Paper Gossip: Arsenal Linked with Balotelli, Chelsea in Fabregas Transfer Chase

Ian RodgersWorld Football Staff WriterJune 2, 2014

Paper Gossip: Arsenal Linked with Balotelli, Chelsea in Fabregas Transfer Chase

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    Alastair Grant/Associated Press

    Former Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli could be on the verge of a return to the Premier League with Arsenal, according to reports on Monday.

    The Gunners are considering a move for the AC Milan and Italy forward, who is being lined up for a move away from the San Siro Stadium by the Serie A club.

    Elsewhere, there are conflicting reports on Arsenal's alleged interest in former star Cesc Fabregas, and one newspaper claims Chelsea have joined the chase for the Barcelona star.

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

Arsenal Consider Transfer Move for AC Milan Striker Mario Balotelli

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    Arsenal are weighing up a move for AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli, reports John Cross of the Daily Mirror.

    According to the article, the former Manchester City striker is surplus to requirements at the Serie A giants, and he is looking for a return to the Premier League.

    Cross claims that news has placed the Gunners on "red alert" over a possible swoop for the Italy international.

Conflicting Reports on Arsenal Interest in Cesc Fabregas as Chelsea Join Chase

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    MANU FERNANDEZ/Associated Press

    Monday's back pages have mixed messages on the possible return of Cesc Fabregas to Arsenal.

    John Cross of the Daily Mirror reports that the Gunners will face competition for the Barcelona star from Manchester City.

    But Mark Irwin of The Sun (subscription required) claims that the Emirates Stadium club do not want to sign their former player.

    The article claims that Arsene Wenger views Fabregas as being "too similar" to current Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil.

    Rob Draper of the Daily Mail believes that the rejection by Arsenal will put Chelsea and Liverpool in the frame for the capture of the Spain international.

Liverpool Move for Adam Lallana 'Stalls' as Alberto Moreno Switch Nears

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    Liverpool's hopes of landing Adam Lallana from Southampton have stalled, reports Tony Barrett of The Times (subscription required).

    The England international had looked set for a switch to Anfield to mirror the imminent arrival of Saints team-mate Rickie Lambert.

    However, Southampton are holding out for £30 million for Lallana, while the Reds made a final offer of £25 million on Friday, claims Barrett.

    Meanwhile, David Anderson of the Daily Mirror reports that Liverpool will take advantage of Alberto Moreno's exclusion from the Spain World Cup squad to wrap up a move for the full-back.

Manchester City Offer Frank Lampard Short-Term Deal Before New York Move

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    Manchester City are set to offer Frank Lampard a short-term deal to prepare him for a reported switch to New York City, claims Darren Lewis of the Daily Mirror.

    The England international is set to leave Chelsea for the MLS with the part-City-owned franchise after a hugely successful time at Stamford Bridge.

    But with the next North American season not due to begin until March 2015, City will offer Lampard a six-month deal to maintain his fitness, claims Lewis.

    Meanwhile, Simon Jones of the Daily Mail reports that Manchester City are hoping to complete the deal for FC Porto midfielder Fernando before the end of the week.

Roy Hodgson Urges England to Belt out National Anthem for World Cup

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    Roy Hodgson has urged England to sing the National Anthem with gusto before their World Cup matches, reports Martin Lipton of the Daily Mirror.

    The Three Lions manager wants his players to show their determination with a passionate rendition of God Save the Queen before the games against Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica.

    Hodgson is quoted as saying:

    You rarely play an international match against opponents and they haven’t got their hands on their hearts, singing their anthem as loud as they can.

    We made the decision very early on, that we’d do what every other team does.

    The thing is we are proud, we are happy to be wearing that England shirt, so when the National Anthem comes up it's an obvious one for me that we sing it. My hope is that they will all sing it.

    Meanwhile, Robin Cottle of the Daily Star has excited English football fans by claiming that England will stage the 2018 World Cup finals if allegation of corruption in the bidding process for the tournament in 2022 have foundation.

Spain Striker Diego Costa Winning Fitness Battle for World Cup Finals

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    Paul White/Associated Press

    Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa is winning his fitness battle for the World Cup finals, reports The Sun (subscription required).

    The Spain international picked up a hamstring problem in the final game of the La Liga season at Barcelona, and lasted just minutes of the Champions League final against Real Madrid.

    However, the forward is quoted as saying:

    I hope to have some minutes on the pitch against El Salvador in Washington.

    I have been working with the physios—and I feel very good. I am looking forward to going to the World Cup and I am feeling very happy.

    Our aim is to win it and we will be fighting very hard for that.

Inter Milan Target Premier League Strikers Javier Hernandez and Fernando Torres

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    Inter Milan are hoping to persuade Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez to join them on loan ahead of a permanent £10 million switch, claims Simon Jones of the Daily Mail.

    According to the article, the Mexico international is looking for more first-team starts after failing to make a regular impact on the Old Trafford starting XI.

    Now Inter want to bring Hernandez and Chelsea striker Fernando Torres to the San Siro for next season, although Jones claims that Valencia are also monitoring the pair.

Barcelona Eye Transfer Move for Fiorentina Winger Juan Cuadrado

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    Barcelona are considering a move for Fiorentina winger Juan Cuadrado, claims Bruce Archer of the Daily Star.

    The Colombia international has also been watched by Arsenal and Liverpool, according to the article, but now Luis Enrique is weighing up a swoop for the 26-year-old.

    However, Archer claims that an additional complication for a proposed deal comes from the joint ownership of the player by Udinese and Fiorentina.