Gossip column: World Cup, Lallana, Casillas, Fellaini, Eto'o

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WORLD CUP GOSSIP

Adam Lallana

Adam Lallana was playing in League One as recently as 2010

Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere is confident his club team-mate Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will overcome injury to play a key role for England at the World Cup. Goal.com 

England will give Italy far more to worry about than they did in their defeat at Euro 2012, according to manager Roy Hodgson, who says his side must spend more time attacking. Daily Mirror 

Italy midfielder Andrea Pirlo was a star performer when his country knocked England out of Euro 2012 on penalties but Hodgson says he has a plan to combat the threat of the 35-year-old when the two teams meet again on Saturday. Independent  

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho says England striker Wayne Rooney, 28, is at the right stage of his career to have an impressive World Cup. Sun (subscription required) 

England's Southampton midfielder Adam Lallana, 26, is not content with simply being a squad member at the World Cup and says he is inspired by the surroundings international football provides. Guardian 

Ross Barkley was sarcastically applauded by his team-mates after the 20-year-old Everton midfielder was 15 minutes late for England's bus to training on Monday. Daily Telegraph 

There are safety concerns over the Arena De Sao Paulo, which will host the opening game of the World Cup between Brazil and Croatia on Thursday, as it has yet to be tested close to its full capacity. The Times (subscription required) 

TRANSFER GOSSIP

Arsenal look set to miss out on Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas, 33, after his partner claimed she will not leave the Spanish capital. Daily Express 

But the Gunners could still sign Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata and are prepared to battle with Tottenham and Inter Milan for the 21-year-old's signature. Daily Mail 

Samuel Eto'o

Samuel Eto'o scored 12 goals for Chelsea last season

Barcelona have reached a verbal agreement with long-standing Manchester United target Marco Reus, 25, and will present an opening offer of £28m to Borussia Dortmund for the forward. Talksport. 

Meanwhile, United are prepared to accept as little as £12m for midfielder Marouane Fellaini, 26, who they signed for £27.5m from Everton a little over a year ago. Daily Star 

Chelsea are attempting to sign midfielder Cesc Fabregas from Barcelona in a deal that would ensure his former club - Arsenal - do not receive half of the Catalan side's profit on the player. Daily Telegraph 

Goalkeeper Pepe Reina will return to Liverpool as Italian club Napoli cannot meet the Reds' demands to make the 31-year-old's recent loan move permanent. Metro 

Blerim Dzemaili

Blerim Dzemaili has played 32 times for Switzerland

Manchester City will make Porto defensive midfielder Fernando, 26, their player by the end of the week, while the free signing of Bacary Sagna from Arsenal is also set to be completed. Daily Mail 

Everton are hopeful they will hold off competition from Arsenal to land 33-year-old striker Samuel Eto'o from Chelsea. Daily Express 

Liverpool's 20-year-old forward Suso will move to Porto and be reunited with his former international youth coach Julen Lopetegui, who manages the Portuguese side. Talksport 

Mauricio Pochettino will make Napoli midfielder Blerim Dzemaili his first signing as Tottenham manager. The 28-year-old is currently at the World Cup with Switzerland. Daily Star 

Arsenal and QPR are interested in signing 29-year-old ex-Manchester City midfielder Nigel de Jong, who is currently at AC Milan. Sun (subscription required) 

Sunderland have made a £4m bid for Swansea centre-back Ashley Williams, 29, whose contract with the Welsh club expires next summer. Times (subscription required) 

OTHER GOSSIP

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho says he came close to managing England in 2008 after the sacking of Steve McClaren, but his wife talked him out of the move. Daily Telegraph 

Netherlands boss Louis van Gaal, who will take over as Manchester United manager after the World Cup, could keep Nicky Butt, Phil Neville and Paul Scholes as part of the Old Trafford club's coaching staff. Guardian 

AND FINALLY

A football-crazy artist has created some of the World Cup's most striking moments using Subbuteo figures. David Beckham's 1998 red card, Maradona's 1986 "hand of God" goal, and Terry Butcher being bloodied in an 1989 qualifier are all featured. Daily Mirror 

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