Gossip column: Sanchez, Balotelli, Rodriguez, Michu, Hummels

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WORLD CUP GOSSIP

United States coach Jurgen Klinsmann paid tribute to Tim Howard's "phenomenal" performance in the extra-time defeat against Belgium. The 35-year-old Everton goalkeeper produced 16 saves, the most in a World Cup match since 1966, according to statistics. Sky Sports

Former Germany international Klinsmann says he expects to still be United States coach at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Goal.com

James Rodriguez of Colombia
Colombia's James Rodriguez is the leading scorer at the World Cup with five goals

Brazil and Manchester City midfielder Fernandinho, 29, fears Colombia playmaker James Rodriguez, 22, could end the hosts' World Cup hopes. Sun (subscription required)

Chelsea forward Andre Schurrle, 23, who scored in Germany's second-round victory over Algeria, says his country are expected to win the World Cup.Daily Telegraph

Midfielder Yohan Cabaye, 28, has warned his France team-mates they must not get carried away with their own success before their quarter-final against Germany on Friday. Guardian

TRANSFER GOSSIP

Alexis Sanchez
Sanchez joined Barcelona in 2011 after three years with Italian club Udinese

Barcelona forward Alexis Sanchez, 25, who is thought to be part of the Catalan club's attempts to sign Luis Suarez, is set to refuse to join Liverpool in favour of a move to Arsenal. Daily Mail

Brazil international defender Filipe Luis is trying to force through a transfer to Chelsea by urging his club Atletico Madrid not to demand the full £19m release clause in his contract is met. Evening Standard

Fabio Borini's agent has reiterated that the 23-year-old Italian is returning to Liverpool this summer following his loan spell at Sunderland and that he is not looking to leave. Sky Sports

Marseille have joined the chase for Newcastle's in-demand right-back Mathieu Debuchy, who the club fear will push for a move when he returns from the World Cup. The 28-year-old is also wanted by Arsenal and Paris Saint Germain. Newcastle Journal

However, Arsenal are confident of signing France international Debuchy after the World Cup. Daily Star

Swansea are holding out for an improved offer from Tottenham for full-back Ben Davies, 21, and are keen for Gylfi Sigurdsson, 24, who played for them on loan in 2012, to be part of the deal. South Wales Evening Post

On-loan AC Milan playmaker Adel Taarabt will be forced to return to QPR if no club will pay the 25-year-old's £65,000-a-week wages. Get West London

Burnley are set to hold talks with free agent Steven Reid, 33. The former Republic of Ireland international is weighing up his options after coming to the end of his contract with West Brom. Lancashire Telegraph

Sunderland will have to activate Jordon Mutch's £5m release clause if they are to prise the 22-year-old away from Cardiff. Newcastle Chronicle

Crawley are considering whether to make a second bid for Leyton Orient's former Brighton winger Dean Cox, 26. The Argus

Liverpool are considering a bid for AC Milan forward Mario Balotelli, 23, if striker Luis Suarez joins Barcelona. Daily Express

Meanwhile, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers wants Croatia defender Dejan Lovren, 24, to become the third Southampton player to move to Anfield this summer after signing Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana. Times (subscription only)

Colombian playmaker James Rodriguez is set for a £40m move from Monaco to Real Madrid if the Champions League winners can sell Argentina winger Angel Di Maria, 26. Daily Mail

Porto striker Jackson Martinez, 27, admits he would relish the chance to join Arsenal after revealing he supported the Gunners as a child. Daily Express

Manchester City have agreed a deal to sign Roma centre-back Mehdi Benatia, 27, but must wait for the Serie A side to find a replacement. Daily Mirror

Serb Dusan Tadic, 25, is set to become new Southampton manager Ronald Koeman's first signing after the Saints agreed a £9m deal with FC Twente for the midfielder.Daily Mail

Costa Rica's Keylor Navas, 27, could be set for a move to the Premier League this summer after Arsenal joined Liverpool in the race for the Levante goalkeeper. Daily Star

Forward Michu, 28, is ready to tell Swansea City he wants to return to Spain and join Atletico Madrid. Daily Mirror

Incoming Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal is hoping to follow up his impending deal for Arsenal captain and defender Thomas Vermaelen, 28, with a swoop for 22-year-old Feyenoord centre-back Stefan de Vrij. Daily Star

Manchester United will also make a £20m offer for Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels, 25, this week.Metro

OTHER GOSSIP

Tottenham may choose to play home matches at Brighton's Amex Stadium or Ipswich's Portman Road during the final season before their planned move to their new stadium, which they hope to be in for the 2017-18 season. Club officials are thought to have decided it would not be possible to continue playing at White Hart Lane whilst building work on the adjacent new site is completed. Evening Standard

The beautiful game seems to have finally been embraced stateside, with the New York Times carrying an article entitled "Wild Ride by U.S Comes to End, but Soccer Is the Winner". The website even carries a video explaining the offside rule. NY Times

GLOBAL GOSSIP (sourced by BBC Monitoring)

Atletico Madrid say they will not release Chelsea-bound Filipe Luis, 28, until the £19m termination clause for the 28-year-old defender is paid for. Marca

Arsenal's 32-year-old midfielder Mikel Arteta will not replace Manchester United-bound Ander Herrera, 24, at Athletic Bilbao. Marca

Veteran Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, 36, has renewed his contract with Juventus until 2017. As.com

Paris St-Germain are chasing Penarol's 18-year-old Uruguayan midfielder Kevin Mendez, who is also being tracked by Inter Milan and Barcelona. Le Figaro

BEST OF SOCIAL MEDIA

Lionel Messi and colleagues
Lionel Messi celebrates Argentina's win over Switzerland

Argentina playmaker Lionel Messi posted a picture of himself with his jubilant team-mates after their 1-0 extra-time win against Switzerland in the last 16 of the World Cup, adding: "Nobody said it was an easy game. Another big step. #VamosArgentina" Lionel Messi Facebook

Belgium captain Vincent Kompany paid tribute to USA goalkeeper Tim Howard after his team's narrow win over the Americans. "Two words.. TIM HOWARD #Respect." Vincent Kompany Twitter

Kompany's fellow Belgium defender Jan Vertonghen of Tottenham, wrote: "Hard work pays off!! Credits to the USA as well for this amazing game!"Jan Vertonghen Twitter

Some high profile response from the USA. The White House Twitter account posted: "Very proud of @ussoccer. We'll win it all sooner than the world thinks." White House Twitter

Former president Bill Clinton wrote: "I am proud of @ussoccer for a hard-fought effort today and a great #2014worldcup run." Bill Clinton Twitter

Actor and singer Justin Timberlake wrote: "HEART BREAKER. Proud of how our guys battled at the end. Tim Howard... WOW. #BeastMode #USMNT Justin Timberlake Twitter

David Luiz
Brazil defender David Luiz in good spirits under water

USA reserve goalkeeper Brad Guzan said: "So proud to have been part of this team in this unbelievable journey! The support back home has been unreal & as players we say thank u." Brad Guzan Twitter

Exuberant Brazil defender David Luiz posted an underwater picture as he prepares for Friday's quarter-final with Colombia. David Luiz Facebook

Former Chelsea striker Samuel Eto'o - who left Stamford Bridge after his contract expired - posted on Twitter: "Thank you to the Amazing @chelseafc fans for having given me the opportunity to be a blue. It was a honour to me!!!" Samuel Eto'o Twitter

Netherlands midfielder Nigel de Jong, ruled out of the rest of the World Cup with a groin injury, wrote on Twitter: "Devastated with the news about my injury. Sadly enough this is part of the sport as well. Will work hard on my recovery now and keep hope." Nigel de Jong Twitter

Aberystwyth Town have poked fun at Manchester United by tweeting a picture of their players travelling to a Europa League fixture with the caption: "Hey Man Utd, we are all off to Europe, are you?"

Aberystwyth Town players
Aberystwyth Town play Derry City in the Europa League on Thursday

The latest tattoo of Chile forward Mauricio Pinilla, 30, has been revealed on Twitter. It is the moment his last-minute shot during their penalty shootout defeat by Brazil struck the crossbar.

Argentina forward Ezequiel Lavezzi, 29, was forced to delete a picture from his Twitter page - after he accidentally captured team-mate and Manchester City defender Pablo Zabaleta naked in the shower in the background. Ezequiel Lavezzi Twitter

AND FINALLY

Former Tottenham maestro Ossie Ardiles makes a confident prediction that Luis Suarez will leave Liverpool to join Barcelona. "He will go to Spain, I bet my house on it!" he says. Talksport

New Liverpool signing Adam Lallana, 26, has taken out a full-page advert in Southampton's local paper to say thank you to the Saints fans. Southern Daily Echo

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