Gossip column: Neymar, Stones, Illarramendi, Berahino

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Chelsea will make a fourth and final offer worth £40m for Everton defender John Stones after the 21-year-old England international handed in a transfer request. (Guardian)external-link

John Stones
The Guardian's back page leads on Chelsea's pursuit of John Stones

Everton have bid £5m for Tottenham's Argentina defender Federico Fazio, 28, after Stones asked to leave Goodison Park. (Daily Mail) external-link

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has dismissed talk that 23-year-old Brazil forward Neymar, a reported Manchester United target, could be sold. (Catalunya Radio - in Catalan)external-link

Zenit St Petersburg will resist any attempt by Chelsea to sign Argentina defender Ezequiel Garay if they pursue the 28-year-old as an alternative to Stones. (Telegraph) external-link

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal believes he is building a side capable of winning the Champions League. (Daily Star)external-link

Turkish club Besiktas claim they have agreed to sign Spain goalkeeper Victor Valdes, 33, from Manchester United. (Times - subscription required)external-link

Tottenham will make an improved offer of £23m plus add-ons for West Brom's 22-year-old striker Saido Berahino after having two previous bids rejected. (Daily Mirror) external-link

West Brom will move for QPR striker Charlie Austin, 26, if they do finally allow Berahino to leave The Hawthorns. (Daily Express)external-link

Liverpool made a "major mistake" in signing Italy striker Mario Balotelli, says former Reds defender and Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher. Balotelli, 25, is set to rejoin AC Milan on a loan deal after arriving for a medical on Tuesday. (Sky Sports)external-link

Tottenham winger Erik Lamela, 23, is in talks with Serie A side Inter Milan, according to the Argentine's father.(Gazzetta - in Italian)external-link

Manchester City defender Jason Denayer, 20, is deciding whether to join Galatasaray or Marseille on a season-long loan. (Manchester Evening News)external-link

The Independent's back page reports on Chelsea's swoop for Paul Pogba and John Stones
The Independent's back page reports on Chelsea's swoop for Paul Pogba and John Stones

Former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba, 37, faces a fine for missing media duties after making his MLS debut for Montreal Impact. (Evening Standard)external-link

Barcelona could beat Arsenal and Everton to the signing of Dynamo Kiev's Ukraine winger Andriy Yarmolenko, 25. (Sport - in Spanish)external-link

Meanwhile, Hammers boss Slaven Bilic is looking to sign Italy striker Simone Zaza, 24, on a season-long loan from Juventus. (Daily Star)external-link

Newly promoted Premier League side Watford have opened talks with French club Rennes over a £8m move for their 22-year-old midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure.(Daily Mail)external-link

Championship side Wolves have put a £14m price tag on England Under-21 striker Benik Afobe, 22, who is wanted by Norwich.(Daily Mirror)external-link

Former Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard, 35, will be a future manager at Anfield, according to his LA Galaxy coach Bruce Arena. (Sun - subscription required) external-link

Aston Villa boss Tim Sherwood has warned that 19-year-old winger Adama Traore, a recent £7m signing from Barcelona, is already being targeted by defenders for rough treatment.(Birmingham Mail)external-link

Sunderland, who conceded three goals against League Two side Exeter City in the League Cup, are still looking to bolster their defence, says manager Dick Advocaat. (Sunderland Echo)external-link

West Bromwich Albion's 25-year-old record signing Salomon Rondon believes he has put the Baggies on the map in his native Venezuela.(Express and Star)external-link

Best of social media

Any thoughts of flamboyant former Chelsea and Liverpool midfielder Raul Meireles fading into the shadows at Turkish side Fenerbahce were dismissed when the 32-year-old posted this photo.

Raul Meireles on Twitter

Hollywood actor Russell Crowe, star of Gladiator, has ruled out a takeover bid for Championship side Leeds United - the team he supports - in a series of tweets.external-link

Russell Crowe

And finally

Coventry City fans have been banned from using the Ricoh Arena's new £5m railway station - because the trains are too small. (Daily Mirror)external-link