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Page last updated at 07:32 GMT, Sunday, 21 December 2008

Sunday's gossip column

TransfersOther gossipAnd finally


Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal are battling to lure Russian striker Andrei Arshavin to north London. (Sunday Telegraph)

Arsenal are favourites to sign Arshavin for 20m, with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy regretting having overlooked the opportunity to sign the 27-year-old in August. (Mail on Sunday)

Arsenal will also sign Manchester United's loan star Carlos Tevez. (Sunday Mirror)

The Gunners are keen on Swiss midfielder Gokhan Inler, who may be available for 8m from Udinese. (Sunday Express)

Spurs will lead the chase for Fulham midfielder Jimmy Bullard with a 4m bid when the transfer window opens. (News of the World)

Manchester City believe they have secured the signing of Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon in a deal worth 30m that sees him demanding a weekly wage in excess of 200,000. (Observer)

But City will miss out on Valencia striker David Villa. The Blues had been prepared to pay 50m for Villa, but he is only interested in moving to a team in the Champions League. (Sunday Express)

Instead, City will bid 6m for West Ham striker Craig Bellamy. (Daily Star)

Portsmouth boss Tony Adams will raid Spurs for 10m-rated defensive midfielder Didier Zokora. (News of the World)

Meanwhile, Gary O'Neil is seeking a return to Portsmouth having been sold to Middlesbrough against his wishes 18 months ago. (News of the World)

Gareth Southgate has had Belgian youngster Anthony Vanden Boore watched with a view to bringing the versatile 21-year-old to Middlesbrough. (News of the World)

Rafael Benitez will have to sell before he can strengthen his Liverpool squad next month, as American owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks need to service a 350m loan due to be repaid on 25 January. (Sunday Telegraph)

Goalkeeper Ben Foster believes he will be forced to leave Manchester United in January if he is to save his England career. (News of the World)

Wigan are trying to sign Colombia forward Hugo Rodallega from Mexican club Necaxa. (News of the World)

Tony Pulis wants to bring Reading defender Andre Bikey to Stoke for 2.5m. (News of the World)

Aston Villa winger Wayne Routledge is being courted by Championship rivals Cardiff and QPR. (News of the World)

Blackburn have emerged as front-runners to open the bidding for out-of-favour Celtic winger Aiden McGeady. (Sunday Express)

Celtic midfielder Massimo Donatti wants former club AC Milan to rescue him from the sidelines with Celtic. (Various)

Celtic are monitoring the progress of FC Copenhagen striker Atiba Hutchinson. (Sunday Express)

Goalkeeper Andy McNeil is willing to move abroad to play as he is resigned to Hibernian not offering him a new contract. (Various)

Dundee United expect to tie up Jon Daly, Lee Wilkie and Sean Dillon to new contracts this week. (Sunday Mail)

Kilmarnock will extend Coventry's Donovan Simmonds loan deal to the summer and hope to sign the striker permanently. (Sunday Mail)

Inverness have joined Hamilton and Kilmarnock in expressing an interest in former Brann striker Robbie Winters. (Sunday Express)


Newcastle United manager Joe Kinnear has told friends he would love to take over at Sunderland. (Various)

But in case he stays at Newcastle, Kinnear has had fresh talks with reluctant owner Mike Ashley - who could now retain the club until at least next season with no buyer on the horizon. (Independent on Sunday)

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is a target for Real Madrid, who want to install him as their new manager in the summer. (News of the World)

Arsenal could be the subject of a takeover from the Middle East after billionaires Stan Kroenke and Alisher Usmanov ruled out launching their own bids for the club. (Sunday Times)

But Usmanov could be given a place on the board, according to the Gunners' second-largest shareholder, Danny Fiszman. (Observer)

However, Fiszman says he will never allow the club to fall into foreign ownership. (News of the World)

Ricky Sbragia is now frontrunner to secure the Sunderland job on a permanent basis after the caretaker boss led the Black Cats to a 4-1 away win at Hull on Saturday. (Various)

Sunderland's Kieran Richardson insists that rumours the squad were pleased when Roy Keane left the club are untrue. (Independent on Sunday)

Nicky Butt, former Manchester United team-mate of Roy Keane and Paul Ince, says star players will reject careers in management if clubs continue to turn on managers after months rather than years. (News of the World)

Manchester City boss Mark Hughes faces a players' revolt at Eastlands, with some of the squad holding an unofficial meeting over resentment towards both Hughes and Robinho. (News of the World)

Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted Manchester United's 12,000-mile trip across the globe to Japan, for the Fifa Club World Cup, could dent his side's prospects of winning the Premier League title. Ferguson says his players are jet-lagged and struggling to sleep. (Observer)

Ferguson expects Cristiano Ronaldo to go down in history alongside Diego Maradona and Pele. (Mail on Sunday)

Luiz Felipe Scolari has hit out at "liars" he accuses of leaking untrue stories to newspapers in an attempt to unsettle his Chelsea players. (Observer)

England manager Fabio Capello has warned David Beckham to expect international heartbreak despite moving to AC Milan to stay in Capello's plans. The Italian says Beckham's 107 caps, one short of Bobby Moore's all-time record, are an "unimportant" figure. (Various)

Rafael Benitez may miss Liverpool's Sunday game at Arsenal after struggling to recover from a painful operation to remove kidney stones. (Mail on Sunday)

Fifa's decision to alter the way the bidding system to host the World Cup works could mean England may have to wait until 2030 to stage the tournament, if another European nation - such as Spain - defeats the English bid in 2018. (Sunday Telegraph)

Aiden McGeady apologised to manager Gordon Strachan on Monday following their dressing-room bust-up that led to the winger being disciplined by Celtic. (Sunday Mail)

The Scottish Premier League could bring in an independent law lord to adjudicate over the Aiden McGeady dispute as it has the same legal advisor as Celtic. (News of the World)

Bobo Balde has reported Celtic to Fifa after being fined 100,000 after claims the defender has had a variety of breaches of discipline. (Sunday Mail)

California-born Rangers midfielder Maurice Edu, who has struggled to win a starting place since arriving from Toronto, says he misses the sunshine. (Various)

Jim Magilton is struggling to save his job after travelling Ipswich fans unfurled "Magilton out" banners during their 2-2 draw at Coventry. (Sunday Express)

Former Halifax Town manager Chris Wilder will be named as Oxford United's new boss in the next 48 hours. (Non-League Paper)


David Beckham has provided an insight into the thinking behind his choice of the number 32 shirt at new club AC Milan. "It was the first one I was offered," he revealed. (Sunday Telegraph)

The days when a trip to Millwall could be bad for your health are well and truly over - their home game against Tranmere next month will include free carbon monoxide tests at the New Den as part of a national Stop Smoking campaign, with "nicotine replacement therapy" on offer. (Independent on Sunday)

No fewer than five football teams - Blackpool, Bristol City, Carlisle, Chesterfield and Wolves - held their Christmas parties in the same Newcastle venue on the same night last week. "It felt like the PFA awards dinner," said one observer. (News of the World)

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see also
Saturday's gossip column
20 Dec 08 |  Gossip
Friday's gossip column
19 Dec 08 |  Gossip
Thursday's gossip column
18 Dec 08 |  Gossip
Wednesday's gossip column
17 Dec 08 |  Gossip
Tuesday's gossip column
16 Dec 08 |  Gossip
Transfers - December 2008
19 Dec 08 |  Football

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