World Football Gossip Roundup: Didier Drogba, Mario Balotelli, Kaka, David Villa

Michael CummingsWorld Football Lead WriterJanuary 28, 2013

World Football Gossip Roundup: Didier Drogba, Mario Balotelli, Kaka, David Villa

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    Don't look now, but Galatasaray is turning into a destination club in European football.

    First, the Turkish champs signed Dutch midfielder Wesley Sneijder from Inter Milan. Now, if the reports are correct, Ivorian striker Didier Drogba is coming too.

    That story leads this Monday edition of the B/R World Football Gossip Roundup. Inside, we also have news on Mario Balotelli, Lewis Holtby, Kaka, David Villa and the state of Arsenal's board.

    Keep reading for all the details.

Galatasaray Announce Negotiations with Didier Drogba

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    Turkish champions Galatasaray have announced they are in negotiations to sign Ivorian striker Didier Drogba (via The Guardian).

    Drogba, 34, left Chelsea last May after leading the Blues to the Champions League title. He signed with Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua but trained with Chelsea again before the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations.

    CNN Turk reported on Sunday that Drogba had already signed a one-and-a-half-year deal with Galatasaray. On Monday, Galatasaray announced the negotiations in a statement to the Istanbul Stock Exchange.

    Galatasaray recently signed Dutch midfielder Wesley Sneijder from Inter Milan. The Turkish champs have been drawn with German club Schalke in the Champions League's round of 16.

Mario Balotelli Set to Join AC Milan?

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    Mario Balotelli has reportedly thrown a farewell party and is expected to join AC Milan from Manchester City, according to The Sun.

    Milan will reportedly pay £17 million for Balotelli, who joined City for £22 million from Inter Milan in 2010. Milan vice president Adriano Galliani had recently said the deal was "99.9 percent" dead.

    Manchester City assistant coach David Platt cast doubt on the reports. He said (via ESPN FC):

    "It's a shame Robbie's (manager Roberto Mancini) not here. He might know more than me but as far as we are concerned I think he is still a Manchester City player. I don't think there is anything is going to happen."

Lewis Holtby to Join Tottenham Hotspur Early?

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    German midfielder Lewis Holtby will join Tottenham Hotspur from Schalke this month instead of in the summer, according to ESPN FC.

    Holtby, 22, had previously agreed to join Spurs in the summer on a free transfer after his contract with Schalke expires. With Brazilian midfielder Sandro injured, Tottenham offered to pay Schalke to bring Holtby to London early.

    Meanwhile, Schalke are expected to sign Brazilian winger Michel Bastos from Lyon after the Holtby deal concludes. 

Real Madrid Still in Talks with AC Milan over Kaka?

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    Real Madrid say they are still in discussions with AC Milan over a move for Brazilian midfielder Kaká (via Sky Sports).

    Kaká, 30, joined Real Madrid from AC Milan in 2009. The 2007 FIFA World Player of the Year has been linked with a return to Italy after seeing limited playing time at Real this season.

    Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani has been quoted as saying the deal is off, but Real assistant coach Aitor Karanka has said otherwise.

    "We are still negotiating over the Kaka situation and we'll see how it ends. Otherwise he will be an extra man for the squad," Karanka said. 

Arsenal Still Want David Villa? Thierry Henry Wants Alisher Usmanov Takeover?

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    Arsenal will increase their efforts to sign Spain international striker David Villa from Barcelona, according to Metro.

    Villa, 31, has seen limited opportunities in Barcelona's squad this season, but started the 5-1 home win over Osasuna on Sunday in the league.

    Barcelona are thought to want £10 million for Villa.

    Meanwhile, Arsenal shareholder Alisher Usmanov says club legend Thierry Henry is "pushing" him to buy out the club (via Daily Telegraph).

    Usmanov, a Russian billionaire, currently owns a 30-percent stake in the club.