Liverpool issue Sterling warning, Real Madrid eye Courtois
Brendan Rodgers says club will not pay over the odds to keep Sterling, Man Utd take lead in race for Dani Alves
There's bad news for some of the Premier League's biggest clubs today. Arsenal's hopes of adding to their squad in the summer have taken a knock, Chelsea could face a fight to keep one of their prized assets and Liverpool are also facing a showdown with one of their stars:
• Contrary to some reports it seems Liverpool have yet to agree a new deal with Raheem Sterling prompting Brendan Rodgers to warn the player's representative, Aidy Ward, that the Anfield club will not be held to ransom. Rodgers insisted that Liverpool had offered Sterling a "wonderful deal" and added "we are certainly not a club that is going to give out way, way above what a player is worth at a certain time of his career", reports The Times.
• Man United may have got one over on Chelsea, after apparently convincing Real Madrid that goalkeeper David de Gea was not for sale, thus prompting the Spanish giants to turn their attentions to Blues custodian Thibaut Courtois. Chelsea are unwilling to sell the stopper, who spent three seasons on loan with Real's local rivals Atletico Madrid. However, the Daily Star reports: "Madrid could attempt to soften Jose Mourinho's stance by offering Raphael Varane as part of the deal, with the Portuguese coach a long-term admirer of the French defender."
• If Arsenal want to get their hands on Marco Verratti then they'll have to cough up £40m. According to the Daily Express Paris Saint-Germain see the 22-year-old midfielder as "a future star" and the man to assume Zlatan Ibrahimovic's mantle of greatness once he hangs up his boots. As a result, says the Express, the French champions "have placed a huge price tag on his head to deter suitors". Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is known to be a big fan of Verratti's but the Italian international's valuation may deter the Arsenal boss from making a move.
• If Metro is to be believed Manchester United will offer Dani Alves a three-year contract worth £100,000 per week this summer. The Barcelona defender is out of contract at the Camp Nou at the end of the season and the Brazilian is top of Louis van Gaal's wishlist. Metro claims the Dutch manager is ready to pay more than £15.6m over three years in order to add Alves to the United defence. Arsenal have also been linked to the 31-year-old in recent months but Metro says the offer from Old Trafford will blow the Gunners "out of the water".
• Liverpool "have been dealt a blow" in their pursuit of Burnley striker Danny Ings, reports the local Liverpool Echo. Apparently the Merseyside club were quietly confident that could agree a £4m deal with the Lancashire club but the paper says Burnley intend to play hard ball and settle for nothing less than £6.5m for Ings if the transfer fee stalemate goes to a tribunal.
• The latest club to be linked with Paul Pogba is Man City who, according to ESPN, see him as a replacement for Yaya Toure. The broadcaster says that the Sky Blues are increasingly resigned to losing their midfield talisman at the end of the season and have "earmarked" Pogba as Toure's replacement. Chelsea and Manchester United have also been linked with the French magician in recent weeks but City apparently want to land the young playmaker to "show that they mean business once again".
• The Daily Mail is one of several newspapers to report that West Ham United have terminated the contract of Ravel Morrison. The 22-year-old, described by the paper as "troubled" on account of his turbulent private life, has signed a pre-contract agreement with Lazio and is now a free agent. But the Mail points out that Morrison won't be able to play for the Italian side until next season because he has played in two countries - England and Wales (a loan spell at Cardiff) – already this season and Fifa regulations preclude a third country in the space of a season. The Mail says Morrison has signed a three-year offer worth "£500,000 a year plus bonuses".