Thursday's gossip column


Real Madrid are confident of landing Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso for £23m if Florentino Perez is appointed president again.(The Sun) 
Inter Milan are preparing a double-swoop for Chelsea duo Ricardo Carvalho and Jon Mikel Obi and hope to land the pair for £21m. (Daily Express) 
Meanwhile Chelsea are confident they can hold off the advances of Barcelona and tie left-back Ashley Cole to a new deal. (The Guardian) 
Manchester United have been warned they face stiff competition to land Wigan winger Antonio Valencia.(The Sun) 
Aston Villa are prepared to lose £9m and let Gareth Barry run out the remainder of his contract, rather than sell him to a Premier League rival.(The Sun) 
Liverpool are preparing a £10m bid for Portsmouth right-back Glen Johnson. (Daily Star) 
However, Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez may be prepared to pay as much as £15m for the Portsmouth man. (Daily Mail) 
Middlesbrough will slap a £9m price tag on defender David Wheater if they are relegated to the Championship on Sunday. (The Sun) 
Wheater is wanted by Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill who is hopeful of landing the centre-back for £7m. (Daily Star)
Tottenham striker Roman Pavlyuchenko has been assured he has a future at the club. (Daily Express) 
Chelsea are leading the chase for Wolfsburg's £6m-rated striker Edin Dzeko. (Daily Mirror)
Olympiakos are set to offer Blackburn £2m for striker Matt Derbyshire, who is on loan at the Greek side. (Daily Mirror) 
Joseph Yobo looks set to leave Everton after turning down a new deal at the club. (Daily Mail) 
Tottenham have joined Wigan, Middlesbrough, West Brom and Celtic in the chase for Hibernian striker Steven Fletcher. (Scottish Daily Mail)
Celtic outcast Bobo Balde has agreed to try and win a move to Birmingham City. ( Daily Record) 
Guinea international Balde must prove his fitness and desire during a trial period if he wants a move to Birmingham. (Scottish Sun) 
Palermo lead the race to take Massimo Donati back to Italy from an unhappy spell at Celtic. (Various)
Lazio have been linked with a move for Rangers playmaker Pedro Mendes. (Daily Express)


Chelsea are set to confirm AC Milan manager Carlo Ancelotti as their new manager as early as next week. (Daily Star)
Celtic want David Moyes to become their new manager next season.(The Sun) 
Alan Shearer has given the strongest hint yet that he will stay on as Newcastle manager, even if the club are relegated on Sunday.(The Sun) 
However, assistant manager Iain Dowie has cast doubt over Shearer's long-term involvement at the club. (The Telegraph) 
Hull striker Dean Windass is set to land a role as player-coach, alongside Colin Todd, at League Two side Darlington. (Daily Mirror)
Exeter boss Paul Tisdale has emerged as the leading contender to replace Steve Coppell as Reading manager. (The Sun) 
Newcastle coach Colin Calderwood is on the short-list to become the new Chesterfield manager. (Daily Mirror)
Falkirk boss John Hughes is the leading contender for the Blackpool job, while Ayr United's Brian Reid is also in the running. (The Herald) 


Former world player of the year Luis Figo is considering an offer to play in the Chinese Super League. (Chinese sports newspaper Titan Sports)