Thursday's gossip column


Manchester United are favourites to beat Liverpool in the £20m race for Wigan winger Antonio Valencia. Bayern Munich and Real Madrid are also interested in the Ecuadorian. (The Sun) 
United are also set clinch the £6m signing of Brazil defender Dodo from Corinthians. (Daily Mirror) 
Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez has his eye on former Manchester United striker Diego Forlan, who is now at Atletico Madrid. (Daily Star)
Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso, who has been linked with a host of top clubs, will not be leaving Anfield this summer, according to his agent. (The Guardian) 
Former Chelsea boss Avram Grant believes the club would be making a mistake if they allow striker Didier Drogba to leave this summer. (The Sun) 
But Drogba will depart and the club are lining up Arsenal's Emmanuel Adebayor as his replacement. (Daily Mirror) 
Carlo Ancelotti will bid for Aston Villa's Ashley Young if the AC Milan coach takes the job as Blues boss this summer. (The Sun) 
Chelsea will send Ricardo Quaresma back to Inter Milan but the Portugal winger is then likely to make a permanent switch to Benfica. (The Sun) 
Current boss at Stamford Bridge Guus Hiddink has recommended the club go for £15m-rated CSKA full-back or winger Yuri Zhirkov. (The Sun) 
Blackburn striker Roque Santa Cruz will turn down Arsenal and Tottenham if he can secure a move to Manchester City or Liverpool. (The Sun) 
But Spurs boss Harry Redknapp is determined to sign Cruz after putting the Paraguay forward top of his wanted list. (Daily Mail) 
One player on his way to Blackburn is defender Gael Givet, who will complete a £4m permanent switch from Marseille. It will also pave the way for Stephen Warnock to leave Ewood Park. (Daily Mirror) 
Striker Roman Pavlyuchenko says he expects to remain a Tottenham player next season, insisting he has received assurances over his future. (The Independent) 
Newcastle manager Alan Shearer wants Wigan midfielder Paul Scharner. (Daily Mirror) 
Sheffield United and Blackburn are competing for the signature of Preston goalkeeper Andy Lonergan. (The Sun) 
Bolton are ready to make a £4m bid for Middlesbrough midfielder Gary O'Neil.(Various)
Birmingham have cleared the way for goalkeeper Joe Hart's arrival on loan from Manchester City by loaning out Colin Doyle to Swansea. (Daily Mirror) 
West Brom are set to beat Fulham to the signature of Stockport striker Oli Johnson. (Daily Star)
Coventry have turned their interest from Hearts winger Andrew Driver to former Sky Blues striker Gary McSheffrey, who is now at Birmingham. (Daily Star) 
Celtic are set to make James McCarthy the highest-paid teenager in Scottish football history with a summer transfer bid for the Hamilton midfielder. (Daily Record)
James McCarthy's agent was at Celtic Park on Wednesday for talks about a possible £1m-plus transfer. (The Sun) 
Ipswich boss Roy Keane is lining up a summer move for Celtic veterans Paul Hartley and Bobo Balde. (Daily Express)
Cardiff have put a £5m price tag on Scotland striker Ross McCormack. (Daily Record) 
Cardiff are closing in on Norwich's 25-year-old midfielder Sammy Clingan. (Daily Star)
Tranmere's Charlie Barnet is wanted by Barnsley and Blackpool. (Daily Mirror)
Crystal Palace are keeping an eye on Norwich's out-of-contract winger Lee Croft. (Daily Star) 
QPR's Liam Miller has been linked with move to Cork City when his contract expires this summer. (Daily Star)
Striker Barry Hayles is in talks with Cheltenham and Walsall after being released by Leicester. (Daily Star) 
Forward Lloyd Owusu is thinking over offers from Brighton and Adelaide after being released by Cheltenham. (Daily Star)
Rangers have offered a new contract to Dean Furman, but the midfielder is also wanted by Bradford after impressing on loan. (Daily Record) 


Newcastle manager Alan Shearer insists striker Michael Owen has a big part to play in their relegation battle. (The Sun) 
Manchester City midfielder Stephen Ireland is on the verge of signing a new contract at the the club, worth about £80,000 a week. (Various) 
Arsenal's billionaire investors are poised for a showdown over the club's future strategy, with Alisher Usmanov ready to suggest that Stan Kroenke and others join him in making a commitment to tackle the club's £318m debt. (Daily Telegraph) 
Reading want Watford manager Brendan Rogers to replace Steve Coppell, while also on their list of candidates are Tony Adams, Nigel Pearson and Lawrie Sanchez. (The Sun) 
Also on Reading's list are Adrian Boothroyd, Phil Parkinson and Gus Poyet. (The Times)
Meanwhile, ex-Royals boss Coppell is being lined up to take on a new role developing future England stars as Premier League chiefs want him to take on a new Head of Youth job. (The Sun) 
Colin Calderwood is yet another name being touted as the next boss at QPR. (Daily Mail)
Former Ipswich boss Jim Magilton is in the frame to be the next manager at Loftus Road. (The Sun) 
Hearts could send Marius Zaliukas on anger management classes after the defender's fourth red card of the season. (Various)
Dundee United boss Craig Levein wants an apology from referee Stuart Dougal after refusing Lee Wilkie immediate treatment during Tuesday's defeat by Celtic. (Various) 
But Stuart Dougal rejects Craig Levein's claim that he treated the Dundee United camp with arrogance during the game. (The Herald)
Rangers director John McClelland has given a lukewarm welcome to suggestions that the Old Firm could be invited into a second tier of the English Premier League. (Various) 


Former Newcastle, Tottenham and England star Paul Gascoigne has signed up to appear on TV show I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here. (The Sun)
Former Liverpool and West Ham Ham striker Titi Camara was named Guinea's coach - by military dictator Captain Moussa Dadis Camara. (The Sun) 
Kevin Poole, 45, is aiming to become the oldest player in the Football League by signing a new contract with Burton. (Daily Star)