Transfer Talk: Manchester United make £117m bid for Gareth Bale; Ezequiel Lavezzi heading to Liverpool for £8m; Arsenal target 'next Buffon'

The biggest transfer news and rumours on Wednesday 14 January

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The Independent Football

A staggering bid of £117m has been lodged with Real Madrid for Gareth Bale.

The Daily Star, citing 'sources in Spain', report that Manchester United have put in an opening bid for the Welshman to test Los Blancos' resolve.

LIVE: Latest January transfer news

The winger has come under scrutiny this season, with Real Madrid fans booing him for a perceived selfish style of play and even team-mates Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo making clear their frustration over the issue.

The policy of turning over the star names at the Bernabeu has raised hope the world's most expensive player could leave - although both the club and player have denied the possibility recently.

Liverpool will again move for Paris Saint-Germain forward Ezequiel Lavezzi, after the Ligue 1 club identified Nicolas Gaitan as a potential replacement.

Lavezzi has long been linked with a move to Anfield, even before he arrived in Paris. According to the Daily Express, Lavezzi could now cost the Reds just £8million, with PSG looking at Benfica winger Nicolas Gaitan as a replacement.

The paper reports that PSG also want to lower their wage bill with the 29-year-old former Napoli man one of their highest earners.

Jermain Defoe is set to make his return to the Premier League with Sunderland his next destination. The 32-year-old, who has been training with Spurs after deciding he no longer wants to play for Toronto FC, will move to the Stadium of Light with American striker Jozy Altidore going the other way.

Defoe has scored 11 goals in 16 matches in MLS but is keen for a return. The Sun report the deal will cost £14m in total, after fee, wages and bonuses are taken into account.

Manchester City could continue their big-spending January with a £20m move for Southampton striker Jay Rodriguez, who is also a target for Liverpool and Tottenham.

The Daily Mail report that despite City closing in on a £28m move for Swansea striker Wilfried Bony, they are also interested in a big money move for Rodriguez, who has not played since injuring his knee at the Etihad in April 2014.

Southampton could make a move for Rafa Silva, the £15m-rated Braga midfielder. according to the Daily Mirror. With Ronald Koeman's team chasing a Champions League spot, the Dutch coach knows he will need reinforcements to stay the course.

Spanish newspaper Marca report that West Ham are keen to make Alex Song's loan move from Barcelona permanent. The midfielder has been hugely impressive for the Hammers this season, and handed them a massive boost when he decided to retire from international duty and miss the African Cup of Nations.

The Express also report that Arsenal are looking at highly-rated Genoa keeper Mattia Perin. The Italian, 22, is lauded as the next Gianluigi Buffon in his home nation and Arsenal are considering a £12m move.

Arsene Wenger appears to have lost faith in Wojciech Szczesny, picking David Ospina for the win against Stoke.

Finally, Manchester United fans can breathe a big sigh of relief. Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon insists his team have no need for goalkeeper David De Gea - because Iker Casillas is better.

"We already have the best goalkeeper in the world, which is Casillas. We also have Keylor Navas. I don’t see any need to get any other goalkeeper," said Calderon.

"De Gea is perhaps also one of the best goalkeepers in the world but Casillas can still be at the top for three or four years. I don't see any need [for De Gea]."

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