Sunday's gossip column


Tottenham are leading the race to sign former Manchester United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy - with his current club Real Madrid ready to let the 32-year-old Dutch striker go for just £1.25m.(The People) 
Alternatively, Spurs boss Harry Redknapp has his sights set on a £10m move for Blackburn striker Roque Santa Cruz.(News of the World) 
Manchester City will offer defender Micah Richards as bait in their bid to sign Everton centre-back Joleon Lescott.(News of the World) 
Newcastle striker Michael Owen is wanted by Aston Villa, but the 29-year-old will have to take a £70,000-a-week pay cut to seal the move.(News of the World) 
However, Italian club Roma are also eyeing up a move for the England striker. (Sunday Mirror)
Italian champions Inter Milan are preparing a £25m bid for Arsenal striker Robin van Persie.(Sunday Mirror) 
Manchester United face losing out to Champions League conquerors Barcelona in the race to sign France stars Franck Ribery and Karim Benzema. (Mail on Sunday) 
Barcelona are also planning a £20m swoop for United defender Nemanja Vidic.(Daily Star Sunday) 
United boss Alex Ferguson is planning to boost his defensive options by signing Sheffield United's £7m-rated right-back Kyle Naughton. (Sunday Mirror) 
Portsmouth defender Glen Johnson will move back to Chelsea this week in a deal worth £16m. (Various) 
New Sunderland boss Steve Bruce will make an ambitious bid to land Antonio Valencia from his former club Wigan. (Various)
Bruce is also keen to sign centre-back Titus Bramble from the Latics. (News of the World) 
Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce is ready to swoop for Paris St Germain star Jerome Rothen. (The People)
Manchester City will continue their summer spending spree with the signing of Athletic Bilbao's Spanish midfielder Javi Martinez, who is rated as one of the hottest prospects in Europe. (The People) 
Hull City manager Phil Brown is set to bid £4m for Bolton striker Kevin Davies. (The People)
Fulham are leading the race for Middlesbrough's England Under-21 winger Adam Johnson. (The People) 
Cottagers boss Roy Hodgson is also ready to offer £1m for Nuremberg's Australian centre-half Matthew Spiranovic.(News of the World) 
Stoke will battle it out with Blackburn and Sunderland to sign Newcastle's Alan Smith for £3m. (Various) 
Liverpool are set to make a shock move to re-sign striker Peter Crouch from Portsmouth for as little as £4m. (Sunday Mirror)


Alan Shearer is ready to walk away from Newcastle because owner Mike Ashley is stalling on talks regarding his potential future as manager of the club.(The People) 
This could be because Shearer is not Ashley's preferred choice for the vacant manager's post at St James' Park, and the only way he will become their new boss is if a new buyer for the club is found. (Mail on Sunday) 
Alternatively, Shearer could replace Celtic-bound manager Tony Mowbray at West Brom.(News of the World) 
One potential saviour of Newcastle is former chairman Freddy Shepherd, who is planning to launch a £75m takeover bid to resume control of the club this week. (Sunday Mirror)
West Ham are set to become the latest Premier League club to be taken over by Americans in a £70m takeover. (Mail on Sunday) 
Chelsea striker Didier Drogba insists he wants to talk to new manager Carlo Ancelotti about his vision for the future before signing a new deal with the club. (The People) 
Andorra centre-back Oscar Sonejee - who is set to line up for his country in the World Cup qualifier against England on Wednesday - has blasted England's players, claiming some of them care more about having a celebrity lifestyle than playing football. (The People)
English clubs could be forced to abandon plans to recruit foreign players and shop at home in the near future if Fifa goes ahead with plans to introduce legislation requiring clubs to include up to six 'domestic' players in their side. (Sunday Express)
Liverpool are facing a legal backlash after dismissing 16 members of their backroom staff, who are now set to seek compensation for unfair dismissal. (News of the World)
Former Liverpool and England winger John Barnes is set to be named Tranmere Rovers boss this week.(News of the World) 


Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn has revealed that he never liked new Black Cats boss Steve Bruce when the two were both players, but he has long since buried the hatchet. (Various)
New Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti has been brushing up on his English in a Dutch convent that offers intensive language courses. (The People)