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Page last updated at 14:12 GMT, Friday, 23 January 2009

Friday's gossip column

TransfersOther gossipAnd finally

BREAKING GOSSIP

Chelsea assistant coach Ray Wilkins has said striker Didier Drogba will not be sold in the January transfer window. "Of course every player in world football has his price but he's a massive part of our squad and he won't be going anywhere in the transfer window," said Wilkins. (The Times, 1400 GMT)

TRANSFER GOSSIP

Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill believes he has won the battle to sign Wigan striker Emile Heskey and expects to seal a 3m move on Friday. (The Sun)

Manchester City have offered striker Didier Drogba a double-your-money deal worth 180,000 a week to quit Chelsea. (The Sun)

Arsenal hope to conclude a deal for Andrei Arshavin in the next 48 hours after Zenit St Petersburg said they would be prepared to accept an improved offer of around 15m in instalments over two years for the Russia forward. (Daily Mail)

West Ham are close to agreeing a deal to sign Brescia's Savio Nsereko for a fee that could total 10m after club executives spent the past two days in Italy holding talks. (The Independent)

Spurs are ready to revive their interest in West Ham's Carlton Cole after they had an 8m bid for the striker turned down at the beginning of January. (Daily Star)

Manchester City are ready to pay 19m for Sporting Lisbon and Portugal midfielder Miguel Veloso, who has been a long-term target for local rivals Manchester United. (The Sun)

West Ham have been told they will have to double their 4m offer for Cardiff and Wales winger Joe Ledley. (Daily Mail)

Fulham midfielder Jimmy Bullard, who travelled to Hull City to undergo a medical and discuss personal terms on Thursday, is contemplating whether to become the Tigers' 5m record buy. (The Sun)

Juventus have reportedly stepped up their interest in Liverpool's Dirk Kuyt as coach Claudio Ranieri tries to find a replacement for midfielder Pavel Nedved. (Daily Telegraph)

West Brom are poised to make a 500,000 bid for Norwich midfielder Lee Croft, who is out of contract in the summer. (The Sun)

Sheffield United and Celtic both want Manchester City striker Ched Evans, with Parkhead boss Gordon Strachan having already agreed a 1.2m fee for the 20-year-old. (The Sun)

Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic, 24, will snub Manchester City for a move to Serie A club Fiorentina. (Daily Mirror)

Egyptian striker Mido is desperate to quit Middlesbrough and has sent Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy a text in the hope Spurs will put in a bid for him. (The Sun)

Blackburn scouts will be in Cairo on Friday when Egypt take on Kenya to run the rule over Kenya's attacking midfielder Mahmood Abdel Razek and utility man Ahmed Al-Muhammadi. (Daily Mail)

Rovers manager Sam Allardyce is ready to make a 6m "take it or leave it" bid for Red Bull Salzburg striker Marc Janko. (Daily Mirror)

Birmingham City manager Alex McLeish says his pursuit of Rangers striker Kris Boyd has finally ended. (Daily Mail/Daily Mirror)

Celtic could be priced out of moves for Peterborough youngsters Craig Mackail-Smith, George Boyd and Aaron McLean, with the League One club looking for combined transfer fees of 15m for the the trio. (Daily Record)

Dynamo Kiev are on the trail of Hearts winger Andrew Driver, who has also been linked with several English clubs. (Various)

Newcastle may make a surprise move for Celtic defender Bobo Balde, who is out of contract at the end of the season. (The Herald)

Hearts defender and captain Christophe Berra is prepared to leave Edinburgh and join Sunderland, if the two clubs can agree a fee. (The Times)

OTHER FOOTBALL GOSSIP

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich's resolve to keep hold of the Stamford Bridge club could be tested with a 750m takeover bid by a group of mainly German investors. (Daily Star)

Striker Nicolas Anelka has said only victory at Liverpool next weekend will keep Chelsea in the race to return the Premier League title to Stamford Bridge after three years. (Guardian)

Singer Sir Elton John and former England manager Graham Taylor are set to make an emotional return to Watford to ensure the club does not go into financial meltdown. (Daily Mirror)

Europe's leading clubs and the game's European governing body Uefa have started preliminary discussions on curbing the amount of money that can be spent on player transfers or wages. (The Independent)

Celtic midfielder Shunsuke Nakamura will not be joining up with the Japan squad for the Asian Cup qualifier with Bahrain as the international fixture falls between important domestic fixtures for the defending Scottish champions. (Daily Mirror)

Partick Thistle manager Ian McCall is the new favourite to become manager of Inverness Caledonian Thistle, with veteran Austrian coach Bern Krauss also set to apply to become Craig Brewster's replacement. (The Sun)

But the Highland club may also approach Scotland assistant manager Terry Butcher about the vacancy at the Caledonian Stadium. (Daily Express/Daily Star)

AND FINALLY

West Ham midfielder Jack Collison thinks manager Gianfranco Zola is one of the best players at the club - even at 42. "Some of the things he does in training makes us look silly, to be honest. It's just a joy to watch him out there," said the 20-year-old. (The Sun)



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see also
Thursday's gossip column
22 Jan 09 |  Gossip
Wednesday's gossip column
21 Jan 09 |  Gossip
Transfers - January 2009
23 Jan 09 |  Football
SPL ins and outs
21 Jan 09 |  Scottish Premier
January football sales
02 Jan 09 |  Premier League


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