Paper Gossip: Van Gaal to Man Utd 'In 24 Hours,' Real Madrid Eye Suarez Transfer

Ian Rodgers@irodgers66World Football Staff WriterMay 15, 2014

Paper Gossip: Van Gaal to Man Utd 'In 24 Hours,' Real Madrid Eye Suarez Transfer

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    Peter Dejong/Associated Press

    A new era is set to dawn at Manchester United over the next 24 hours, according to reports in the newspapers on Thursday.

    Louis van Gaal is expected to be confirmed as the new Old Trafford manager, with Ryan Giggs as his assistant after the United winger was pictured at a hotel in Holland on Wednesday.

    Real Madrid are still pursuing a move for Liverpool striker Luis Suarez, although the Uruguay international has played down those reports.

    But who else is making the headlines on Thursday? Read on to find out more.

Van Gaal to Be Named Manchester Utd Manager, with Ryan Giggs as No. 2

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    Sang Tan/Associated Press

    Manchester United are set to name Louis van Gaal as their new manager within the next 24 hours, reports David McDonnell of the Daily Mirror.

    According to the article, the Netherlands head coach has already signed the deal to succeed David Moyes at Old Trafford.

    Van Gaal will name Ryan Giggs as his assistant after the pair met at a hotel in Holland on Wednesday, claims McDonnell.

Liverpool Striker Luis Suarez Plays Down Real Madrid Transfer Speculation

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    Clint Hughes/Associated Press

    Liverpool striker Luis Suarez has shrugged off speculation linking him with a move to Real Madrid, reports Charles Perrin of the Daily Express.

    According to the article, the Uruguay international is a potential target for the Bernabeu club, while Paul Joyce of the Express claims Barcelona maintain an interest.

    But the Anfield star insists that recreating history with Uruguay at the World Cup is his sole focus at the moment.

    Suarez is quoted as saying:

    My focus is on the World Cup now.

    Everyone remembers the last World Cup we won in Brazil. But that is the past.

    I don't know if it was a miracle, in football you never know what will happen.

    Suarez also claims there is no release clause in his deal with Liverpool, reports Nick Lustig of the Daily Star.

Real Madrid Striker Karim Benzema on Arsenal's Radar Once More

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    Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

    Arsenal will make another attempt to prise Karim Benzema from Real Madrid this summer, reports Sami Mokbel of the Daily Mail.

    Mokbel notes that Gunners manager Arsene Wenger has previously tried to sign the France international, and he will make a further enquiry after the Champions League final.

    But the article claims the next attempt could be a successful one with Benzema having one year left on his Bernabeu contract.

Arsenal Star Jack Wilshere Reveals Phone Call to Paul Scholes over TV Criticism

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    Steve Bardens/Getty Images

    Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere approached Paul Scholes over his criticism of the England international earlier in the season, reports John Cross of the Daily Mirror.

    In his role as a post-match analyst for Sky Sports earlier this season, the Old Trafford legend claimed that Wilshere had not improved since the age of 17, notes the article.

    The Gunners star requested Scholes' number from Gary Neville via Twitter and had a lengthy conversation with the former Old Trafford midfielder.

    Wilshere is quoted as saying:

    We had quite a good chat. He is entitled to his opinion; I just wanted to know...

    If it had come from a less respected player, I could say, ‘What are you talking about,’ but it came from Paul Scholes! So I wanted to get to the bottom of it.

    I spoke to him; he explained it a bit better and told me what he thought I should work on.

    For me, he's the best English midfielder of all time.

Romelu Lukaku to Be Offered New Chelsea Deal as David Luiz Linked with Bayern

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    Matthias Schrader/Associated Press

    Chelsea are set to offer striker Romelu Lukaku a new contract at the club, reports Chris McKenna of the Daily Star.

    The Belgium international has been on loan at Everton this season and was widely expected to leave Stamford Bridge this summer, notes the article.

    But Jose Mourinho is poised to hand Lukaku a new deal after the World Cup, with the possibility of sending him out on loan again, claims McKenna.

    Meanwhile, Chelsea defender David Luiz has been linked with a £25 million move to Bayern Munich, reports Simon Jones of the Daily Mail.

Mauricio Pochettino 'Wants £9M' to Take over at Tottenham Hotspur

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    Sang Tan/Associated Press

    Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino wants £9 million to succeed Tim Sherwood at Tottenham Hotspur, reports Rob Beasley of The Sun (subscription required).

    The Saints boss has been strongly linked with the vacancy at White Hart Lane, and he is looking for a three-year deal worth £3 million per annum to take over at Spurs, claims the report.

    Meanwhile, Liverpool are concerned that the possible appointment of Pochettino at Tottenham could scupper their hopes of signing Adam Lallana, claims Gary Jones of the Daily Star.

Benfica Suffer 'European Curse' of Guttman Again After Sevilla Win Europa League

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    Francisco Seco/Associated Press

    Benfica saw their hopes of Europa League glory end in a penalty shoot-out defeat to Sevilla on Wednesday night.

    Ashley Clements of the Daily Mail reports that the curse of Bela Guttman has again played its part in denying the Portuguese club a European trophy.

    Benfica lost their eighth successive European final against the La Liga club in Turin, 52 years after their last continental trophy.

    Clements notes that former Benfica boss Guttman approached the club over a pay rise after guiding the team to the 1962 European Cup.

    However, the Benfica hierarchy refused to sanction any increase in pay, prompting Guttman to quit and, according to legend, he placed a curse on the Portuguese giants.

Man City Star Samir Nasri Set to Quit International Arena After World Cup Snub

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    David Rogers/Getty Images

    Samir Nasri is set to quit international football after being omitted from the France World Cup squad, reports Neil McLeman of the Daily Mirror.

    The Manchester City midfielder was left out of the French squad for the finals in Brazil by head coach Didier Deschamps, after also missing out on the 2010 World Cup.

    Nasri is quoted as saying:

    It’s a little bit hard to accept.

    I need to take some time to think about the national team because it’s been twice now that they take away a World Cup from me.

    But I must confess, I knew before [the announcement]. Sometimes you have the feeling, when you call to speak to the boss and he doesn't want to speak to you, you know you’re not going to the World Cup.