Friday's gossip column


Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has agreed a two-year extension to his current contract at Anfield. The England ace's deal on Merseyside still had two years before it expired, but the Reds have moved to secure their star asset. (Skysports)

Barcelona president Joan Laporta has admitted he wants to sign Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas, with the fee for the 21-year-old reported to be £45m. (Various) 
Tottenham will attempt to sign Manchester City's Martin Petrov as the Bulgarian left winger has dropped down the pecking order at Eastlands. (The Sun) 
Spurs manager Harry Redknapp is also keeping an eye on 29-year-old Paraguay defender Paulo Cesar da Silva, who will be available on a free transfer in the summer. (Daily Mirror) 
Gelson Fernandes has said he needs to quit Man City, but admitted it will be difficult to leave "the richest club in the world." (The Sun) 
Fulham are lining up a move for 17-year-old Algerian goalkeeper Abendour Merzoukim, who would be available on a free transfer. (The Sun) 
Birmingham are favourites to sign Charlton midfielder Nicky Bailey, who is valued at £1.3m. (Daily Mirror) 
Crystal Palace, Ipswich and MK Dons are all eyeing a £1m move for Bristol Rovers striker Rickie Lambert. (Daily Star)  


Alan Shearer's first task as Newcastle manager was to lay down the law to his players by banning them from pubs and nightclubs in the city. (Various) 
Arsene Wenger says he will not leave Arsenal before his contract expires in 2011. (Various) 
Sven-Goran Eriksson is eyeing a return to Premier League management after the Swede was sacked as manager of Mexico. (The Sun) 
Man City manager Mark Hughes has hinted that he could leave star forward Robinho on the bench for this weekend's trip to Arsenal because he is struggling to cope with the physical demands of the Premier League. (Various) 
Chelsea midfielder Michael Ballack has revealed that he was hit in the face by Germany team-mate Lukas Podolski after a disagreement on the pitch during their World Cup qualifying win in Wales. (The Sun) 
George Burley named Barry Ferguson and Allan McGregor on the bench against Iceland despite their breach of team discipline to avoid mutiny in the dressing room. (The Herald) 
Scottish FA president George Peat is demanding a full report into the breach of team discipline - paving the way for further sanctions against the Rangers pair. (various) 
And Tartan Army spokesman Hamish Husband believes the duo will find it difficult to win the hearts of the Scotland supporters again. (The Sun) 
George Burley will ban alcohol from future Scotland squads following the controversy. (Various) 
Meanwhile, Barcelona and Iceland striker Eidur Gudjohnsen says Scotland are stronger without Ferguson and McGregor. (The Sun) 


Peter Crouch says Rio Ferdinand was the reason behind his robotic goal celebration during England's 2-1 win over Ukraine at Wembley. The Portsmouth striker vowed never to perform the dance at Wembley again, but did when Ferdinand shouted at him "to pull the rope". (The Sun)