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Last Updated: Friday, 18 January 2008, 15:15 GMT
Friday's gossip column
Transfer rumoursOther gossipAnd finally ...

BREAKING GOSSIP

606: DEBATE

Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill has rubbished reports that Jermain Defoe has had talks with the club. "It's absolutely untrue," he said. (BBC Radio West Midlands 1513 GMT)

Tottenham have strongly denied that striker Darren Bent is for sale and that the club is "in the market for any strikers". (tottenhamhotspur.com 1444 GMT)

Celtic will reject a 400,000 bid for Derek Riordan from Burnley as they hold out for more. (thisislondon.co.uk 1426 GMT)

George Gillett is to mull over whether to buy out Liverpool co-owner Tom Hicks with the backing of Dubai International Capital. (Guardian, 1230 GMT)

Argentine teenager Franco di Santo, who holds an Italian passport, is set for a move to Chelsea from Chilean club Audax. (thesoccerblog.com, 1159 GMT)

Middlesbrough boss Gareth Southgate insists he does not want Stewart Downing to leave and has had no offers for the winger. (Middlesbrough Gazette 1220 GMT)

West Ham and Fulham are interested in signing Hertha Berlin striker Marko Pantelic. (sportinglife.com 1133 GMT)

Tottenham may be encouraged in their attempts to sign midfielder Tiago from Juventus after the player said it would be "best" if he left the Italian club. (Goal.com 1110 GMT)

Charlton winger Jerome Thomas has yet to agree a new deal with the club and Derby or Middlesbrough could pounce. (thisislondon.co.uk 1051 GMT)

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has not ruled out Tottenham target Fred leaving in the January transfer window. (Press Association 0933 GMT)

TRANSFER RUMOURS

Newcastle boss Kevin Keegan is wasting no time getting involved in the transfer market and has targeted Jermain Defoe and Shaun Wright-Phillips. (Various)

Deco, Scott Brown, Daniel van Buyten and Wes Brown are also on Keegan's 'money-no-object' wanted list. (Daily Telegraph)

But Defoe has been at Aston Villa's training ground with a view to sealing a 10m move from Tottenham. (Daily Mirror)

Aston Villa are eyeing Steaua Bucharest's 6ft 5in Dorin Goian and Tottenham's Pascal Chimbonda in their search for a defender. (Daily Telegraph)

Villa are also vying to sign defender Nedum Onuoha for 6m from Manchester City. (The Sun)

Everton are keen on Barcelona striker Santiago Ezquerro. (Daily Telegraph)

Liverpool could raid Spain again as they look at Athletic Bilbao defender Fernando Amorebieta and Javi Martinez, while Gabriel Heinze is still a possible arrival. (Daily Telegraph)

Fulham are to add United States striker Eddie Johnson from Kansas City Wizards and defender Brede Hangeland of FC Copenhagen to their ranks. (Daily Mirror)

Celtic aim to lure midfielder Mark Noble from West Ham. (Daily Mirror)

Neil Lennon is unhappy at Nottingham Forest and Ipswich are vying with Stoke to land the midfielder. (Daily Mirror)

Manchester City striker Rolando Bianchi has an escape route out of the club with Espanyol and Lazio possible options. (Daily Mirror)

Charlton have been told to increase their 1m-plus bid if they want to sign Burnley striker Andy Gray. (Sun)

Spurs boss Juande Ramos signed Russia striker Alexander Kerzhakhov while at Seville and could sign the player - offered to West Ham and Manchester City - again. (Various)

Tottenham's hopes of signing Brazilian striker Fred have been dealt a blow after the club and player failed to agree personal terms. (Times)

Portsmouth are set to offload defender Djimi Traore to French side Rennes. (Various)

Sunderland want Olivier Kapo from Birmingham but Wigan are also interested in the midfielder. (Daily Mail)

Rangers boss Walter Smith could move for West Ham's out-of-favour defender Christian Dailly now that Ugo Ehiogu looks set to move to Sheffield United. (Daily Record)

However, Dailly has already turned down a move back to Scotland for family reasons (Scottish Sun).

Wigan want Motherwell forward Ross McCormack, who has been targeted by Middlesbrough (Scottish Sun).

OTHER GOSSIP

Chelsea's recent 15m recruit Nicolas Anelka has told fellow striker Didier Drogba to stay at the club and not to make the same mistake he did in leaving the Premier League. (Various)

The Republic of Ireland are keen to make former Liverpool boss Gerrard Houllier their new coach. (Daily Mail)

AND FINALLY

QPR owner Flavio Briatore said he was part of Bernie Ecclestone's bid to buy Chelsea but missed out to Roman Abramovich. He now says he will take QPR into the Champions League in four years. (Daily Mail)

Commitment seems to be a lost word for Portsmouth's new signing Lassana Diarra. On arrival from Arsenal he said: "The people at Portsmouth know I will not spend my life at this club. If I shine, if a really big club wants me, I know that everything will go well." (Various)



SEE ALSO
Transfers - January 2008
17 Jan 08 |  Gossip
Thursday's gossip column
17 Jan 08 |  Gossip


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