Gossip column: Sterling, Higuain, Benzema, Falcao

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Champions League final gossip

Barcelona midfielder Xavi, 35, will captain the side on his final appearance after 24 years at the Catalan club and says the front three of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez is the best striking partnership he has ever seen. (Daily Mirror)

Guardian
Saturday's Guardian back page

Juventus defender Patrice Evra, 34, is still waiting for an apology from Barcelona striker Luis Suarez, 28, after the Uruguayan shouted racist abuse at him while playing for Liverpool against Manchester United at Anfield in October 2011. (Daily Telegraph)

Defender Leonardo Bonucci, 28, accepts Juventus are "one step below Barcelona" but the Serie A champions will refuse to be sacrificial lambs. (Daily Mail)

Real Sociedad coach David Moyes says his Barcelona counterpart Luis Enrique is a great fan of the game and once put a hat on and sat anonymously in the Kop at Anfield to get a taste of the atmosphere. (Daily Express)

Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, 37, has admitted his two sons Louis and David idolise Barcelona stars Lionel Messi and Neymar and would have preferred for their dad to face another team in Saturday's Champions League Final. (Daily Mirror)

Gossip and transfers gossip

Manchester City are set to offer £25m plus £5m in add-ons for 20-year-old Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling but face competition from Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Real Madrid. (Daily Mirror)

However, the Reds insist Sterling is not for sale. (Sky Sports)

Meanwhile the Anfield club are considering a bid for Burnley defender Kieran Trippier, 24, after having a £10m offer for Southampton's Nathaniel Clyne, 24, rejected. (The Times - subscription required)

Saturday's Daily Star back page
Saturday's Daily Star back page

Gareth Bale has insisted he is settled at Real Madrid and the 25-year-old winger will be at the Bernabeu next season despite being courted by Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea. (Sun - subscription required)

Arsenal have made a £29.4m bid for Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain, 27, but the Serie A club are determined to hold out for a fee closer to £36.4m. (Gazetta Dello Sport)

Karim Benzema could be set for a transfer to Manchester United after the 27-year-old Real Madrid striker's agent was seen holding talks with Ed Woodward, the Premier League club's executive vice-chairman. (Manchester Evening News)

New Real Madrid coach Rafa Benitez is set to use a 4-2-3-1 system at his new club with Cristiano Ronaldo operating in the number nine role previously occupied by Karim Benzema, who will instead be used as a rotation option. (AS)

Manchester United's 31-year-old striker Robin van Persie has agreed to make a £10m move to Serie A side Lazio. (Daily Star)

Colombian striker Radamel Falcao, 29, who spent part of last season on loan at Manchester United from Monaco, has encouraged Chelsea to make a move for him this summer by admitting he wants to remain in the Premier League. (Daily Mail)

Chelsea will grudgingly allow goalkeeper Petr Cech to join another English club this summer in a move that is poised to spark competition between Arsenal and Manchester United for the 33-year-old. (Daily Telegraph)

Arsenal have made an £18.2m bid for Monaco's 22-year-old midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia, who is also wanted by Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool. (Daily Star)

Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal has not agreed a deal to join Real Madrid, says the Italian club's sporting director Giuseppe Marotta, who has also insisted the 28-year-old will not be moving to Liverpool, Arsenal or Manchester United this summer. (Daily Express)

Southampton head the list of suitors looking to sign 25-year-old England striker Charlie Austin from QPR this summer. (Guardian)

Arturo Vidal
Arturo Vidal: Staying in Italy?

Aston Villa defender Ron Vlaar, 30, is considering his future with the club, who lost out in the race to sign midfielder Tom Cleverley to Everton on Friday. (Daily Telegraph)

Liverpool are set to complete the free transfer signing of Bolton goalkeeper Adam Bogdan, 27, when his contract at the Championship club expires at the end of this month. (Daily Telegraph)

Meanwhile Liverpool assistant manager Colin Pascoe will follow first-team coach Mike Marsh out of the club, despite having 12 months remaining on his contract. Sources suggest the decision was a mutual one between Brendan Rodgers, Mike Gordon and Tom Werner during the end-of-season review this week. (Liverpool Echo)

Norwich have been linked with Manchester City striker John Guidetti, 23, who scored 15 goals in 35 appearances on loan at Celtic last season and is out of contract at the end of this month. (Eastern Daily Press)

Other gossip

Moussa Sissoko has welcomed prospective new boss Steve McClaren to Newcastle - and insisted that playing regularly is the most important thing to him next season, ahead of Euro 2016. (Newcastle Chronicle)

England captain Steph Houghton says she will never forget the day she presented Prince William with a Three Lions shirt for his newborn daughter, Princess Charlotte. (Daily Mirror)

Best of social media

Barcelona players Neymar and Dani Alves were looking very relaxed en route to Berlin for the Champions League final against Juventus, in a photo posted on the former's Instagram account.

Dani Alves and Neymar
Dani Alves and Neymar, en route to Berlin

Former Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard has posted footage of himself doing a training workout on Instagram as he prepares to make his switch to Major League Soccer side LA Galaxy.

Tottenham striker Emmanuel Adebayor dismisses rumours of a move to Turkey - and of a new agent: "I can confirm I have never heard of Mehdi Isik who has said he is my agent and have never discussed any move to Turkey. I am very happy with Tottenham and look forward to the next season with them."

Arsenal's German midfielder Mesut Ozil is maybe eyeing a post-playing career in journalism, posting a picture of himself with Germany manager Joachim Low on Twitter along with the message: "Today I'm working as a trainee for BILD Sport and right away I start off interviewing the national team coach..."

And finally

Swansea midfielder and England Under-20s captain Matt Grimes has revealed he used to represent Great Britain in ultimate frisbee and was junior national champion for three years running as a teenager.(Daily Mail)

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