Transfer Gossip: Barkley, Di Maria, Balotelli, Welbeck, Eto'o, Rooney

For a list of confirmed transfers, check out the transfers page.

TRANSFER GOSSIP

Ross Barkley

Everton's Ross Barkley will miss the opening months of the season with medial ligament damage

Manchester City have dropped their interest in Everton midfielder Ross Barkley, 20, after being told he will cost a minimum of £50m. (Mirror) 

Manchester United are close to signing Real Madrid winger Angel Di Maria, 26, for a British-record transfer fee that could be worth up to £56m. (Sky Sports) 

United have made a second bid for Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal, 27, which also includes an unnamed player going the other way. (Star) 

Mario Balotelli, 24, could become a Liverpool player in a £16m deal on Monday - but the Reds have ended their interest in former Chelsea striker Samuel Eto'o, 33. (Liverpool Echo) 

Eto'o is thought to have demanded £100,000 a week to join Liverpool but is now understood to be in talks with Everton, although the Toffees could face competition for his services from the Middle East. (Mirror) 

Daily Star

The Daily Star Sunday's back page

Balotelli will not sign a special code of conduct clause at Anfield. The striker's representative Mino Raiola claims the contract will be no different to any other future Liverpool deals and says Balotelli's move should be finalised before Tuesday. (Express) 

Arsenal are considering Atletico Madrid's Toby Alderweireld, 25, as replacement for Thomas Vermaelen, who was recently sold to Barcelona. (Star) 

The Gunners are also tracking Olympiakos defender Kostas Manolas, 23, who featured for Greece at this summer's World Cup and is also interesting Manchester United. (Express) 

Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech, 33, is set to leave the club after losing his place to Thibaut Courtois. (Mail on Sunday) 

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini wants England international James Milner to sign a new deal but the 28-year-old winger will make City wait. (Sun on Sunday - subscription required)

Blackburn have rejected a club record bid from Hull in excess of £10m for Jordan Rhodes, 24, insisting they have no intention of selling their star striker. (Lancashire Telegraph) 

OTHER GOSSIP

Louis van Gaal already claims it would take a miracle for his Manchester United side to win the title this season. (Sun on Sunday - subscription required) 

Caretaker boss Keith Millen believes he can still land the vacant Crystal Palace job despite a "lacklustre" 3-1 Premier League defeat by West Ham. (London Evening Standard) 

Mail on Sunday

The Mail on Sunday's back page

Rangers boss Ally McCoist stresses he had had no contact with Palace over their managerial vacancy. (HeraldScotland.com) 

Liverpool skipper Steven Gerard says there is "no more worthy candidate" than Wayne Rooney to replace him as England captain. (Mail on Sunday) 

Manuel Pellegrini has refused to confirm that striker Alvaro Negredo, 29, will be the man to miss out on a place in Manchester City's Champions League squad. (Manchester Evening News) 

Meanwhile Pellegrini insists City beat Liverpool to the Premier League title last season because of character, not money. (The Independent) 

Manager Ronny Deila says Celtic's shock SPL defeat by Inverness will be worth it if his side book a place in the Champions League group stages. (Herald Scotsman) 

BEST OF SOCIAL MEDIA

Romelu Lukaku

Striker Romelu Lukaku is yet to get off the mark for Everton this season

BBC Radio 5 live presenter Danny Baker tweets  about the popular return of a Match of the Day commentator. "Barry Davies was the first true commentator. Would call a game/player like it was. His famous 'Oh dear...' was devastating. A master."

Romelu Lukaku, 21, tweets   a message of gratitude to Everton's fans: "Great support again. You give us a boost every time we come on to the pitch. We will do our best to pay you back with a win."

Leicester's Anthony Knockaert, 22, tells fans not to be too down after the Foxes' defeat at Chelsea, posting:  "So unlucky. I'm proud how the team played. We deserved a better result, but it's going to be a long season so be patient."

Out for several months with a knee injury, it is clear how Hull midfielder Robert Snodgrass, 26, is spending his spare time. "This little Leslie fella on Big Brother is one crazy funny guy," he tweeted. 

AND FINALLY

Manchester United winger Nani, 27, had a return to forget for Sporting Lisbon as he missed a penalty, got yellow carded and was substituted in the first game of his loan spell back at the Portuguese club. (101 Great Goals) 

Former Chelsea and Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas took a swipe at his former employers, by nominating Roman Abramovich and Daniel Levy for the popular fundraising craze, the ice bucket challenge. (Mail on Sunday) 

And while we're on the subject of ice buckets, Port Vale chairman Norman Smurthwaite has done it - and nominated Staffordshire Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis to be next to get a soaking. (Stoke Sentinel)