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Page last updated at 07:39 GMT, Thursday, 18 December 2008

Thursday's gossip column

TransfersOther gossipAnd finally


Inter Milan manager Jose Mourinho has said there is a "0%" chance that he would sign 30-year-old Chelsea striker Didier Drogba, who he brought to Stamford Bridge in 2004, during the January transfer window. (Sky Sports News, 1530 GMT)


A director at Real Madrid claims the Spanish giants have a "secret deal" in place to sign Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo but clauses in the arrangement prevent the transfer being made public. (Various)
Real Ronaldo claims rile Ferguson

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley has admitted that there is nothing he can do to keep Michael Owen at the club and hinted that Manchester City might be interested in the 29-year-old. (The Sun)

New Blackburn manager Sam Allardyce only agreed to take over at Ewood Park if Roque Santa Cruz stayed at the club. (The Sun)

However, the former Bolton manager is prepared to offload the 27-year-old striker for about 20m to help fund a January spending spree. (Various)

Tottenham have made enquiries about 25-year-old Liverpool winger Jermaine Pennant and manager Rafael Benitez is interested in a swap deal involving Aaron Lennon. (Daily Mirror)

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is lining up 24-year-old Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini as a long-term replacement for William Gallas. (Daily Telegraph)

Chelsea defener Alex, 26, will meet with owner Roman Abramovich to discuss his future after demanding to leave Stamford Bridge. (The Sun)

Luiz Felipe Scoalri has won his battle with Abramovich over Chelsea's spending policy and will spend 20m on either Sevilla striker Luis Fabiano or Zenit St Petersburg's Andrei Arshavin. (Daily Star)

Mark Hughes is still hoping he can persuade Portsmouth midfielder Lassana Diarra to come to Manchester City, despite the 23-year-old Frenchman having agreed a deal to sign for Real Madrid. (The Sun)

Valencia defender Miguel, 28, has said he wants to leave the Spanish club with Chelsea thought to be his preferred destination. (Various)

Liverpool will offer Fernando Torres a new 6m deal to keep the 24-year-old striker at Anfield and fend off reported interest from Mancheester City. (Daily Star)

Rosenborg midfielder Anthony Annan, 22, is a 4m target for Tottenham and the Ghanian has said he would like to join-up with Harry Redknapp at White Hart Lane. (The Sun)

Gary O'Neill is set to return to Portsmouth in the wake of Diarra's proposed move to Real Madrid after failing to settle at Middlesbrough since his 5.5m move in August 2007. (Daily Mirror)

West Brom manager Tony Mowbray wants to sign 23-year-old striker Leroy Lita on loan to help the Baggies avoid relegation. (Various)

Everton and Bolton are fighting it out to sign Sheffield Wednesday's 3m-rated defender Mark Beevers. (The Sun)

Although Bolton have agreed a 3m deal to bring the 19-year-old to the Reebok Stadium. (Daily Mail)

Derby manager Paul Jewell is ready to launch an 800,000 bid for 20-year-old Scunthorpe striker Gary Hooper. (The Sun)

Celtic are lining up Hungarian international Szabolc Huszti from Hannover 96 as a replacement for Aiden McGeady. (Daily Record)

The Scottish champions will also sign goalkeeper Lukasz Zaluska on a pre-contract after the Pole rejected new terms at Dundee United. (various)

And the president of Bulgarian club CSKA Sofia says Celtic are interested in their 400,000-rated defender Ivan Ivanov.

Rangers have enquired about Spartak Moscow's Austrian centre-back Martin Stranzl as manager Walter Smith looks to toughen up his defence. (various)

Hibernian boss Mixu Paatelainen will decide in the next 48 hours whether he wants to sign former Dundee United goalkeeper Grzegorz Szamotulski. (various)


Middlesbrough manager Gareth Southgate has warned that the Premier League cannot continue to grow and is worried about clubs' over-reliance on billionaires and vast amounts of television money. (Various)

Manchester City's record signing Robinho has accused Premier League footballers of being "animalistic" but the 24-year-old Brazilian says he has adapted quicker to the style of English football than he thought he would. (Various)

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp has said the club need to spend big in January if they harbour ambitions of a top-half Premier League finish. (Daily Mail)

Sunderland defender Danny Collins says that spirits have been lifted and communication improved since Roy Keane left the club. (Various)

Ryan Giggs has said that of all the 19 trophies he has won with Manchester United, the hardest was winning the Club World Cup in 1999. (The Sun)

Mike Ashley has hailed the impact of Newcastle interim manager Joe Kinnear and labelled him "better than Fabio Capello". (The Sun)

Gary Speed, 39, is hoping to land his first management job with Swindon after the Sheffield United midfielder was interviewed for the vacant post. (The Sun)

Rangers are lining up a friendly against David Beckham's AC Milan side for early 2009. (Daily Record)


Spartak Moscow players have criticised the standard of Chelsea's Cobham training ground after being lent the facilities to prepare for their Uefa Cup clash with Tottenham on Thursday.

Striker Artur Mayolan said the food was not up to scratch and that "they sit on plastic chairs which are more suitable for outdoor BBQ parties and even eat from disposable plates". (Various)

Robinho has said that listening to rap music has helped him learn English and understand fans' chants. The Man City striker has also said that he is getting used to the cold weather, but is not too fond of rain. (The Sun)

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

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