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)external-link

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

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

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)external-link

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)external-link

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

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

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

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

Also on BBC Sport
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Man Utd to sell ValdesAndy Murray's latest column

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

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

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

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

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)external-link

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

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

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

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

Best of social media

Joey Barton
Joey Barton makes his Open prediction

Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge seems happy with his recovery from hip surgery, tweeting:external-link "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)external-link

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

Manchester City midfielder Samir Nasri made a new friendexternal-link 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)external-link