Friday's gossip column


West Ham United want to sign Chilean midfielder Luis Jimenez (on photo) from Serie A champions Inter Milan. Boss Gianfranco Zola told La Gazzetta dello Sport.: "He is one of those lads who play the way I like. It's not easy to sign non-EU players in England but I think these problems can be solved."


Manchester United, Real Madrid and Chelsea are on standby to swoop for Lyon striker Karim Benzema.The president of the French club Jean-Michael Aulas admitted: "He has been approached. For the moment, I managed to convince them not to go further." (The Independent) 
Chelsea could be set to wreck Liverpool's hopes of signing Glen Johnson with Portsmouth executive chairman Peter Storrie saying: "Glen has got permission to speak to two clubs".(The Sun) 
The future of striker Carlos Tevez still hangs in the balance with just two weeks remaining on his loan deal at Manchester United, but he could still stay at Old Trafford - if the club make him the highest paid player.(The Sun) 
Manchester City have agreed an £18m deal to sign Blackburn forward Roque Santa Cruz.(Daily Mail) 
Newcastle United have slapped a £10m price tag on defender Sebastien Bassong with Tottenham and Arsenal leading the chase.(Daily Mail) 
Manchester City still wait anxiously to see if striker Samuel Eto'o will be heading their way from Barcelona, but Inter Milan are keen on ruining Mark Hughes' party.(The Sun) 
West Brom are lining up an audacious bid for former Liverpool star Luis Garcia.(Daily Mirror) 
Bayern Munich are closing in on Chelsea defender Jose Bosingwa.(The Times) 
Bordeaux striker Marouane Chamakh is being checked out by Arsenal as a possible replacement for Emmanuel Adebayor who could be off to AC Milan.(The Times) 
Sunderland are close to securing Manchester City defender Richard Dunne for £5m.(Daily Mirror) 
Crystal Palace have won the race to sign striker Freddie Sears on loan from West Ham. (The Sun)
Fulham have moved closer to signing Wigan midfielder Paul Scharner for £4m.(Daily Mail) 
Wigan are poised to battle it out with Celtic for the services of Hibernian striker Steven Fletcher.(The Sun) 
Celtic and Ipswich are vying for the services of Cobreloa striker Eduardo Vargas. (The Sun)


Kevin Keegan is being lined up for a return to football with Southampton. The Pinnacle consortium, poised to take charge of the Saints, want the former England and Newcastle boss to be part of the team.(Daily Mirror) 
Burnley director Brendan Flood says Celtic tried to prise manager Owen Coyle away from them within an hour of the English club's promotion to the Premier League. (Daily Express) 
Former Celtic and West Ham striker Paolo Di Canio will this week become head coach of Romanian club Poli Iasi. (Daily Express)
Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez faces a massive headache with Xabi Alonso the latest player to eye Anfield's exit door, following news that Javier Mascherano's agent met with Barcelona this week.(Daily Express) 
Former Manchester United striker Ruud Van Nistelrooy has told his team-mates Arjen Robben and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar to leave Real Madrid and head for Spurs.(Daily Star) 

Newcastle United are committed to paying their players a £10m bonus less than six weeks after relegation from the top flight.(Daily Mail) 
Kirk Broadfoot says he could have been blinded by the exploding egg that ended with the Rangers defender in hospital with burns and shards of glass in his eyes after a microwave accident. (The Sun) 
Rangers defender Kirk Broadfoot says he is missing out on a sunshine holiday because of fears his injured ankle could develop a blood clot brought on by flying. (Daily Record)