Friday's gossip column


Former Liverpool and Newcastle striker Michael Owen will have to take a 50% pay cut - to £50,000-a-week - and pass a stringent medical before making a shock move to Manchester United.(The Sun) 
Actually, Owen could be offered a basic wage of a paltry £20,000-a-week, with performance-related bonuses taking him close to the £110,000-a-week he earned at Newcastle.(Daily Mail) 
Chelsea are the only club to have submitted a formal bid, of about £40m, for Bayern Munich's Franck Ribery - but the French international wants to join Real Madrid.(Daily Telegraph) 
Real Madrid have put their bid for Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso on hold, until mid-July when his former club Real Sociedad will no longer be entitled to a percentage of the fee.(The Sun) 
Liverpool are steeling themselves for two bids worth nearly a combined £60m from Real Madrid and Barcelona for Alonso and his fellow midfielder Javier Mascherano. (Daily Telegraph)
Manchester United will make a £16m move for Sevilla's 28-year-old Brazilian striker Luis Fabiano, but face competition from AC Milan.(Daily Mirror) 
Barcelona have risked the wrath of Arsenal by making an approach for midfielder Cesc Fabregas.(The Sun) 
Portsmouth defender Sol Campbell is considering a shock move to Championship club Newcastle United.(Daily Star) 
Chelsea are close to signing Man City youngster Daniel Sturridge and and CSKA Moscow left-back Yuri Zhirkov.(Daily Telegraph) 
AC Milan could make a remarkable £12m bid for Portsmouth striker Peter Crouch if they fail to sign Arsenal's Emmanuel Adebayor.(The Sun) 
Fulham are also keen on Pompey's giant hitman, preparing a £10m bid.(Daily Mail) 
Aston Villa are weighing up a potential £8m bid for 22-year-old Swedish striker Marcus Berg, who impressed at the recent Euro Under-21 Championship.(Daily Star) 
Tottenham will have to pay £12m to sign Lille's 25-year-old Brazilian midfielder Michel Bastos.(Daily Mail) 
Goalkeeper Kelvin Davis, 32, will seal his move from Southampton to West Ham on Monday.(The Sun) 
Hull boss Phil Brown could be set to offer veteran midfielder Dietmar Hamann a 12-month contract after he was released by Manchester City.(Daily Mirror) 
West Brom have rejected a £2m bid from Fulham for captain Jonathan Greening. (Daily Star) Everton are set to raid Leeds to sign highly-rated defender Luke Garbutt in a £1m deal. (Daily Star)
Wolves will complete the £2m signing of Sunderland defender Greg Halford, 24, on Friday. (The Sun) 
Stoke are set to make a £5m bid for Manchester City's Zimbabwean striker Benjani.(Daily Star) 
Watford have accepted a £1.8m bid from Sheffield United for their player of the year Tommy Smith, 28. (The Sun) 
Nottingham Forest are set to sign Preston's Paul McKenna and QPR's Lee Camp in the next 48 hours. (Daily Star)
Norwich are close to signing Crystal Palace striker Alan Lee, 30, in a deal which could take goalkeeper Stuart Nelson, 27, the other way. (Daily Star) 


Newcastle owner Mike Ashley is hoping to sell the club to a Malaysian group - after a secret trip by the prospective buyers on Thursday. (Various)
Ipswich boss Roy Keane has told Bristol City manager Gary Johnson to "mind his own business" after Johnson said he thought the Tractor Boys would sign Lee Martin from Man Utd. (Daily Mirror) 
New West Brom boss Roberto di Matteo insists he will decide on signings, not sporting director Dan Ashworth.(Daily Mail) 


In four years at Newcastle, Michael Owen started 65 games and scored 30 goals. He is reported to have cost the relegated club an eye-watering £41m in fees and wages. (Various)