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Page last updated at 08:44 GMT, Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Wednesday's gossip column

TransfersOther gossipAnd finally

BLACKBURN GOSSIP

Martin Jol, the former Tottenham boss who is now in charge of Hamburg, and ex-England coach Steve McClaren, now at FC Twente, have joined a shortlist headed by Sam Allardyce, Avram Grant and Graeme Souness for the vacant managerial job at Blackburn. (Daily Mail)

Souness and Rovers' veteran midfielder Tugay are favourites to take over at Blackburn before the weekend. (Daily Express)

Former Blackburn manager Kenny Dalglish claims Rovers had to sack Paul Ince because they could not risk him making an even bigger mess at Ewood Park. (Daily Mirror)

Former Rovers midfielder David Bentley has no doubt Blackburn will recover from the sacking of manager Ince and retain their Premier League status. (The Sun)

MICHAEL OWEN GOSSIP

England striker Michael Owen has received a four-year contract offer - not three years as has been reported - and at a salary believed to be about 90,000 per week, not 80,000. (The Independent)

Owen has told his Newcastle team-mates he is hoping for Liverpool, Manchester City or Everton to make him an offer he cannot refuse. (Daily Mail)

Wigan boss Steve Bruce will launch an ambitious bid to land Owen in the new year and has already set his sights on Newcastle midfielder Nicky Butt. (Daily Star)

TRANSFER GOSSIP

Portsmouth have agreed to sell midfielder Lassana Diarra to Real Madrid in a club record 20m deal. (Daily Mirror)

However, Manchester City believe that Diarra can be theirs for 18m, while reports suggest the Spaniards have offered half that amount. (The Guardian)

Russia forward Andrei Arshavin is seeking a move to either Manchester United or Chelsea after being told he can leave Zenit St Petersburg next month. (The Sun)

Liverpool have denied claims that Robbie Keane will be sold in January after their former player Mark Lawrenson cast doubt on the striker's Anfield future during an interview with an Irish radio station. (The Guardian)

Juventus plan a double swoop for Liverpool's Ryan Babel and Daniel Agger and will make a bid to sign the duo in the summer. (Daily Mirror)

Meanwhile, Liverpool and Manchester City are tracking Hull defender Michael Turner. (Daily Mirror)

Aston Villa have expressed an interest in Newcastle's French midfielder Charles N'Zogbia, whose future at the club has been in doubt, despite having signed a five-year contract last year. (The Independent)

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp is to make a 7m swoop for Wigan winger Antonio Valencia. (Daily Mirror)

Aston Villa, Spurs and Manchester City are ready to start a bidding war for West Ham's 10m-rated Dean Ashton as the striker is set to return from injury next month. (The Sun)

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger cast fresh doubt over the future of William Gallas by claiming the Arsenal defender has lost the "happiness to play" football. (The Independent)

Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner is on Inter Milan boss Jose Mourinho's Christmas wish list, while Wenger could make a move for Le Mans' Ivory Coast defender Gervinho - if Gallas leaves in January. (Daily Telegraph)

Emanuel Pogatetz fears Middlesbrough team-mate Tuncay will join Chelsea. (The Sun)

Bolton manager Gary Megson is ready to make a 6m bid for Sunderland winger Kieran Richardson. (Daily Star)

Goalkeeper Paddy Kenny is set to turn his back on Sheffield United if they do not offer him a new deal this month. (The Sun)

OTHER FOOTBALL GOSSIP

The agents of recently departed Real Madrid coach Bernd Schuster, former Inter Milan coach Roberto Mancini, and ex-Brazil coach Carlos Alberto Parreira are all said to have been in touch with chairman Niall Quinn about becoming Sunderland's next manager. (The Guardian)

The Brazilian Football Confederation could offer Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari a return ticket to his homeland as Brazil coach. The country's current manager Dunga faces the axe in the new year after a stumbling 2010 World Cup qualification campaign. (Daily Mirror)

Scolari is facing a growing challenge to his authority as several senior Chelsea players asked him to explain his substitutions after the 1-1 draw at home to West Ham. (The Times)

Richard Scudamore, the Premier League's chief executive, has claimed the league will be able to stimulate enough competition among broadcasters to defy the global economic slump when its TV rights are put up for auction in the new year. (The Guardian)

The Premier League will launch its own TV channel from the summer of 2010 if the value of bids for live rights plummets when the auction for the 2010-13 seasons opens in the next few weeks. (The Independent)

Carlos Tevez, whose two-year loan expires at the end of the season, insists he is on the brink of agreeing a deal to stay at Manchester United.

Celtic winger Aiden McGeady has been ordered to write a written apology to manager Gordon Strachan following a dressing room outburst for which he was disciplined by the club. (Daily Record)

AND FINALLY

Olympic sprint legend Michael Johnson has told Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill that he can make Ashley Young and Gabriel Agbonlahor even faster. O'Neill is considering an offer to send his forwards to Dallas this summer to fine-tune their running skills. (Daily Star)



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see also
Tuesday's gossip column
16 Dec 08 |  Gossip
Monday's gossip column
15 Dec 08 |  Gossip
Sunday's gossip column
14 Dec 08 |  Gossip
Transfers - December 2008
12 Dec 08 |  Football


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