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Page last updated at 07:53 GMT, Sunday, 22 February 2009

Sunday's gossip column

TransfersOther gossipAnd finally

TRANSFER GOSSIP

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger will launch a £20m summer bid to sign Valencia forward David Villa. (Mail on Sunday)

The Gunners are also keen on Fiorentina's Brazilian midfielder Felipe Melo, who has a £17.9m buy-out clause in his contract. Chelsea, Aston Villa, Juventus and Lyon have also inquired about signing the 25-year-old. (The Observer)

Manchester City and Manchester United are fighting it out to sign 17-year-old Brazilian wonderkid Neymar, who has been dubbed the new Robinho, but his club Santos want at least £15m for the teenager. (News of the World)

England midfielder Gareth Barry will turn down a summer move to Liverpool to stay with Aston Villa - if Martin O'Neill's side qualify for next season's Champions League. (News of the World)

Barcelona are keen on Manchester United left-back Patrice Evra and could capture the French star for £20m. (News of the World)

Manchester City have offered highly-rated teenage striker Daniel Sturridge a four-year deal that could be worth up to £30,000 a week but he is willing to accept less money elsewhere to secure regular first-team football in the Premier League. (News of the World)

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez wants to loan French midfielder Damien Plessis to a Championship side so he can gain first-team experience. (News of the World)

Rangers midfielder Alan Gow, on loan at Norwich, is keen to extend his stay with the Championship side. (Sunday Mail)

Norwich and Swansea are considering a move for Queen of the South striker Stephen Dobbie. (Sunday Mail)

OTHER FOOTBALL GOSSIP

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez has made a fresh threat to quit his post at Anfield after again failing to agree terms on a new four-year contract. (News of the World)

It was the third contract to be offered Benitez in the last few months and had been specially reworded to ensure he had full control over transfers and the club's youth academy. (Mail on Sunday)

Or, it was the fifth time Benitez has turned down a new deal and he claims he cannot work in the present structure at the club while co-owner George Gillett Jr and chief executive Rick Parry remain in power. (News of the World)

New negotiations with Benitez will not start until after Liverpool's Champions League clash with Real Madrid on Wednesday - at the earliest. (Mail on Sunday)

Benitez's failure to commit himself to the Reds has opened the door for another bid from Real Madrid to take him to the Bernabéu but Manchester City and Chelsea are also interested. (Sunday Express)

Inter Milan boss Jose Mourinho has told close friends he wants to return to the Premier League next season - alerting Newcastle and Manchester City. (Sunday Express)

Mourinho has vowed to beat Manchester United in their Champions League last-16 tie and go on to win the competition. Inter host United in the first leg at the San Siro on Tuesday. (Mail on Sunday)

Former Chelsea manager Avram Grant has been held back from taking charge at managerless Portsmouth because the Pompey squad want Mexico boss Sven-Goran Eriksson to get the job. (News of the World)

Newcastle striker Michael Owen hopes to boost his side's fight against relegation by returning from his ankle injury in time to face Hull City on 14 March. (News of the World)

Owen has had a secret operation in Germany on a niggling groin problem but that should not delay his return to fitness. (Various)

New Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink insists Blues strikers Nicolas Anelka and Didier Drogba can play together up front - if they improve their defensive work. (Mail on Sunday)

The surgeon who operated on Eduardo's shattered leg initially thought he would have to amputate the Croatian star's limb because of the severity of the injury and is amazed the striker has returned to top-class football just a year later. (News of the World)

Bolton want to replace boss Gary Megson with Burnley manager Owen Coyle in the summer. (News of the World)

Fifa have made a proposal to increase the length of the half-time interval in matches from 15 to 20 minutes. (The Observer)

With striking cover stretched at Celtic Park, Gordon Strachan has defended his decision to send three forwards out on loan. (News of the World)

Crisis club Weymouth - who saw their youth team beaten 9-0 by Rushden & Diamonds in the Blue Square Premier on Saturday after their unpaid first-team squad refused to play because they were not properly insured - look likely to go into administration. (The Non-League Paper)

AND FINALLY

Manchester City defender Micah Richards says he will continue to wear earrings and drive fast cars despite fears his image as football's 'Mr Bling' is behind his slump in form this season. (Mail on Sunday)

Newcastle's Liverpool-born defender Ryan Taylor hopes to upset about 20 of his Everton-supporting mates who will be at St James' Park on Sunday for the Magpies' Premier League game against the Toffees. (News of the World)

Real Madrid have secured the signing of one of Arsenal's biggest stars - reigning Premier League groundsman of the year Paul Burgess, who is set to leave the Emirates Stadium for the Bernabéu at the start of March. (News of the World)

Former Sunderland boss Roy Keane says he was forced out of the Stadium of Light in December because the club's owner Ellis Short did not like his autobiography. (Sunday Express)



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see also
Saturday's gossip column
21 Feb 09 |  Gossip
Friday's gossip column
20 Feb 09 |  Gossip
Thursday's gossip column
19 Feb 09 |  Gossip
Wednesday's gossip column
18 Feb 09 |  Gossip
Tuesday's gossip column
17 Feb 09 |  Gossip


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