Paper News and Gossip: Manchester Utd Eye Arjen Robben, Liverpool Target Pedro

Ian Rodgers@irodgers66World Football Staff WriterMay 22, 2014

Paper News and Gossip: Manchester Utd Eye Arjen Robben, Liverpool Target Pedro

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    Louis van Gaal's continuing involvement with the Netherlands' World Cup preparations means that the Manchester United rumour mill will be turning for a while just yet.

    The new Manchester United boss will target a move for Bayern Munich star Arjen Robben after reportedly completing a deal for Toni Kroos, claims one article on Thursday.

    Elsewhere, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is weighing up a move for Barcelona star Pedro.

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

Manchester United Seek Arjen Robben Transfer After Toni Kroos Move 'Agreed'

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    Manchester United will turn their attention toward signing Arjen Robben after agreeing on a deal for his Bayern Munich team-mate Toni Kroos, reports Chris Wheeler of the Daily Mail.

    According to the article, Kroos is keen to work under former Bayern head coach Louis van Gaal again and will be joined by Southampton defender Luke Shaw next season.

    Wheeler also claims the recent contract signed by Robben at the Allianz Arena will not discourage Van Gaal from attempting to sign the Holland international.

    Meanwhile, one-time United target Ezequiel Garay is set to join Zenit St Petersburg from Benfica, reports the Daily Mirror.

Ryan Giggs 'Blocked' Thiago Alcantara Move as Phil Neville Questions Future

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    Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs single-handedly blocked the deal to bring Thiago Alcantara to the club last summer, claims Ben Jefferson of the Daily Express.

    The new Old Trafford assistant manager was a lone dissenting voice as former Old Trafford manager David Moyes asked his staff about the deal before sanctioning the move last summer, claims the report.

    Meanwhile, United first-team coach Phil Neville told Sky Sports he remains uncertain of his future at the club under Louis van Gaal (via Liam Prenderville of the Daily Mirror).

    The former United player was brought back to the club as part of David Moyes' backroom staff last year, but he is still in the dark over what his role, if any, will be next season.

    Neville is quoted as saying:

    There are obviously processes in place and he will have his structures and team, and you just hope you are a part of that.

    I was first-team coach last year.

    I am not sure what my role will be next year, but over the next couple of weeks I will find out and hopefully I will be involved at Manchester United.

Liverpool Weighing Up Transfer Move for Barcelona Star Pedro

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    Liverpool are considering a summer transfer move for Barcelona forward Pedro, reports David Maddock of the Daily Mirror.

    According to the article, the Spain international will be available at the right price as Luis Enrique overhauls the Camp Nou squad ahead of the new La Liga campaign.

    Meanwhile, Timothy Abraham of the Daily Star reports that the Reds will not be held to a ransom over a possible deal for Southampton midfielder Adam Lallana.

    Swansea City will reject any move by Liverpool or Arsenal for striker Michu this summer, claims David Wright of the Daily Express.

Manchester City Seek Yaya Toure Talks as Edin Dzeko Linked with Valencia

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    Manchester City are seeking clear-the-air talks with Yaya Toure to establish what his current issues with the club are, reports David McDonnell of the Daily Mirror.

    The Ivory Coast international has been at the centre of some bizarre events this week, as the article notes.

    And the Etihad Stadium club are now eager to discover what the real issue is, claims McDonnell.

    Antony Kastrinakis of The Sun (subscription required) reports that Toure wants a role at the Etihad Stadium beyond his playing days.

    Kastrinakis also claims that the problems between Toure and the club stem from a long-standing issue with City director of football Txiki Begiristain, stemming from their time together at Barcelona.

    Chris Wheeler of the Daily Mail claims that Toure's agent, Dimitry Seluk, is the driving force behind the current controversy rather than the player.

    Meanwhile, City striker Edin Dzeko has been linked with a move to Valencia, according to Paul Brown of the Daily Star.

    Martin Blackburn of The Sun claims that City are considering a move for Roma defender Mehdi Benatia.

Mikel Arteta and Thomas Vermaelen Linked with Fiorentina Moves

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    Fiorentina are considering a "double swoop" for Mikel Arteta and Thomas Vermaelen from Arsenal, claims Ben Jefferson of the Daily Express.

    Both players are entering the final years of their current contracts with the Gunners, and the Serie A side are looking to take advantage.

    Jeremy Wilson of the Daily Telegraph reports that Arsenal are looking at Serge Aurier as a possible replacement for Bacary Sagna.

    Meanwhile, Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Bernard is "still hopeful" of landing a move to Arsenal or Tottenham, reports Jefferson of the Daily Express.

Thibaut Courtois Says Chelsea Rivalry with Petr Cech Would Be 'Unhealthy'

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    Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois believes competing with Petr Cech for the No. 1 position at Stamford Bridge would be "unhealthy" for both men, reports Darren Lewis of the Daily Mirror.

    The Belgium international is on loan at Atletico Madrid and will play in the Champions League final against Real Madrid on Saturday.

    And Courtois is quoted as saying:

    The two of us want to play everything.

    Nobody will be happy to play in only the League Cup or FA Cup. Things are unclear at the moment.

    I have the biggest respect for Petr Cech. He is one of the best goalkeepers in the world so I think putting him and me in the same team is not the healthiest thing in the world.

    Meanwhile, Didier Drogba is unlikely to return to Chelsea, with Juventus looking likely to sign him after he left Galatasaray, reports Rhys Turrell of the Daily Star.

Former Southampton Chairman Urges Mauricio Pochettino to Be Cautious on Future

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    Former Southampton chairman Nicola Cortese has urged manager Mauricio Pochettino to consider his future carefully, reports Adrian Kajumba of the Daily Star.

    The former Argentina international has been strongly linked with taking over from Tim Sherwood at White Hart Lane, notes the article.

    But Cortese is quoted as saying:

    It is difficult for me to judge whether he potentially wants to leave or whether the offer from another club is really that good.

    That is beyond my knowledge, but he is ambitious and rightly so.

    When you plan a career, it is important to make the right decision at the right time. Often we have maybe seen people take too quick a step which ultimately backfires.

    But he has to make his own decision. He is a young manager. He has plenty of time to have a great career.