Transfer Clock: 49 days until the transfer window opens - All the latest gossip you need to know...
1) Arsenal have been linked with a surprise double swoop on Barcelona, focusing on Alexis Sanchez and Pedro. The interest was reported by The Mail, and is the top featured story in Spanish newspaper Sport. The Gunners have also previously been linked with Cristian Tello, with Arsene Wenger seen scouting at the Nou Camp back in January. Sanchez has scored an impressive 18 La Liga goals this season, and is claimed to be available as Barcelona seek to raise money to help pay for their own transfer targets. Juventus are also claimed to be interested in the Chilean. Barcelona agreeing to allow Pedro to leave would be far more surprising, and if the Gunners were to sign the pair, it would cost in excess of £50 million.
2) Chelsea are reported to have made a major step towards improving their strikeforce, with a deal agreed for Diego Costa of Atletico Madrid. The story was reported by SkySports News, who claim a £32 million transfer is expected to be formally announced in early June, ahead of the World Cup. Costa has been in sensational form this season for Atletico, and has a chance to sign off on a high note in the Champions League Final on May 24.
3) Rio Ferdinand will leave Manchester United at the end of the season, the club have confirmed on their official website. He said: "I have thought long and hard over the last few months about my future and, after 12 fantastic years playing for what I regard as the best club in the world, I have decided the time is right for me to move on." His contract expires at the end of June, and speculation will now begin as to his next move. The Express claim United are targeting Mats Hummels as a replacement for Ferdinand.
4) Liverpool have been given a potential boost in their pursuit of Adam Lallana, with the reports Southampton have a replacement lined up. The Mirror tout youngster Rafa Silva of Braga as a potential signing. Silva is just 20, and is described in the report at the Portuguese Eden Hazard. Liverpool are claimed by the Echo to have lodged a £20 million bid for Adam Lallana, whose place in England's World Cup squad was confirmed by Roy Hodgson yesterday.
5) Manchester United have been named as shock suitors for Real Madrid's Karim Benzema by The Mirror. The French striker is reported to be available for £30 million, with just one year remaining on his current contract. Arsenal have also been linked with him, and the paper report that Real are keen on getting a bidding war going between the two clubs. Whether United need the French international is another matter entirely.