Bale faces Real backlash: The Daily Mirror reports that Bale faces walking into a "potential Real Madrid dressing room backlash" which could turn his dream move "sour". Claims from Spain, the paper says, suggest that the Tottenham star's arrival in Madrid will not be met by universal smiles, with Iker Casillas and Sergio Ramos among those players who have questioned their club's pursuit of the wide man.
Paper Round's view: Poor Bale, he hasn't even signed on the dotted line yet already he's facing problems. This story has more than a whiff of speculation about it though - the 'sources', who were apparently at a dinner in a Spanish restaurant in Los Angeles during Real’s current pre-season tour of the US and overheard the dissenting voices, are unnamed, while the report's claim that Cristiano Ronaldo's unhappiness at losing his title as the world's most expensive player is another issue that may confront Bale is hardly based on solid evidence. Still, if true, Bale can at least console himself with his truckload of cash.
- - -
Spurs and Real still disagree over Bale fee: Fresh talks over Bale's transfer to Madrid have taken place, but the two clubs are still £18m apart in their valuation of the player, according to a report in the Daily Telegraph. Spurs chairman Daniel Levy and his Spanish counterpart Florentino Perez met in the US but there was only "limited progress", with Perez offering £86m and Levy standing firm on his £104m valuation.
Paper Round's view: As the Telegraph's headline says, "the saga drags on". There could be a glimmer of hope though, with the fact that Levy even met with Perez for a second time, suggesting that he may be willing to meet the Spanish club halfway and get a deal done. Fingers crossed.
- - -
Suarez told to train alone: The day's biggest story - which is covered in more detail here - features in most papers and contains quotes from Brendan Rodgers made on Wednesday night in which he blasts Suarez for a lack of respect towards Liverpool. The Reds boss has also told Suarez to train away from the squad until he issues a public apology, with the Independent going particularly hard with the headline: 'Luis Suarez left to rot in the reserves by Liverpool'.
Paper Round's view: If he wasn't already, Suarez is certainly now one of, if not the most unpopular players in the country and there will be little sympathy for him following Rodgers' scathing assessment of the situation and his banishment to a far corner of the training ground. What does this latest development mean for his potential transfer to Arsenal? Nothing new, other than if and when he does go, he won't be as sharp as he should be.
- - -
United in talks over Fellaini and Baines: Manchester United are in talks with Everton over a move for Marouane Fellaini and are considering a £30m bid for the Belgian and his team-mate Leighton Baines, reports the Guardian. The paper claims that United boss David Moyes's interest in Fellaini is heightened because he believes his top target Cesc Fabregas is out of reach, but the Daily Mail has a different spin entirely, saying United's pursuit of Fellaini will not signal an end to their interest in the Barcelona midfielder.
Paper Round's view: Moyes must be aware that the closure of the transfer window is fast approaching and, considering he is yet to sign a big name since taking over from Sir Alex Ferguson, the pressure to add to his squad is building. However, the signings of Fellaini and Baines are hardly panic buys. Moyes will be reluctant to burn bridges with his former club, meaning Everton are likely to get what they want for the pair.
- - -
Chelsea tell Barca not to come back for Luiz: Chelsea have informed Barcelona officials not to bother returning with another bid for defender David Luiz after an opening £34.5m offer for the defender was rejected, reports the Daily Mail. Barca have made the Brazilian their top target and the Catalan club firmly believe Luiz wants to join them and will press ahead, the paper claims. Barca have lined up Dan Agger of Liverpool as an alternative option.
Paper Round's view: This story is not moving much - Chelsea have slapped a £40m price tag on Luiz's head, Barca are unwilling to go that far. Agger could well just be a pawn in the story, with Barca hoping to scare Chelsea into a sale if they indicate they are capable of capturing the Dane.
- - -
Toon's Gomis bid hits skids: Newcastle's attempts to strengthen their forward line have hit a snag with Lyon accusing Marseille of derailing an agreed £8m deal for their striker Bafetimbi Gomis. The Daily Mirror reports that Marseille made contact with Gomis right in the middle of negotiations between Lyon and Newcastle.
Paper Round's view: Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has said a move to Marseille would not be as good for Gomis's career as a move to Tyneside, and it's difficult to argue with that. Unless Marseille can offer the player something Newcastle cannot in terms of money, surely the lure of the Premier League will prove too great and Newcastle will get their man.
- - -