Gossip column: Stones, Balotelli, Ramos, Young, Wenger

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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) 

Everton rejected a second Chelsea bid of £26m for the England defender on Tuesday. (ESPN FC) 

The Sun backpage

The Sun's backpage

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) 

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) 

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) 

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) 

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

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) 

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) 

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) 

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) 

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

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) 

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

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) 

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) 

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:  '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 picture  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)