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Last Updated: Thursday, 19 August, 2004, 01:18 GMT 02:18 UK
The gossip column
All the latest football gossip from Thursday's newspapers.

Jonathan Woodgate is poised to leave Newcastle United for Real Madrid in a shock 14m move. (Daily Mirror)

Birmingham want to sign Woodgate's Magpies team-mate Kieron Dyer on loan for the season with a view to a permanent move. (various)

And Blackburn have made an audacious bid to bring Newcastle captain Alan Shearer back to Ewood Park. (The Sun)

Southampton boss Paul Sturrock faces the sack if his side lose their next two Premiership games. (The Guardian)

But James Beattie will remain at St Mary's as Aston Villa, Charlton and Tottenham will not meet Southampton's 8m asking price. (The Guardian)

Manchester City have rejected Monaco's attempts to sign Nicolas Anelka on loan, but fear the approach has unsettled their striker. (The Guardian)

And City are ready to offer ex-France captain Marcel Desailly a pay-as-you play deal. (Daily Mail)

Bolton have won a race with Fiorentina to sign Liverpool striker El Hadji Diouf on loan. (The Sun)

Tottenham target Steve Finnan will stay at Liverpool because of the injury sustained by new Anfield signing Antonio Nunez. (various)

Everton are tracking Red Star Belgrade defender Milan Dudic. (The Guardian)

Wolves hope to sign Everton striker Duncan Ferguson, and the Blues are willing to release him. (Daily Mirror)

Juninho's switch from Middlesbrough to Celtic is on the verge of being completed. (Daily Record)

Cash-hit Inverness Caledonian Thistle are hoping that Celtic sign Juninho in time for Sunday's game at Pittodrie because it would boost their crowd. (Daily Record)

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