World Football Gossip Roundup: Luis Suarez, Paulinho, Didier Drogba
The Pep Guardiola effect has begun at Bayern Munich.
With the former Barcelona manager heading for Bavaria this summer, Bayern are being linked with big names from around the globe. In this Wednesday edition of the B/R World Football Gossip Roundup, the name is a familiar one for Premier League fans, and the reported fee is huge.
Elsewhere, we have news on Inter's quest for Paulinho, two veteran defenders signing new contracts and AC Milan's interest in Didier Drogba.
Read on for all the details.
Bayern Munich Planning Bid for Luis Suarez?
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Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich are planning a bid for Liverpool's Uruguayan forward Luis Suarez, according to Spanish reports cited by Metro.
Former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola is set to take over as Bayern manager this summer. Suarez, 25, is reportedly Guardiola's top target.
Suarez joined Liverpool from Ajax in 2011.
Inter Milan Make Bid for Paulinho?
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Inter Milan have made a €15 million bid for Corinthians midfielder Paulinho, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport (via ESPN FC).
Inter reportedly placed the bid following midfielder Wesley Sneijder's move to Galatasaray.
Paulinho, 24, has made eight senior appearances for Brazil. He has also been linked with Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain.
Ashley Cole Signs Extension with Chelsea; Carles Puyol Re-Signs with Barcelona
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Veteran defender Ashley Cole (pictured) has signed a one-year contract extension with European champions Chelsea (via The Guardian).
Cole, 32, joined Chelsea from Arsenal in 2006. He had been linked with Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain.
Cole, an English international with 99 caps, said:
I have been able to fulfill nearly all my ambitions at Chelsea. I have won the Champions League, the League, I have won FA Cups here but of course you don't want to stop winning trophies and being at a big club, you are always fighting to win a trophy.
Being here for seven years and being at Arsenal before that playing for trophies, you never lose that hunger. I wanted to stay at Chelsea because we are always fighting and challenging for trophies. That desire and the will to want to win things have not gone.
Cole's previous contract would have expired at the end of the season.
Meanwhile, 34-year-old Spanish defender Carles Puyol has signed a new contract with FC Barcelona (Associated Press via FoxSports.com).
Puyol's new contract ties him to the club until 2016.
Manchester Clubs to Compete for Stoke City Keeper?
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Manchester United and Manchester City are both interested in Stoke City's Bosnian keeper Asmir Begovic, according to the Daily Mirror.
Begovic, 25, joined Stoke from Portsmouth for £3 million in 2010. He has been linked with Chelsea in the past.
Begovic would potentially provide competition for City's starting goalkeeper Joe Hart. At United, he would potentially replace David De Gea.
AC Milan Interested in Didier Drogba?
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AC Milan manager Massimiliano Allegri says Didier Drogba would be "welcome" at the club (via Sky Sports).
Drogba, a 34-year-old Ivorian forward, left Chelsea at the end of last season after leading the Blues to the Champions League title. He is reportedly considering a move away from Shanghai Shenhua less than a season after going to China.
"Champions of his calibre are very welcome," Allegri said. "(Milan vice-president Adriano) Galliani will know if the deal is feasible. I'm calm, the club is just thinking about what could help us out and what we could do about it."