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Page last updated at 19:59 GMT, Friday, 15 August 2008 20:59 UK

Friday's gossip column

TransfersOther gossipAnd finally

BREAKING GOSSIP

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez came close to quitting last week, according to sources close to the Spanish manager. "He thought he was being underminded and was close to giving up". (Guillem Ballague website 2055 BST)

Tottenham striker Dimitar Berbatov is currently in Manchester to undergo a medical before joining Manchester United in deal worth 28 million. (Daily Mail 1525 BST)

Spurs could sign Zenit St Petersburg's Andrei Arshavin as early as Friday evening after the Russian club dropped their price tag. (setanta.com 1102 BST)

TRANSFER RUMOURS

Tottenham have joined Manchester City in the battle to sign Blackburn Rovers striker Roque Santa Cruz. (Daily Mirror)

Manchester City hope to win the race for Santa Cruz by increasing their bid to 15m and have also registered an interest in 10m-rated Real Zaragoza striker Diego Milito. (The Independent)

Chelsea will lodge a new 23m bid for Robinho after the Brazilian forward pleaded to be released by Real Madrid. (The Sun)

Everton are beating Newcastle in the race to sign Juventus midfield man Tiago after he was reportedly impressed by Goodison Park chairman Bill Kenwright. (Daily Mail)

606: DEBATE
Manchester United hope to unveil striker Dimitar Berbatov before Sunday's Premier League opener against Newcastle after agreeing a deal in principle with Tottenham. (Daily Star)

Spurs, however, would rather sell Berbatov to Barcelona for a cut-price fee after being angered by the way United have handled the deal. (The Sun)

Chelsea remain hopeful they will sign AC Milan's Brazil superstar Kaka but will have to wait until next season to complete the deal. (The Times)

Chelsea are ready to pay 8m to sign Manchester City's talented 18-year-old striker Daniel Sturridge. (Daily Mirror)

Olivier Kapo wants to quit Wigan only a month after arriving from Birmingham and Sunderland could offer the midfielder an escape route. (Daily Mirror).

Liverpool will offer Aston Villa a cut-price deal for Gareth Barry after the midfielder cup-tied himself for the group stage of the Champions League by playing in the Uefa Cup. (Daily Mirror)

Blackburn are ready to offer striker Robbie Fowler a short-term deal after including him in their team photograph. (The Sun)

Rangers are poised to sign Portsmouth midfield man Pedro Mendes in a 3m deal. (Daily Telegraph)

Cardiff have rejected a 3m bid for midfielder Joe Ledley from an unnamed club - with Everton known to have shown a strong interest. (The Sun)

West Brom have made a second bid to sign Charlton utility player Zheng Zhi with a 2m bid. (Daily Mirror)

Aston Villa are willing to pay 7m to sign Reading striker Kevin Doyle - but the Championship club is demanding 8m. (The Times)

Celtic have won the race against Rangers for Cardiff defender Glenn Loovens and he will complete the deal in Glasgow on Saturday. (Daily Record)

OTHER GOSSIP

Hull manager Phil Brown is on the verge of signing a new three-year deal that will treble his salary. (Daily Mail)

AND FINALLY

Paul Ince will remove the title of The Guv'nor from his next programme notes at Blackburn after it was used for the friendly against NAC Breda, saying: "I left that Guv'nor thing behind at Manchester United." (Daily Express)




see also
Thursday's gossip column
14 Aug 08 |  Gossip
Premier League ins and outs
15 Aug 08 |  Premier League
SPL ins and outs
15 Aug 08 |  Scottish Premier
Transfers - August 2008
15 Aug 08 |  Gossip


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