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Page last updated at 07:44 GMT, Sunday, 7 December 2008

Sunday's gossip column

TransfersOther gossipAnd finally

SUNDERLAND GOSSIP

Roy Keane and chairman Niall Quinn communicated only by text message at Sunderland before Keane quit. Alternatively, if the message needed more than 160 characters, the pair used the club secretary as a go-between. (Sunday Times)

There have been 33 "serious applicants" for Keane's old job at the Stadium of Light. (Various)

Gerard Houllier heads Quinn's list of contenders for the post, with the club ready to back any new manager with 30m in transfer funds. (Sunday Mirror)

TRANSFER GOSSIP

Harry Redknapp wants to bring 20m Liverpool flop Robbie Keane back to Tottenham Hotspur, and expects to pay just 5m to get him. (Various)

Middlesbrough winger Stewart Downing is also set to sign for Spurs in a deal worth 12m. (Mail on Sunday)

Valencia striker David Villa's agent will fly to England this week to seal a 52m January move to Manchester City. (News of the World)

City will also tie up a 20m deal for French star Franck Ribery next month. (Sunday Express)

Chelsea and Manchester United have joined the race to sign Hearts captain Christophe Berra. Fulham are also keen. (Sunday Times)

Manchester United's Brazilian midfielder Anderson is touting for a move to Jose Mourinho's Inter Milan in January. (News of the World)

United are now favourites to sign Lyon striker Karim Benzema after Real Madrid ruled out a move. However, Lyon want nearly 90m for the 20-year-old. (Sunday Express)

West Brom want to take Arsenal's teenage Mexican striker Carlos Vela on loan. (News of the World)

Aston Villa striker Marlon Harewood is being lined up for a 4m move to Stoke City. (News of the World)

Newcastle's squad are worried owner Mike Ashley will try to offload as many players as he can in a January fire sale, to raise funds for manager Joe Kinnear, who has Roma star John Arne Riise in his sights, among others. (News of the World)

Ajax are ready to make a January bid for Celtic striker Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink. (Sunday Express)

Rangers will let Christian Dailly leave for free in January if he can find a new club. (Sunday Express)

Celtic could move for West Brom left-back Paul Robinson if Norwegian Erlend Hanstveit does not impress on trial. (Sunday Express)

Dinamo Kiev are set to offer 250,000 for Hibs' Moroccan striker Abdessalam Benjeloun. (Sunday Express)

OTHER FOOTBALL GOSSIP

Blackburn manager Paul Ince will discover his future at Ewood Park within the next 48 hours. (Sunday Express)

Manchester United have opened talks on a new 40m deal to keep Cristiano Ronaldo at the club for the next five years. (Sunday Express)

Chelsea boss Luiz Felipe Scolari could be set for an almighty row with owner Roman Abramovich after the club edited Scolari's criticisms of club transfer policy out of a transcript of a Q&A with fans earlier in the week. (Mail on Sunday)

Didier Drogba and Joe Cole have seen their contract negotiations at Chelsea put on hold as Abramovich tightens the purse strings at Stamford Bridge. (News of the World)

Abramovich has seen his most important stock market investment, steel producer Evraz, rescued by a $1.8bn (1.2bn) loan from the Russian government, as concerns grow about how hard the Chelsea owner has been hit by the credit crunch. (Observer)

Arsenal's new chief executive Ivan Gazidis will consider tearing up long-term sponsorship deals with Emirates and Nike worth 112m when he starts at the club. Gazidis believes he can negotiate more profitable contracts. (News of the World)

Rio Ferdinand will retire when the four years remaining on his current Manchester United contract expire, at the age of 34. (News of the World)

Avram Grant could be in line for a shock return to Portsmouth if a group of South African investors seal a 50m takeover at Fratton Park. (News of the World)

That Pompey takeover is at "an advanced stage" with current boss Tony Adams thought to be on very thin ground if the deal goes through. (Observer)

Danny Mills, still a Manchester City player despite being out of the game since last playing on loan at Derby in January, will retire because of a persistent knee injury. (News of the World)

Richard Money is set to leave Newcastle's backroom staff to become new manager of Swindon Town. (News of the World)

Sir Alex Ferguson has pledged to spearhead the the campaign to get the Scotland v England fixture back on the international calendar. (various)

AND FINALLY

Scolari has warned top Chelsea players - many earning more than 100,000 a week - not to end up skint. "Some players only think about spending money for the day. After 10 years they have spent too much money ... if they invest wisely they won't have a problem." (News of the World)

Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech has hailed Communism as the reason he got into sport. Seven-year-old Cech was spending all his time taking advantage of Czechoslovakia's many sports programmes, playing ice hockey and football, when the Velvet Revolution brought democracy to the country in 1989. "The problem is that kids now are spending all their time on a Playstation." (Sunday Telegraph)

Milan striker Marco Borriello is said to be "hurt" after girlfriend Belen Rodriguez told a reality TV show he "fundamentally lacks intelligence". (Observer)



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see also
Saturday's gossip column
06 Dec 08 |  Gossip
Friday's gossip column
05 Dec 08 |  Gossip
Thursday's gossip column
04 Dec 08 |  Gossip
Wednesday's gossip column
03 Dec 08 |  Gossip
Tuesday's gossip column
02 Dec 08 |  Gossip
Monday's gossip column
01 Dec 08 |  Gossip
Transfers - December 2008
05 Dec 08 |  Football


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