Thursday's gossip column


Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger wants Patrick Viera to return to the Gunners - four years after the 33-year-old Inter Milan midfielder left for Juventus. And Wenger is willing to match Tottenham's offer, which is believed to be a one-year deal with big bonuses.(Various) 
Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez is keen to add more English players to his squad and is preparing a £12m bid for Wigan midfielder Lee Cattermole (on photo) and will offer Hull £5.5m for defender Michael Turner.(Daily Mail) 
However, any deal for Cattermole and Turner is dependent on the sale of Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso to Real Madrid but the clubs are close to a £30m deal for the 27-year-old.(Daily Mail) 
Liverpool have given Real 48 hours to complete Alonso's signing with the Spanish giants set to make an improved bid of between £28m and £30m.(The Times) 
Aston Villa are monitoring forward Robbie Keane's situation at Tottenham after the arrival of fellow striker Peter Crouch. (Daily Mail) 
West Ham and England defender Matthew Upson is also a target for Villa and they are poised to make a £12m bid for the 28-year-old. (Daily Mirror) 
Villa manager Martin O'Neill wants to pair Upson with Portsmouth defender Sylvain Distin and is ready to offer £4.5m for the 30-year-old. (Daily Mirror)
Tottenham striker Darren Bent is attracting interest from Aston Villa, but Sunderland remain favourites to sign the 25-year-old for about £15m. (The Independent) 
Inter Milan could revive their interest in Chelsea midfielder Deco, with Barcelona winger Alexander Hleb - who was due to arrive at the San Siro on loan - set to sign for his former club Stuttgart. (Daily Mail) 
Middlesbrough defender Robert Huth could be set for a return to the Premier League with Fulham prepared to pay £2m for the 24-year-old. (Daily Mirror) 
Newcastle have accepted a £9m bid from Wolfsburg for 24-year-old striker Obafemi Martins. (The Times) 
Everton are interested in signing 18-year-old Stockport defender Josh Thompson. (The Sun) 
Portsmouth had hoped to sign Croatian striker Nikola Kalinic but the 21-year-old's club Hadjuk Split are not happy with the £5.5m fee being spread over three years.(Various) 
Celtic are interested in signing Sheffield United defender Matthew Kilgallon for £2m. (Daily Mirror) 
Sheffield United want goalkeeper Nicky Weaver to replace Paddy Kenny, who faces a two-year ban after failing a drugs test. (The Sun) 
QPR, Leicester and Crystal Palace are all vying to sign 24-year-old striker Leroy Lita who is available on a free transfer after leaving Reading. (Daily Express) 


Kevin Keegan could be in line for yet another return to Newcastle as manager - if a Dubai tycoon succeeds with a £100m takeover of the club.(The Sun) 
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted he failed to get the best out of Dimitar Berbatov last season and has warned their Premier League rivals that there is more to come from the Bulgarian striker. (Daily Express) 
Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard says winning the Premier League title is more important than the Champions League for the west London club. (Daily Star) 
Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill believe the Midlands club need to sign five new players before the start of the season. (Daily Star) 
Chelsea have moved to secure midfielder Joe Cole and defender Ashley Cole on long-term contracts, while strikers Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka are also set to sign new deals. (Daily Mirror)


Fulham midfielder Danny Murphy has revealed the club have turned to the Pilates fitness system in their preparations for the new season.(The Sun)