Football transfer rumours: Luka Modric to Manchester United?

LONDON. July 31. KAZINFORM The Rumour Mill wasn't built to get up at silly o'clock, reader, which is something of a handicap when your purpose in life is to read the morning papers before most other people have had a chance and knock the guff on the back pages into some semblance of a gossip column.

This morning was especially difficult, because having stayed up for the 1am episode of Road Wars on Sky1, the Mill scanned the papers bleary-eyed and was confronted by what looked like a gazillion Gareth Bales, all trying not to look like a dreadful foot-stamping wantaway. The Mill rubbed its eyes, nibbled the clumps of goo under its fingernails and looked again: no, they were still there. And Bale still wants to go to Real Madrid - so much so that he's sent his Ma and Pa in to see Daniel Levy. As Lee Boardman would say, this joker's giving it legs.

Real Madrid say this will be Bale's one and only opportunity to join them, a once-in-a-lifetime deal. Which is excellent news for all concerned, since it was starting to feel like a once-every-day-for-the-rest-of-the-summer kind of thang. The Daily Mail says Spurs want £95m PLUS a player, but the sane world hopes that the club will just take the £100m quickfast and spend it wisely on several excellent playehahahahahasif.

It's a hive of activity, the Bernabéu, what with the Chelsea manager José Mourinho ringing every five minutes asking for Sami Khedira. Brrrring-brrring! The papers reckon there's a £20m deal in the offing, and there'll be more loot on the way if Manchester City - brrring-brrring! - succeed in signing Pepe. If the Times is to be believed, it won't be long before theManchester United manager is also on the line, bidding £25m for Luka Modric. Brrring-brring! It looks like David Moyes is ready to give up on the pursuit of Cesc Fábregas, see - unless you read one of the papers that says he's going to tempt Barcelona with an improved bid of £35m, Kazinform quotes the Guardian.

According to most of them, though, Moyes's main point of business, on returning to Old Trafford, will be convincing Wayne Rooney to stay. Especially since it looks like Javier Hernández might be off toValencia, replacing the Tottenham-bound Roberto Soldado. Moyes is also keen to have another chat - just a friendly hello, like - with the Everton full back Leighton Baines. Nani, not so much; he's being offered around France's Ligue 1, apparently.

Brrring-brrring! "Hello, Mr Pérez, is that you?!" "Oh good morning, Mr Suárez, my name's Anthony, I'm calling today to make sure you don't miss out on your PPI compensation." Brrring-brrring! "Carlo?! I'm ready!" "Do you have the right to buy your council house?" Poor old Luis. There's heat in that Real Madrid switchboard, but not one of those calls has come his way. And it looks like Arsenal are happy to wait until Suárez has no option but to consider London if he wants to escape Liverpool, where all he can expect is an almost embarrassing level of love and support. Poor, poor old Luis.

Sticking with Arsenal and Liverpool (streamlined segue there; we've all got to make efficiency savings these days): Brendan Rodgers is reportedly trying to sign the Benfica left back Lorenzo Melgarejo on a season-long loan, complete with £9m first-option on a permanent deal next summer, while Arsène Wenger is trying to sell Gervinho (Roma) and Nicklas Bendtner (anyone who'll have him Málaga). Arsenal won't be needing to find a squad number for the Brazilian midfielder Bernard, mind, since the Star says Hulk has talked him in to joining Porto instead.

Turkish news special: Galatasaray are trying to sign the Manchester City defender Aleksandar Kolorov for £3m, while Besiktas are reading a telegraph from Sunderland offering Stéphane Sessègnon and wondering whether to sign him and Tottenham's Emmanuel Adebayor. (And whether Deniz in IT is keeping up to date with his trade magazines.)

Newcastle are hoping to get a season's borrow of the Queens Park Rangers forward Loïc Rémy, and are still chasing Bafétimbi Gomis, the poor sod. He must want a breather by now; Lyon want £9m+. And it's neck and neck between Alan Pardew and Fulham's Martin Jol as the two managers make for Villa Park with six million sweet ones ready to exchange for Darren Bent. Jol must be busy, because he also says he has "some top players in consideration".

The Mill likes a bit of agent-bashing (steady), so the Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino is in our good books today. Fed up with rumours linking Gastón Ramírez and Rickie Lambert with moves, he says: "I just listen to Gaston, not his agent." We forgot to write down the rest of the quotation, but we're pretty sure it went: "So nerrrr!"

Also going nowhere is Salomon Kalou, who apparently wants to stay at Lille despite a £3m transfer fee being agreed with Sam Allardyce's Wess Tam. Charlie Austin may have failed a medical at Hull, but Nottingham Forest won't let that bother them, so the forward may be going somewhere after all. The Manchester City midfielder Abdisalam Ibrahim- yes, we're right in the belly of that mopping-up paragraph now - has been told he can leave the club for nothing, arousing the interest ofSwansea, Celtic and Crystal Palace. Palace appear to have signed Elliot Grandin, and are also negotiating a deal for Jeremy Bokila, who plays for the Belgian club Zulte Waregem.

Meanwhile the Aston Villa midfielder Barry Bannan's career trajectory will be unaltered by a £750,000 move to Blackburn Rovers, and Leeds United have denied trying to sell El Hadji Diouf. The haunted look in their eyes would scupper any deal before a word had been said.

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