Wednesday's gossip column

 

TRANSFER GOSSIP

Yaya Toure's agent has said he will start negotiating with other clubs if the midfielder does not sign a new contract with Manchester City by Saturday - the 29-year-old Ivorian could even use Fifa rules to buy out his deal and leave this summer.

Full story: the Sun 

Arsenal are interested in signing Barcelona's Chilean forward Alexis Sanchez. The 24-year-old has endured an underwhelming season with the Spanish league leaders and could be available.

Full story: Daily Mail 

Liverpool and Manchester United are likely to face competition from Real Madrid for Paris St-Germain's highly rated 20-year-old Italy international midfielder Marco Verratti.

Paris St-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti

Verratti signed a five-year deal to join PSG in July 2012 from Pescara

Full story: talkSPORT 

QPR boss Harry Redknapp plans to make another bid for Toulouse's France international defensive midfielder Etienne Capoue, 24, in the summer, but admits a deal could only happen if the club remain in the Premier League.

Full story: Metro 

Aston Villa and Everton are monitoring Manchester City winger Scott Sinclair, 23, who has been unable to establish himself at Etihad Stadium following his move from Swansea.

Full story: Daily Mirror 

Chelsea have valued goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois at £20m in a bid to scare off any interested clubs. The 20-year-old has excelled during two loan spells at Atletico Madrid but has admitted he is several seasons away from challenging Blues number one Petr Cech.

Full story: London Evening Standard 

Meanwhile, Cech, 30, has rubbished suggestions he could move across London to play for Arsenal.

Full story: skysports.com 

Norwich hope to take advantage of Aston Villa's faltering contract negotiations with 21-year-old striker Andreas Weimann. The Austria international, who has scored 11 goals this season, has just over a year left on his current deal.

Full story: Daily Mail 

Napoli and Manchester City are set to battle for the services of Sampdoria's Argentine U20 international striker Mauro Icardi, 20.

Full story: talkSPORT 

England midfielder Frank Lampard, 34, yet to be offered a new deal by Chelsea, says a move to the MLS in America would not have to mean the end of his international career.

Mauro Icardi

Striker Icardi has scored eight goals since Serie A resumed after the winter break

Full story: Daily Mirror 

Per Mertesacker, 28, has dismissed suggestions he will quit Arsenal for a return to Germany in the summer.

Full story: Metro 

CSKA Moscow are preparing a move for Netherlands international winger Eljero Elia, 26, who is thought to be a target for Liverpool and West Ham.

Full story: talkSPORT 

Getafe's Algerian midfielder Medhi Lacen, 28, says he is unaware of interest in him from Swansea but he would be prepared to make a move to the Capital One Cup winners.

Full story: This Is South Wales 

Brighton manager Gus Poyet says he will bring in a new striker before the loan transfer window closes on 28 March.

Full story: the Argus 

OTHER GOSSIP

After Michael Dawson, Rio Ferdinand and Gary Cahill all withdrew from the England squad, manager Roy Hodgson may use central midfielder Michael Carrick as an emergency centre-back in the World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro. The 31-year-old has previously filled in there for Manchester United.

Full story: the Times (subscription required) 

Newcastle defender Steven Taylor, who has been called up as a replacement by Hodgson, has said that previous England manager Fabio Capello told club boss Alan Pardew he thought the 27-year-old was a midfielder.

Full story: the Guardian 

Stoke boss Tony Pulis, 55, has angrily denied reports he is ready to leave the club at the end of the season.

Nigel Adkins

Adkins has been out of work since he was replaced by Mauricio Pochettino at Southampton

Full story: Stoke Sentinel 

Reading hope to appoint a new manager before the weekend, with Russian owner Anton Zingarevich due to fly in to talk to prospective candidates, thought to include former Southampton boss Nigel Adkins, 48.

Full story: the Guardian 

Blackburn insist they want a big-name manager to replace the latest departee from Ewood Park, Michael Appleton, and Chelsea interim boss Rafael Benitez, 52, is thought to be on their list.

Full story: Daily Mirror 

Veteran midfielder Paul Scholes, 38, is to return to action for Manchester United in next week's Premier League game against Sunderland after a two-month injury absence with a knee problem.

Full story: the Telegraph 

GLOBAL GOSSIP (sourced by BBC Monitoring)

German sides Wolfsburg and Bayer Leverkusen are interested in signing Chelsea's Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne, 21, who is on loan at Werder Bremen.

Full story: Bild (in German) 

Spain midfielder Xavi, 33, has pulled out of Friday's World Cup qualifier against Finland in Gijon, but may play against France in Paris four days later.

Full story: El Pais (in Spanish) 

Kevin De Bruyne

De Bruyne joined Chelsea in January 2012 but has yet to make a first-team appearance

France striker Karim Benzema, 25, says he will not be forced to sing the national anthem before the World Cup qualifier against Georgia on Friday, despite criticism on social media networks and from the country's National Front party.

Full story: Le Monde (in French) 

Juventus coach Antonio Conte, 43, has allayed fears that he is ready to quit the club, despite suggesting he was ready to leave Italy earlier this week. Speaking to Italian media, he said he hoped to become Juve's version of Sir Alex Ferguson, who has been in charge at Manchester United since 1986.

Full story: Tuttosport (in Italian) 

The CEO of Malaga, Vicente Casado, has "categorically" denied that the club is about to be taken over by Qatar Sports Investments (QSI), owners of Paris St-Germain.

Full story: L'Equipe (in French) 

AND FINALLY

Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina, 30, has already started thinking about his retirement plans by playing a role in a new short film. 

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