Friday's gossip column


Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has made Blackburn striker Roque Santa Cruz his number one summer transfer target - and hopes he can land him for a cut-price £12m. (Daily Express) 
Wenger's interest in Santa Cruz could signal the end of Emmanuel Adebayor's Arsenal career. (Daily Mirror)
Manchester City say they may miss out Santa Cruz but are back in the race to sign £35m-rated Valencia striker David Villa. (The Independent) 
And City are interested in winger Arjen Robben, who could be offloaded by Real Madrid in the summer. (Daily Mirror)
Manchester United are poised to make a £30m bid for Lyon striker Karim Benzema - to replace Carlos Tevez. (The Sun) 
Tevez has told Madrid's Cadena COPE radio station that he is likely to leave Manchester United at the end of the season. (Press Association)
Everton manager David Moyes is set to make a £6m bid for Rennes full-back Rod Fanni. (The Sun) 
Real Madrid defender Fabio Cannavaro has revealed that he rejected an offer to move to Manchester City. (The Guardian)
And Everton winger Andy van der Meyde, who is a free agent in the summer, is wanted by both Stoke and Wolves. (Daily Mail) 
Djibril Cisse's goal drought could lead to him failing to secure a permanent deal with Sunderland. (The Sun) 
Stoke manager Tony Pulis wants the club to finish as high in the league as they can so that he can sign Cardiff midfielder Joe Ledley in the summer. (Daily Mirror) 
Wigan boss Steve Bruce will turn his attention to Manchester United's Fraizer Campbell after an unproductive scouting trip to Mexico. (The Sun) 
Aston Villa striker John Carew has disappointed Tottenham by insisting he wants to stay in Birmingham. (Daily Star) 
Promoted Wolves want to bring experienced Liverpool centre half Sami Hyypia to Molineux. (The Sun)  


Manchester United skipper Rio Ferdinand will be out of action for at least three weeks after the cracked rib he picked up during the Champions League win over Arsenal led him to start coughing up blood. (Daily Mail, Daily Mirror) 
However, some reports are saying Ferdinand's injury is not as bad as first feared and the 30-year-old could be fit to face Arsenal in the second leg on Tuesday. (Daily Star, The Guardian)
West Ham's European hopes have been dealt a blow with the news that midfielder Scott Parker is unlikely to play again this season. (Various) 
Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien has warned Barcelona's players, who complained about being kicked during the Champions League semi-final first leg, that they will be just as tough at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea midfielder Jon Mikel Obi has been told that he will have to wait until the summer before discussions open on a new contract. (Daily Telegraph) 


Newcastle tea lady Kath Cassidy, who has spent over 40 years serving cuppas to the great and good at St James' Park, has her own ideas about how to motivate the players in their battle against relegation. 
"I might go into the dressing room before a game with my picture of Jackie Milburn holding his medals. I'd say to the players 'Get your finger out, look what he won for £20 a week.'" (The Sun)