United (and others) to miss out on Mehdi Benatia, Chelsea want £30m for Lukaku, Vlaar to hold Villa talks...
RIO TO RETIRE?
There is expected to be an announcement on Thursday but it looks increasingly likely that Rio Ferdinand will announce his retirement after being omitted from a warm-weather training camp in Dubai. The United squad fly out after Wednesday's clash with Arsenal but, according to The Sun, Ferdinand will not be in the party. He has started only seven Premier League games this season and is said to be ready to retire and pursue a media career.
NO POGBA RETURN
We never really thought it would happen but any lingering ideas that Man United would 'do a Chelsea' and bring back an old unwanted midfielder have disappeared with the news that Paul Pogba is set to commit his future to Juventus. According to the Daily Mirror: 'Super-agent Mino Raiola is flying into Turin to negotiate a contract extension for the 20-year-old that would keep the Frenchman at the Serie A champions until 2018.'
MATUIDI FOR MAN CITY
We apologise at having to resort to TalkSPORT but needs must on a slow day for gossip. They claim: 'Manchester City will turn their attentions to France midfielder Blaise Matuidi following reports Fernando has penned a new deal at Porto.' Matuidi is out of contract at the end of the season and City will apparently tempt him with £5m a season to fend off interest from Chelsea and Barcelona.
AND THE REST
Yeovil are giving a trial to Spanish midfielder Ruben Palazuelos, who used to play for Hearts and is currently plying his trade in Finland with FC Honka...West Brom's young defender Reiss Greenidge will have a second trial with Blackburn as he looks to seal a permanent move to Ewood Park...Stoke and Crystal Palace are lining up bids for United States defender Fabian Johnson, who has refused a new contract at German side Hoffenheim...Manchester City are in discussions to sign 12-year-old Kevin Ackermann, much to the chagrin of his Swedish club IFK Goteborg...Ravel Morrison seems certain to be heading out of West Ham as a rift with boss Sam Allardyce widens. QPR have already declared their interest but competition is expected.