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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 June 2006, 03:02 GMT 04:02 UK
Wednesday's gossip column
Domestic gossipWorld Cup gossipWorld Cup funnies

TRANSFER & OTHER DOMESTIC RUMOURS

Manchester United have launched a 25m swoop for Atletico Madrid's Spain striker Fernando Torres. (Daily Star)

Barcelona are expected to sign Chelsea striker Eidur Gudjohnsen for 8m within the next 24 hours, while Portugal defender Ricardo Carvalho could also be leaving Stamford Bridge. (Various)

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has stepped up his quest for a new left-back by launching a 10m move for Bayern Munich's Germany defender Philipp Lahm. (Daily Mail)

Blues winger Shaun Wright-Phillips has been offered a loan lifeline by Portsmouth - but Manchester City and Charlton are also keen. (The Sun)

Liverpool have been given the green light to buy Seville's 8m-rated right-back Daniel Alves but their offer has been rejected by the Spaniards. (The Sun, The Times)

Tottenham made a 2m offer for Blackburn midfielder Steven Reid on Tuesday which the Rovers board rejected. (The Guardian)

Birmingham are expected to beat Celtic and Charlton to the 1m signing of Spurs defender Calum Davenport. (Daily Mail)

Everton will complete the signing of Wolves defender Joleon Lescott after a payment schedule for the deal was finally completed. Wolves will receive 4m up front and a further 1m based on appearances. (Daily Mirror)

Sheffield United manager Neil Warnock is trying to buy former England midfielder Nicky Butt from Newcastle. (Daily Mail)

Magpies defender Robbie Elliott is set to leave to play in the Middle East. (Daily Express)

Manchester City are poised to sign Marseille midfielder Samir Nasri, 19, on a season-long loan. (Daily Mirror)

City midfielder Joey Barton is prepared to sit out the last year of his contract if the club do not improve the deal they have offered him. (Daily Mail)

Watford are interested in signing Everton left-back Gary Naysmith as they set about strengthening following promotion. (Daily Mail)

The Hornets and Reading are locked in a 750,000 battle with Southampton for Brentford defender Sam Sodje. (Daily Express)

New Crystal Palace manager Peter Taylor has made MK Dons striker Izale McLeod his top transfer target (Daily Express).

Manchester United's Quinton Fortune says he could still move to Celtic in the next 12 months despite rejecting a year-long deal to join the club. (Daily Record)

Rangers, meanwhile, have been told to up their offer for Lyon midfielder Jeremy Clement. The French side want 1m, not the 688,000 originally tabled. (Daily Record)

GERMANY GOSSIP

Wayne Rooney dominates the back pages again with most claiming the Football Association has vetoed England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson's plans to use him against Trinidad & Tobago on Thursday for political and legal reasons.

Several also suggest his return is likely to be delayed by a week because fitness coach Ivan Carminati has told Eriksson Rooney is only 70% match-fit.

The Sun claims Rooney's absence could mean a sensational World Cup debut for Theo Walcott, while the Daily Mirror believes both could finish the game playing together in attack.

Meanwhile, David Beckham has promised that England's stars will not be distracted by the presence of wives and girlfriends. (The Sun)

Trinidad & Tobago striker Dwight Yorke says Manchester United helped him get in shape for the tournament by allowing him to train with them for six weeks and adds that United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is desperate for them to beat England. (Various)

Trinidad & Tobago coach Leo Beenhakker says he would not want to be England boss "in a million years". (The Sun)

Australia striker John Aloisi says England have blundered by not choosing Socceroos coach Guus Hiddink as their new boss. (Daily Mirror)

Inter Milan winger Luis Figo will reconsider retirement plans after his flying start with Portugal. (Daily Mail)

Costa Rica striker Paulo Wanchope is hoping to secure a move to the German Bundesliga after the tournament. (The Guardian)

Football's governing body FIFA has promised to give the 32 teams at the World Cup more opportunity to take in fluids to combat the searing heat sweeping through Germany. ((Die Welt)

Ronaldo, meanwhile, gets a drubbing in the Brazilian press for his lacklustre display in the 1-0 win over Croatia. Former World Cup winner Tostao calls him "slow and weird" in the Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper. And arguably Brazil's best-known columnist, Juca Kfouri, said he "felt sorry for Ronaldo". He added: "It was a torture to see him like a wobbling heavyweight, staggering around the pitch as if what was going on around had nothing to do with him."

WORLD CUP FUNNIES

A piece of chewing gum allegedly spat out by Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann when Germany conceded their second goal to Costa Rica last week was offered for sale on eBay this week - but failed to attract the reserve price of around 2.50. (The Guardian)

Colleen McLoughlin's brother has taught his pet parrot to say: "Rooney, goal!" (The Sun).

There were red faces all round when at the start of the South Korea-Togo game the crowd had to listen to a repeat of the South Korean anthem instead of the African nation's. (Daily Mirror)

Ecuador coach Luis Fernando Suarez has been gearing up for his side's games by reading about former US Secretary of State and army general Colin Powell. (The Guardian, The Sun)

A group of football-mad musicians watching the World Cup in Germany have ordered a celebration curry to be flown in from a Somerset restaurant.

Members of the band Opposite World have been taken to the football tournament as a reward for getting their latest single into the dance charts.



SEE ALSO
Transfers - June 2006
13 Jun 06 |  Gossip & Transfers
Tuesday's gossip column
13 Jun 06 |  Gossip & Transfers


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