Gossip column: Sterling, Pogba, Ings, Di Maria, Balotelli, Ancelotti

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Rafael Benitez, who is favourite to take over as Real Madrid manager, wants to take advantage of Raheem Sterling's contract stand-off with Liverpool and intends to make the 20-year-old England forward one of his first transfer targets. (Daily Mirror)external-link

Manchester City are leading the race to sign ex-Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba, 22, from Juventus for £45m. (the Sun - subscription required)external-link

Tottenham are ready to bid £12m for Burnley striker Danny Ings before the 22-year-old's contract at Turf Moor expires. (Sky Sports)external-link

Daily Mirror back page
Real Madrid's interest in Raheem Sterling features on the back page of Thursday's Daily Mirror

But England Under-21 international Ings has apparently already told Spurs he wants to join Liverpool this summer.(London Evening Standard)external-link

Liverpool remain determined to cut their losses on Mario Balotelli, 24, in the summer despite claims from the Italy striker's agent he will definitely stay at Anfield. (Guardian)external-link

Former AC Milan, Chelsea, Paris St-Germain and Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti would jump at the chance to manager Liverpool. (the Sun - subscription required)external-link

Manchester United will demand Bayern Munich or Paris St-Germain pay most of the £59.7m they spent on Argentina winger Angel Di Maria if they are to take the 27-year-old from Old Trafford. (Daily Mirror)external-link

Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea, 24, has been urged to sign for Real Madrid by the Spanish club's 34-year-old first-choice keeper Iker Casillas. (Daily Star)external-link

Inter Milan boss Roberto Mancini is set to make a personal call to Manchester City's Yaya Toure to assess what the 32-year-old Ivory Coast midfielder's plans are after a move to Italy stalled this week. (Daily Mail)external-link

But during the club's post-season tour of North America, Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has reiterated Toure is going nowhere. (Daily Express)external-link

Palermo striker Paulo Dybala, 21, has been linked with Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United but is expected to undergo a medical at Juventus ahead of completing a move to the Italian champions. (Daily Mail)external-link

Sunderland may make a move for Real Sociedad boss David Moyes to take over as their new manager, although Real Madrid assistant coach Paul Clement is also an option. (Daily Star)external-link

Derby County want to sign Aston Villa striker Darren Bent, 31, and Hull's Thomas Ince, 23, on permanent deals following their loan spells with the Rams.(Derby Evening Telegraph)external-link

Sepp Blatter
Fifa president Sepp Blatter is on most of the back pages, including Thursday's Daily Express

Excelsior Rotterdam boss Marinus Dijkhuizen, 43, is set to be appointed as Brentford's new head coach. (Sky Sports)external-link

West Ham United face another blow in their bid to find a big-name replacement for Sam Allardyce with Marseille coach Marcelo Bielsa in talks with the Ligue 1 club over a new two‑year contract. (Daily Telegraph)external-link

The Hammers will take their time making an appointment with the new manager set to be given £25m to spend on new players.(Daily Star)external-link

Watford are in prime position to sign 28-year-old Cagliari midfielder Daniele Dessena ahead of Serie A clubs Palermo and Atalanta.(Talksport)external-link

Former Watford manager Slavisa Jokanovic was offered a pay rise of just £1,000-a-week after guiding the Hornets into the Premier League. (Daily Mirror)external-link

Burnley are expected to name former Liverpool chief scout Frank McParland as their new director of football.(Burnley Express)external-link

Everton will allow promising young defenders Tyias Browning, 21, and Brendan Galloway, 19, to join Championship clubs on loan next season, with Cardiff and Bolton among their potential suitors.(Liverpool Echo)external-link

QPR may bid £2.5m for 33-year-old Liverpool striker Rickie Lambert should top scorer Charlie Austin, 25, express a desire to leave Loftus Road. (London Evening Standard)external-link

Best of social media

Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero dropped in on the set of Will Smith's latest film Suicide Squad during the club's post-season visit to Toronto. Aguero even wore a top with the American actor's face on it and posted a picture on Twitterexternal-link with the message: "With Will Smith. Thanks for being so cool, pal. Nice talking to you!'

Sergio Aguero, Will Smith
Sergio Aguero finished as the top goalscorer in the Premier League

AFC Wimbledon forward Adebayo Akinfenwa could not hide his delight at bumping into former Brazil striker Ronaldo while on holiday in Las Vegas. Akinfenwa, who goes by the nickname 'The Beast' posted on Instagram:external-link "I was a bit gassed meeting him. The Real Ronaldo and to me one of the best strikers to have graced the game."

Everton defender Phil Jagielka has flown out to Spain for a game of golf with Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale. Jagielka posted a picture on Instagramexternal-link of the pair in Marbella, adding: "Great day on the course, managed to seal the win on the last."

Joey Barton reflected on his time at QPR after the club announced he would be released when his contract expires next month. "I was devastated we went down but can hold my head high knowing I gave 100% every time I pulled on the blue and white hoops," he tweeted.external-link

Tottenham striker Harry Kane's appears to have enjoyed the first leg of the club's post-season tour of Malaysia and is looking forward to the second part in Australia. The England international posted a picture on Instgramexternal-link of himself, Ryan Mason and DeAndre Yedlin on a flight with the message: "Had a great time in Malaysia with all the fans! Sydney here we come!"

And finally

The ghostwriter of Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic's autobiography has revealed none of the quotes in the book actually came from the Paris St-Germain striker himself. (Daily Telegraph)external-link

Tottenham's coaching staff showed on their post-season tour of Malaysia they are just as skilful as the club's players. Manager Mauricio Pochettino made the crossbar challenge look easy while goalkeeping coach Tony Jimenez pulled off one Rene Higuita's famous 'scorpion' kicks. (Tribal Football)external-link

A 'psychic' penguin from the National Sea Life centre in Birmingham has predicted that Aston Villa will beat Arsenal in the FA Cup final at Wembley. (Independent)external-link

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