Gossip column: Benteke, Ramos, Cavani, Soldado, Cole

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Manchester United are set to beat Liverpool to the signing of Aston Villa's Belgium striker Christian Benteke, with a £32.5m offer for the 24-year-old. (Sun - subscription)

But Benteke is keen to join Liverpool, though the Reds still need to agree a fee with Villa. (Daily Mail)

Manchester United are ready to make a final bid for Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos, 29. (Daily Star)

The Sun
Back page of Thursday's Sun

The Red Devils are prepared to let Angel Di Maria, 27, leave, and will use the midfielder as part of a deal to sign striker Edinson Cavani, 28, from Paris St-Germain. (Guardian)

Tottenham are in talks to sell striker Roberto Soldado, 30, to Sevilla for £11m less than the £26m they paid Valencia for the Spaniard in 2013. (Daily Mirror)

Everton boss Roberto Martinez says midfielder James McCarthy, 24, will not be sold to Manchester City. (Daily Express)

Watford are poised to sign Netherlands winger Steven Berghuis, 23, from AZ for £3.5m. (Guardian)

Sunderland want Tottenham defender Younes Kaboul, 29, after pulling out of a deal for Zenit St Petersburg centre-back Nicolas Lombaerts, 30. (Times - subscription)

New Leicester City boss Claudio Ranieri could make former Chelsea and West Ham striker Carlton Cole, 31, his first signing. (Daily Mirror)

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Aston Villa are hopeful of signing Nice defender Jordan Amavi, 21, this week after agreeing a fee of about £9m. (Daily Telegraph)

Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere, 23, wants to hold talks with boss Arsene Wenger to clarify his position in the Gunners squad.(Sun - subscription)

Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain, 27, will not be leaving the Serie A side, despite interest from Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea. (Mediaset via Talksport)

Manchester United defender Rafael, 25, is close to leaving Old Trafford, according to the Brazilian's agent. (Tuttomercatoweb via Independent)

Winger Stewart Downing, 30, will double his salary if he can help Middlesbrough back into the Premier League after rejoining the club from West Ham. (Daily Express)

West Brom have made an improved offer in the region of £5m for Nottingham Forest midfielder Michail Antonio, 25. (Guardian)

Liverpool defender Nathaniel Clyne, 24, has denied a rift with England boss Roy Hodgson. (Times - subscription)

Newcastle head coach Steve McClaren remains confident of signing Anderlecht striker Aleksandar Mitrovic, 20, despite interest from Porto. (Northern Echo)

Sheffield United have received a setback in their efforts to re-sign Leeds United striker Billy Sharp, 29. (The Star)

Best of social media

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Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge seems happy with his recovery from hip surgery, tweeting: "Training getting more intense every day. It's nuttsssss."

Manchester United's Ander Herrera is a decent midfielder - but it seems he is not bad between the sticks either. (Manchester United on Twitter)

Herrera's new Old Trafford team-mate Bastian Schweinsteiger, meanwhile, is a #Happy man.

Manchester City midfielder Samir Nasri made a new friend during the club's tour of Australia.

Samir Nasri
Samir Nasri gets to know the locals down under

And finally

San Jose Earthquake's mascot tackled a pitch invader - and then got into a shoving match with players. (Metro)

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