opposition player Geoffrey Kondogbia.(Daily Mail)external-link

Atletico Madrid forward Fernando Torres says he felt like he was "swimming in wet clothes" during his unsuccessful stint at Chelsea.(Sky Sports)external-link

Liverpool fans arriving at the Manchester United game on Sunday will see the steel structure of the new Main Stand at Anfield - which will add an extra 8,500 seats to that side of the ground.(Liverpool Echo)external-link

Former Netherlands international goalkeeper Ed de Goey says Sunderland have appointed the perfect man in countryman Dick Advocaat to steer them to Premier League safety.(Talksport)external-link

Southampton manager Ronald Koeman admits he wants to manage Barcelona one day, where he spent six years as a player. (Daily Mirror)external-link


Tottenham stars Harry Kane and Ryan Mason win their computer duel
Harry Kane was as prolific with a controller as he has been on the pitch

Tottenham duo Harry Kane and Ryan Mason celebrated a narrow 1-0 victory at White Hart Lane on Tuesday, Kane heading the winner as their team beat.... two competition winners in a computer game.external-link

Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli has gone on Instagram to attack his critics, saying: "Do you know me? Did you ever talk to me, personally? You just saw me play football on the pitch. Man, shut up." (Daily Telegraph)external-link

Stoke defender Robert Huth, on the subject of Arsenal's defeat on away goals against Monaco, tweets:external-link "Away goal is such a bad rule! Just doesn't make sense."

And Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil, who played in the match, tweeted:external-link "It's so hard to be kicked out of the Champions League after such a result and such a game."

Hull's Republic of Ireland international midfielder David Meyler on Twitter:external-link "I'll never be able to understand why English people celebrate St Patrick's Day, we don't celebrate St George's Day."


Shay Given Twitter

Aston Villa's Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Shay Given got more into the spirit of his country's day of celebration on Tuesday, dressing up as a leprechaun.external-link

U2 band members The Edge, Larry Mullen Jr and Bono marked St Patrick's Day by watching Monaco against Arsenal in the Champions League. (Daily Star)external-link

Bournemouth's new Scotland international Matt Ritchie admits he has never been to Scotland. (Daily Telegraph)external-link

Benfica's Romario Balde endured the ultimate day to forget in the Uefa youth league quarter-finals. He missed a penalty, saw his side concede an equaliser, was substituted, and then watched his team-mates get knocked out - on penalties. (Metro)external-link

Somerset cricketer Peter Trego has found a way to keep himself fit ahead of the new county cricket season by signing a short term contract with Conference South club Bath City. The 33-year-old all-rounder has previously played for Margate, Weston-super-Mare, Clevedon Town and Chippenham Town.(Bathcityfc.com)external-link