Gossip column: Benzema, Young, Soldado, Stones, Wickham

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has dismissed reports linking Real Madrid's 27-year-old striker Karim Benzema with a move to the club. (Evening Standard)external-link

However, according to (AS),external-link Wenger has set aside £45.6m to bring the France international to London.

The Gunners have beaten Manchester United to the signing of Benfica's 15-year-old goalkeeper Joao Virginia. (Metro)external-link

Wolfsburg boss Dieter Hecking believes midfielder Kevin de Bruyne, 24, will snub an approach from Manchester City. (Manchester Evening News)external-link

But the Belgium international has said a move to the Etihad could be too good to turn down. (Sun - subscription required)external-link

Manchester City face a battle to hang on to highly-rated midfielder Marcos Lopes, 19, with Marseille, Monaco and Lyon all interested in the Portuguese starlet. (Daily Mail)external-link

Sunderland boss Dick Advocaat hopes to sign Rubin Kazan midfielder Yann M'Vila, 25, and take QPR's 25-year-old midfielder Leroy Fer on a season-long loan.(Guardian)external-link

Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror back page

Manchester United have offered 30-year-old winger Ashley Young a new three-year deal. The Englishman has one year remaining on his current contract. (Daily Star)external-link

And United's Brazilian defender Rafael Da Silva, 25, is set to finalise a £2.1m move to Lyon. (Times - subscription required)external-link

Tottenham are ready to take a £15m loss on 30-year-old striker Roberto Soldado after opening talks with Villarreal over a £11m move. (Daily Mirror)external-link

Liverpool are looking to make a £14.9m bid for Real Madrid's 24-year-old winger Denis Cheryshev. (Daily Telegraph)external-link

New Southampton midfielder Jordy Clasie, 24, has revealed his mum left him and his brother when he was aged just 10. (Sun - subscription required)external-link

Everton manager Roberto Martinez is confident of holding on to centre-back John Stones, 21, who has been the subject of a bid from Premier League champions Chelsea. (Liverpool Echo)external-link

Atalanta defender Yohan Benalouane, 28, has confirmed he has agreed to join Leicester City in a £5.6m move. (Bergamo Post - in Italian)external-link

Daily Star
Daily Star back page

West Ham co-owner David Gold says the club hope to make two more signings in the transfer window; one being 27-year-old midfielder Alex Song and the other a replacement for the injured forward Enner Valencia, 25. (Evening Standard)external-link

The Hammers are pursuing Atletico Madrid forward Raul Jimenez, but are waiting on news of a work permit for the 24-year-old Mexican. (Telegraph)external-link

Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew says he hopes the club can finalise a deal for Sunderland's 22-year-old striker Connor Wickham. (Croydon Advertiser)external-link

Swansea manager Garry Monk says they are still trying to come to an agreement for 29-year-old forward Michu to leave the club. (South Wales Evening Post)external-link

Borussia Monchengladbach boss Lucien Favre has hailed Newcastle's appointment of Steve McClaren, saying the Englishman is a "very good" head coach. (Newcastle Chronicle)external-link

The Newcastle boss is unwilling to sell defender Fabricio Coloccini, 33, despite interest from former Magpies boss Alan Pardew at Crystal Palace. (Shields Gazette)external-link

Aston Villa defender Ciaran Clark, 25, will be offered a new contract to ward off interest from rivals West Brom. (Birmingham Mail)external-link

Middlesbrough forward Lee Tomlin is training on his own after trying to force a move to the Premier League, with Bournemouth and Norwich City interested in the 26-year-old. (Mirror)external-link

Stoke captain Ryan Shawcross, 27, will see a specialist to find out whether he needs to have an operation on his back. (Stoke Sentinel)external-link

Championship side Fulham will sign 24-year-old striker Dwight Gayle on loan from Crystal Palace this week. (Daily Mirror)external-link

Middlesbrough are lining up an improved £14m bid for Blackburn's 25-year-old striker Jordan Rhodes, having already had a £12m offer rejected. (Daily Mail)external-link

Barcelona midfielder Lionel Messi has been criticised by the Human Rights Foundation for making a visit to Gabon. (Human Rights Foundation)external-link

Former Chelsea and Manchester City midfielder Frank Lampard, 37, has said he is not yet fit enough to show his best form at New York City. (Sky Sports)external-link

Best of social media

Mario Balotelli poses with a hawk

Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli has been pictured on Instagramexternal-link with a hawk.

Tottenham full-back Kyle Walker posted a picture on Instagramexternal-link of himself enjoying a family day out at the crazy golf course.

Kyle Walker plays crazy golf

And finally...

Cristiano Ronaldo had a pretty good wedding present for his agent Jorge Mendes - he bought him a Greek island. (Eurosport)external-link