Gossip column: Ronaldo, Stones, De Gea, Ramos, Busquets, Zidane

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Manchester United have abandoned plans to re-sign 30-year-old forward Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid. United had hoped an offer of £60m would be acceptable, but Real value the Portugal international at £85m. (Sun - subscription required)external-link

Manchester City are ready to join the chase for 21-year-old John Stones, with Chelsea preparing a third bid for the Everton defender.(Daily Mirror)external-link

The Sun backpage
The Sun's backpage

Everton rejected a second Chelsea bid of £26m for England international Stones on Tuesday. (ESPN FC)external-link

The Toffees have been angered by comments made by Chelsea defender Gary Cahill. The 27-year-old centre-back said Stones should "grab with both hands" the chance to sign for the Blues. (Times - subscription required)external-link

Defender Sergio Ramos, 29, has agreed to sign a new five-year contract with Real Madrid, news which will be officially announced before the new La Liga season gets under way on 23 August. (Marca)external-link

With Manchester United's hopes of signing Sergio Ramos appearing to be dead in the water, Real Madrid have turned their attentions back to the pursuit of United goalkeeper David De Gea, 24. (Independent)external-link

Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli, 24, is a target for newly promoted Serie A side Bologna after the club confirmed they are mulling over a permanent transfer for the striker. (London Evening Standard)external-link

Ashley Young is close to signing a new deal at Manchester United, dashing Tottenham's hopes of signing the 30-year-old, who has one year left on his contract. (Talksport)external-link

Swansea have put a £25m price tag on captain Ashley Williams, 30, to fend off interest from Crystal Palace. (Daily Mirror)external-link

Swansea manager Garry Monk says central defender Williams will not be leaving the club. (Wales Online)external-link

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic says the Hammers have not given up on completing a permanent deal for Barcelona midfielder Alex Song, 27. (London Evening Standard)external-link

Daily Mirror backpage
Daily Mirror backpage

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is planning to make a move for Barcelona's 27-year-old midfielder Sergio Busquets. (Daily Express)external-link

Newcastle have resurrected their interest in Marseille's 22-year-old winger Florian Thauvin, with the French side having already turned down a £12m bid. (Daily Express)external-link

Nantes midfielder Jordan Veretout, 22, is expected to fly into England to decide over a move to the Premier League, with Aston Villa working on a £7m deal. (Daily Mail)external-link

Besiktas have announced Fiorentina striker Mario Gomez, 30, will fly to Turkey for final negotiations on Thursday. (Football Italia)external-link

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has predicted left-back Luke Shaw, a £27m signing from Southampton last summer, will have a big season for the club in the forthcoming campaign. (Manchester Evening News)external-link

Midfielder Jonas Gutierrez, 32, says Newcastle were wrong to let him go at the end of last season. (Chronicle)external-link

Louis van Gaal could be forced to undertake a gruelling pre-season trip to China next summer with Manchester United's major sponsors increasingly keen to exploit the club's commercial power in the Far East. (Daily Telegraph)external-link

Stoke City are still interested in signing Dynamo Kiev's 25-year-old winger Andriy Yarmolenko and Barcelona's 19-year-old winger Adama Traore. (Stoke Sentinel) external-link

Mathieu Flamini has suggested Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho acted out of character this summer by accepting the "good favour" that owner Roman Abramovich did Arsenal over the sale of Petr Cech. (Daily Telegraph)external-link

Chelsea's 23-year-old winger Mohamed Salah is set to join Roma on a season-long loan, although fellow Italian club Fiorentina believe the Egyptian has reneged on an agreement to join them. (Daily Star)external-link

Liverpool striker Rickie Lambert could be set for a reunion with former Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino at Tottenham Hotspur. West Brom are also interested in signing the 33-year-old. (Times - subscription required)external-link

Leicester City are prepared to pay £11m to sign Chile midfielder Charles Aranguiz from Brazilian club Internacional, amid rival interest from Bayer Leverkusen and Marseille. (Sun - subscription required)external-link

Best of social media

Didier Drogba
Didier Drogba left Chelsea this summer and signed for Montreal Impact

Anything you can do I can do better? Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny produced a superb rabona in training and then laid down the gauntlet to Cristiano Ronaldo by uploading the video to Instagram and writing the message:external-link 'Can you do this @cristiano!'

Didier Drogba is leaving on a jet plane...and seems to be flying it himself too. The former Chelsea striker tweeted a pictureexternal-link of himself in the cockpit of an aeroplane along with the caption: 'On my way to @impactmontreal' Drogba, 37, signed for MLS side Montreal Impact on 27 July.

And finally...

Zinedine Zidane may have hung up his football boots but perhaps a new career in rugby could be on the cards? The former France international scored a stunning try from his own half in a recent charity match. (Daily Mail)external-link

'The Beautiful Game Turns Ugly'. That is the name of a new exhibition dedicated to the Fifa corruption scandal, to open at the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement in the American city of Las Vegas. (Las Vegas Sun)external-link

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