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Gossip Columned – Episode 45

Have you heard today’s gossip? On the menu this morning is,

Leicester City and England’s Harry Maguire, 26, is set to become the world’s most expensive defender this week when he joins Manchester City for £80m after turning down Manchester United. (Mirror)

Liverpool and Manchester United will battle for the signature of Real Betis‘ Spanish left-back Junior Firpo, 22. (Marca)

Manchester United will trigger their 12-month extension option in Marcus Rashford’s contract amid fears the 21-year-old England striker may leave when his current deal expires next summer. (Sun)

Inter Milan are still 25m euros (£22.3m) short of Manchester United’s valuation of their Belgium international striker Romelu Lukaku, 26. (La Gazzetta dello Sport, via Football Italia)

Newcastle United are set to hold last-ditch talks in an attempt to persuade Rafael Benitez to extend his contract as manager. The 59-year-old, whose contract expires at the end of June, has reportedly been offered a job in China. (Evening Chronicle)

Real Betis are interested in Liverpool and Belgium striker Divock Origi, 24. (Estadio Deportivo, in Spanish)

Brighton have agreed to sign Belgian winger Leandro Trossard, 24, from Genk for £18m. (Sky Sports)

Liverpool target Nicolas Pepe is the subject of an £80m bid from Inter Milan. The Serie A side are one of a number of clubs keen on the 24-year-old Lille and Ivory Coast winger. (L’Equipe, in French)

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has made a personal plea to executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward to move quickly and sign Sporting Lisbon and Portugal midfielder Bruno Fernandes, 24. (Record, in Portuguese, subscription required)

Meanwhile, Manchester United are on the verge of signing 16-year-old Spanish winger Mateo Mejia for an initial £600,000 from Real Zaragoza. (Sun)

Arsenal are considering selling Lucas Torriera, 23, after AC Milan submitted their first offer for the Uruguay midfielder. (Sport Mediaset, in Italian)

Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers has been told it is a waste of time to try to sign 26-year-old Scotland midfielder Callum McGregor from his former club Celtic. (Scottish Daily Mail)

Dutch side AZ Alkmaar have confirmed they have held talks with Southampton midfielder Jordy Clasie, 27. (Daily Echo)

Burnley have told defender Ben Gibson that he can leave the club this summer. Premier League newcomers Aston Villa and Sheffield United are among a group of clubs interested in a £15m move for the 26-year-old Englishman. (Teamtalk)

Aston Villa are set to step up talks to sign Bournemouth defender Tyrone Mings. The 26-year-old Englishman was instrumental in Villa’s promotion to the Premier League when on loan with the club last season. (Birmingham Mail)

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