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Page last updated at 12:04 GMT, Monday, 12 January 2009

Monday's gossip column

TransfersOther gossipAnd finally

BREAKING GOSSIP

As he bids to bring new players in during the January transfer window, Newcastle manager Joe Kinnear says he has "a full scout force [out there] and they are on red alert, going to various parts of the world".

But he insists the club will not panic-buy: "Finances are tight and we have to make the correct decisions with people. Therefore we won't be rushed into anything." (Newcastle Evening Chronicle, 1300 GMT)

West Ham reject an improved bid from Manchester City for striker Craig Bellamy. (Sky Sports News, 1200 GMT)

France striker Karim Benzema, a reported target of Manchester United, Real Madrid and Barcelona, has said his future at Lyon depends on the club's performance in the Champions League last 16 against Barcelona. (1029 GMT, Press Association)

Bolton manager Gary Megson claimed he has ended his interest in Joey Barton after the club had a 2m bid rejected for the Newcastle midfielder. (0915 GMT, Press Association)

TRANSFER GOSSIP

Zenit St Petersburg forward Andrei Arshavin will sign for Arsenal in the January transfer window, despite the Russian club turning down a 10m bid. (The Sun)

Wigan striker Emile Heskey has agreed a pre-contract deal to join former club Liverpool as a free agent in the summer. (Daily Mail)

Manchester City are closing in on a 12m deal to sign West Ham striker Craig Bellamy. (Independent)

Portsmouth will offer Manchester City 6m for striker Benjani, who they sold to the Eastlands club, and midfielder Michael Johnson. (The Sun)

Portsmouth manager Tony Adams could also offer Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton a chance to get his career back on track by taking him to Fratton Park. (Daily Star)

Portsmouth are also interested in signing Real Madrid forward Javier Saviola in a bid to fill the gap left by the departure of Jermain Defoe. (Daily Mirror)

But the latest player to be heading out of Portsmouth could be defender Herman Hreidarsson, with Reading thought to be his preferred destination. (Various)

Sunderland striker Kenwyne Jones is a target for Aston Villa but manager Martin O'Neill will have to pay 12m for the Trinidad and Tobago international. (Daily Mirror)

Newcastle are giving a trial to Danish winger Peter Lovenkrands - the former Rangers man is a free agent after his release by Schalke. (The Sun)

The Magpies are also interested in taking Manchester City's Brazilian striker Jo on loan until the end of the season at St James' Park. (Daily Mail)

Tottenham midfielder Jermaine Jenas could be on his way out of White Hart Lane after he was stripped of his role as vice-captain by manager Harry Redknapp. (Daily Mirror)

Redknapp has received an offer for goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes but has rejected it as he wants to keep the goalkeeper in light of his improved form. (Independent)

Everton and Fulham are checking on 2m-rated Norway winger Trond Olsen, who plays for Bodo Glimt. (Daily Mail)

Benfica defender Marco Zoro joined up with Blackburn on Sunday to start a trial with the Ewood Park outfit. (Various)

Manchester City boss Mark Hughes wants to sign Chelsea's second-choice goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini for 3m. (Various)

Birmingham manager Alex McLeish has lined up a 1m bid for Doncaster defender Matthew Mills. (Daily Mirror)

Stoke are setting a deadline of Monday for striker James Beattie to complete his 3m move from Sheffield United. (Daily Mirror)

Fulham have entered the race to sign Watford midfielder John-Joe O'Toole, who has scored eight goals this season. (Times)

OTHER FOOTBALL GOSSIP

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has continued his tirade against Manchester United by questioning David Gill's dual role as United chief executive and a key player at the Football Association. (Various)

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp blasted his players after their 1-0 defeat at Wigan, claiming he needs "more men" to help Spurs avoid relegation. (Various)

Former QPR, Plymouth and Leicester boss Ian Holloway is in the frame to make his return to management with Walsall, who sacked Jimmy Mullen on Saturday. (Daily Mirror)

But John Ward, dismissed by Carlisle in September, is also understood to be in the running to take over at the Bescot Stadium. (Daily Mail)

Rangers assistant manager Ally McCoist claims he would walk away if he felt the Ibrox club were handing the title to Celtic by selling some of their top players. (Daily Mirror)

With Andy Anson taking over on Monday as the head of England's bid to stage the 2018 World Cup, Spain and Portugal are planning to pip the English Football Association with an attractive joint bid. (Daily Mirror)

Fulham are considering installing undersoil heating at Craven Cottage after their postponed Premier League match against Blackburn on Saturday cost them 100,000. (Daily Express)

The Cottagers and Portsmouth, who were due to face Manchester City, may face sanctions from the Premier League if it is found they did not take sufficient action to prevent the postponement of their games. (Various)

Agent Willie McKay says Rangers did ask him to seek potential buyers for a number of the Ibrox squad despite claims to the contrary from chairman Sir David Murray. (Daily Record)

AND FINALLY

Argentina manager Diego Maradona set off a fire alarm at the Radisson Edwardian hotel in Manchester at 0700 GMT on Sunday by puffing on a Havana cigar. The alert led to 200 guests being evacuated, among them the Chelsea squad ahead of their trip to Manchester United. (The Sun)

Bolton striker Kevin Davies has branded Arsenal an embarrassment, claiming they "scream" when challenged and tried to con referee Chris Foy into booking him during his side's 1-0 defeat at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday. (Various)



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see also
Sunday's gossip column
11 Jan 09 |  Gossip
Saturday's gossip column
10 Jan 09 |  Gossip
Transfers - January 2009
09 Jan 09 |  Football
SPL ins and outs
06 Jan 09 |  Scottish Premier
January football sales
02 Jan 09 |  Premier League


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