Thursday gossip: Van Gaal, Messi, Guardiola, Cavani, Matip, Kroos

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Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal, 64, faces the biggest game of his tenure at Liverpool on Sunday, with the club's hierarchy worried about their Champions League qualification prospects.(Times - subscription required)external-link

Daily Mirror
The back page of Thursday's Mirror

Manchester United sponsor Adidas wants Barcelona and Argentina forward Lionel Messi, 28, to be reunited with Pep Guardiola, who is leaving his post as Bayern Munich coach this summer, at Old Trafford.(Marca)external-link

Paris St-Germain manager Laurent Blanc says striker Edinson Cavani's behaviour has become "a problem" and he would let the 28-year-old Uruguay international leave. (Daily Mail)external-link

Chelsea have made a £40m offer for Real Madrid's 26-year-old Germany midfielder Toni Kroos, who has also been linked with Liverpool and Manchester United.(Fichajes, via Daily Star)external-link

The Blues are competing with Inter Milan and Barcelona for the capture of Paris St-Germain striker Ezequiel Lavezzi, 30. (Daily Mirror)external-link

Liverpool have agreed a deal to sign Schalke's Cameroon centre-back Joel Matip, 24, on a free transfer at the end of the season.(Daily Mirror)external-link

Bayern Munich sporting director Matthias Sammer has not said whether 23-year-old Germany midfielder Mario Gotze, who is believed to be a target for Liverpool, will stay with the German champions.(Daily Express) external-link

Manchester United are close to signing 24-year-old Austria centre-back Aleksandar Dragovic from Dynamo Kiev in a £16m deal.(Sport Mediaset, via Daily Express)external-link

West Brom striker Saido Berahino, 22, may have to stay at the club for the rest of the season as Tottenham are unwilling to pay the £23m they offered for him last summer, while Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino is unsure he is the right player in his search for a forward.(Sun)external-link

Stoke are set to move for Berahino - and believe they can beat Tottenham to the signing of the England Under-21 international.(Times - subscription required)external-link

The Sun
The Sun back page

Charlton forward Ademola Lookman is wanted by Manchester City and Chelsea, with Everton and Tottenham also expressing an interest in the 18-year-old.(Independent)external-link

Barcelona forward Neymar, 23, has been ordered to appear in court over his transfer to the Nou Camp from Brazilian club Santos in 2013.(Guardian)external-link

Aston Villa manager Remi Garde is hoping to sign Bordeaux's Senegal defender Lamine Sane, 28, on loan for the rest of the season.(Telegraph)external-link

Chelsea's Ghana left-back Baba Rahman, 21, is growing frustrated with his lack of first-team football since joining the Blues from Augsburg in August.(Bild, via Guardian)external-link

Sporting Lisbon striker Islam Slimani, 27, is wanted by Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal in a £12m deal.(Sun)external-link

Scottish Premiership title challengers Aberdeen have made a bid for Partick Thistle midfielder Stuart Bannigan, 23.(Daily Record)external-link

Midfielder Mark Davies, 27, is set to leave Championship strugglers Bolton to join Sheffield Wednesday on a free transfer.(Bolton News)external-link

West Ham striker Andy Carroll, 27, is facing up to two months out with a hamstring problem. (Daily Mail) external-link

Best of social media

Carroll was due to have a scan on his hamstring injury on Wednesday and, judging by this tweet, it appears it wasn't good news.

Andy Carroll on Twitter

Leicester moved level on points with Premier League leaders Arsenal with a 1-0 win over Tottenham - and goalscorer Robert Huth got a kiss from left-back Christian Fuchs as a reward.

Christian Fuchs on Twitter

And finally

French club Toulouse gave their fans letters to try to excuse them from work so they could attend the club's cup tie against Marseille, which was scheduled for 4pm French time on Wednesday. Toulouse won 2-1. (Metro)external-link

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