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Page last updated at 18:14 GMT, Thursday, 11 December 2008

Thursday's gossip column

TransfersOther gossipAnd finally


Chelsea have firmly rejected the suggestion defender Alex has put in a transfer request. (Press Association, 1810 GMT)

Middlesbrough boss Gareth Southgate says he was "amused" by claims Chelsea had made an 8m bid for striker Tuncay. (Press Association, 1800 GMT)


Former Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier will be on Sunderland's shortlist for their vacant manager's job and is being given serious consideration for the post. (The Sun)

Houllier, currently technical director at France's development academy in Clarefontaine, is desperate to return to England's Premier League. (Daily Express)

Rangers assistant boss Ally McCoist - a former Sunderland striker - has also been linked with the post at the Stadium of Light, although he has been earmarked as the successor to manager Walter Smith at Ibrox. (Daily Express)

Black Cats chairman Niall Quinn is still sifting through the pile of more than 30 applications and is hoping to cut down the number of candidates to 10 by the weekend. (The Sun)

Quinn will not rush the process to find the right replacement for former boss Roy Keane and is happy to give caretaker boss Ricky Sbragia the chance to show he is up to taking the job permanently. (The Times)

Sunderland's majority shareholder Ellis Short will have an input in the search for a new boss but the shortlisting and interviewing process will be led by Quinn. (The Times)

Dutch coach Co Adriaanse has ruled himself out of the running for the Black Cats post. (The Times)

Sunderland officials have contacted former Brescia coach Serse Cosmi about the vacant position. (Daily Star)


Chelsea boss Luiz Felipe Scolari is urging the Blues to make a 6m offer for Amir Zaki, currently on loan at Wigan from Zamalek. (The Independent)

Wigan do not have a binding fixed-price option to sign Egypt striker Zaki permanently but had hoped to pair him with his compatriot, Middlesbrough frontman Mido, if Emile Heskey leaves for Aston Villa in January. (The Independent)

Brazilian defender Alex has asked to leave Chelsea and AC Milan and Sevilla have already expressed an interest in the 10m-rated centre-back. (The Sun)

Greek side Panathinaikos also want Alex and have already asked about signing him. (The Independent)

Chelsea have agreed a 4m deal for SC Braga striker Orlando Sa but the Portuguese club hope to keep him for the rest of the season. (The Independent)

Blues boss Scolari is also keen on Fluminese defender Thiago Silva, available on a free transfer after running down his contract, but faces competition from Inter Milan, AC Milan and Villarreal. (The Independent)

Celtic are set to make a cut-price 5m move for West Ham's Wales striker Craig Bellamy. (The Sun)

Manchester City have also been alerted by the Hammers' decision to make Bellamy available for 6m. (Daily Mirror)

City are poised to make a 50m offer for Liverpool striker Fernando Torres but accept the Spanish striker is unlikely to want to leave the Reds. (Daily Mirror)

Portsmouth midfielder Lassana Diarra, Blackburn striker Roque Santa Cruz and Valencia forward David Villa remain on Manchester City's shopping list. (Daily Mirror)

Valencia say they will turn down any bids from City for Villa. (The Sun)

Manchester City manager Mark Hughes has put Bayern Munich midfielder Franck Ribery top of his January transfer hit-list. (Daily Express)

Aston Villa are battling City in a 6m scrap for Sheffield United defender Kyle Naughton. (Daily Mirror)

Chelsea are expecting a January bid from Manchester City for left-back Wayne Bridge but would prefer not to sell him. (The Independent)

Blackburn boss Paul Ince has been told to draw up a list of potential targets for the January transfer window, despite facing the sack if he does not improve Rovers' results before Christmas. (The Times)

Ince hopes to sign a right-back, midfielder and centre-forward. (The Times)

Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp is keen on Blackburn's 5m-rated defender Stephen Warnock. (Daily Mirror)

Blackburn are stepping up their chase for Wolfsburg's German international left-back Marcel Schafer, who is Warnock's most likely replacement at Ewood Park. (Daily Mirrror)

Newcastle will swoop for versatile Fiorentina midfielder Juan Vargas in January and are ready to pay 8m for the Peru international. (The Sun)

Newcastle, Everton and Aston Villa are all tracking Inter Milan striker David Suazo. (Daily Mirror)

Watford have turned down Stoke's 1m offer for Tommy Smith and want 3m for the striker. (Daily Mirror)

Liverpool striker Robbie Keane insists he will not leave Anfield, despite being linked with a move back to Tottenham. (Daily Mirror)

Former Tottenham boss Juande Ramos will raid White Hart Lane to take Ivory Coast midfielder Didier Zokora to his new side Real Madrid. (Daily Mirror)

Ramos will turn his attention to Portsmouth midfielder Lassana Diarra if he fails to snap up Zokora. (Daily Express)

Spurs will go for Diarra if Zokora does join Real - and Aston Villa midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker, West Ham goalkeeper Rob Green, Portsmouth right-back Glen Johnson, Middlesbrough winger Stewart Downing and Pompey striker Jermain Defoe are also on boss Harry Redknapp's radar. (Daily Express)

West Ham captain Lucas Neill wants a pay rise to sign an extended deal at Upton Park but the Australian international defender is likely to have to accept a huge pay cut in order to stay at the club. (The Times)

Neill could even be sold in January if the Hammers receive a suitable offer. (The Times)

West Ham boss Gianfranco Zola's priority is to keep hold of goalkeeper Rob Green and defender Matthew Upson but he will sell midfielder Hayden Mullins, defender Danny Gabbidon and forward Luis Boa Morte. (The Times)

Defenders Calum Davenport and Jonathan Spector and midfielders Lee Bowyer and Nigel Quashie are also up for grabs as West Ham look to reduce the size of their first-team squad. (The Independent)

Upson has emerged as a 10m target for Manchester City, who could turn to Everton's Joleon Lescott if the Hammers refuse to do business. (Daily Express)

Everton are looking at taking City's Brazilian striker Jo on loan. (Daily Express)

Toffees boss David Moyes has drawn up a list of 30 possible striker signings but Henrik Larsson's wage demands mean the former Celtic and Barcelona frontman, who is now a free agent, will not be coming to Goodison Park. (The Independent)

Wigan have opened new contract talks with England Under-21 defender Ryan Taylor, who will be a free agent in the summer. (The Sun)

Former England goalkeeper Ian Walker has had his contract at Bolton ended by mutual consent. (Daily Mirror)

Walker could now move to the United States and join a Major League Soccer club. (The Sun)

Kilmarnock boss Jim Jefferies is keen on former Dundee United striker Robbie Winters, who is a free agent after leaving Norwegian side Brann Bergen. (Daily Record)

Jefferies is also eyeing striker Armand One, who used to play for Partick Thistle and Wrexham but is now with Turun Palloseura in Finland. (Daily Record)


West Ham midfielder Kieron Dyer, who has been sidelined since suffering a double break of his right leg in August 2007, will return to action in a specially arranged practice match on Thursday and could could be back on first-team duty by Christmas if he comes through the game unscathed. (The Independent)

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has warned it will take Gunners defender Emmanuel Eboue time to recover from being booed by his own fans during Saturday's win over Wigan. (The Sun)

Former Liverpool and Tottenham midfielder Jamie Redknapp has joined Chelsea's backroom staff and will spend two days a week coaching the reserve team. (The Sun)

Ex-Chelsea boss Avram Grant tried to sign Bayern Munich midfielder Franck Ribery and AC Milan's Brazilian superstar Kaka during his time in charge at Stamford Bridge. (Daily Mirror)

Hearts have pleaded with Second Division side Arbroath to wait until January for an overdue payment of 15,000 that they owe as part of defender Andy Webster's transfer fee. (Daily Record)


England captain John Terry hogged the karaoke machine at Chelsea's Christmas party - bellowing out numbers by Luther Vandross, Biggie Smalls and Soulja Boy. (Daily Mirror)

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see also
Wednesday's gossip column
10 Dec 08 |  Gossip
Tuesday's gossip column
09 Dec 08 |  Gossip
Transfers - December 2008
10 Dec 08 |  Football

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