Thursday's gossip column


Manchester City finally expect to complete the signing of Everton defender Joleon Lescott on Thursday in a deal worth £22m.(The Sun) 
Chelsea have not given hope of signing midfielder Andrea Pirlo, despite AC Milan saying the 30-year-old is not for sale.(Daily Star)
Portsmouth goalkeeper David James could be set for a move to Sunderland with Pompey close to signing Antti Niemi on a free transfer.(The Sun) 
Portsmouth striker David Nugent could be set for a move away from the club after a bust-up with team-mate Marc Wilson, with Stoke in discussions over a £4m move.(Various)
Tottenham have had a £12m bid for 19-year-old Toulouse midfielder Moussa Sissoko rejected by the French club who claim he is worth double that amount.(Various) 
Spurs' pursuit of Real Madrid striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar appears to be at an end with the 25-year-old set to sign for AC Milan.(The Independent) 
Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood has insisted that midfielder Cesc Fabregas will not be leaving the club after reported interest from AC Milan. (Various)
Lucas Neill, who is a available on a free transfer after leaving West Ham, is set to sign for Sunderland on Thursday.(Daily Mail) 
Bayern Munich have played down reports linking 32-year-old Italy striker Luca Toni with a move to West Ham.(The Independent) 
Nottingham Forest are planning a £2m bid for Bolton defender Danny Shittu, who has been told he can leave the Reebok Stadium.(Various) 
Hull have given a trial to former Wigan and Stoke striker Henri Camara.(Various) 
Sunderland are close to signing 21-year-old Egyptian winger Ahmed Al-Muhammadi from ENPPI.(The Independent) 
West Brom and Nottingham Forest are battling it out to sign 19-year-old Leicester full-back Joe Mattock for about £2m. (Daily Express)
Ipswich manager Roy Keane is attempting to resurrect a deal to sign Sunderland striker Daryl Murphy for about £2m.(Daily Mirror) 
Hamilton are still hoping to sign Inverness's Dougie Imrie, Motherwell's Jamie Murphy and Kilmarnock's Craig Bryson despite having bids rejected for the players. (Daily Express)


Former Aston Villa and Leeds manager David O'Leary has turned down the chance to become Newcastle manager after being offered a two-year contract by owner Mike Ashley.(Daily Mail) 
Local businessman Barry Moat is set to buy Newcastle United from Mike Ashley for £100m and his first task will be to appoint Alan Shearer as manager.(Various)
American tycoon Clark Hunt is interested in buying West Ham for £120m. Hunt owns two Major League Soccer teams in the United States and his late billionaire father founded the league in 1993.(The Sun) 
Former Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein has said the club is living in the "stone age" compared to rivals Manchester United. (Daily Telegraph) 
Manchester City forward Robinho believes the club are destined for "greatness" and are as big as Real Madrid and Brazil.(The Sun) 
Chelsea have offered captain John Terry a new contract worth £151,000-a-week, putting him on a par with team-mate Frank Lampard.(The Times) 
New Manchester United striker Michael Owen is set to miss out on an England recall for the friendly with the Netherlands later this month.(Daily Star) 
Arsenal midfielder Tomas Rosicky, who has just returned from a six-month lay-off, could miss the first six weeks of the season after straining a hamstring in training. (The Sun) 
Former England manager Terry Venables has warned Newcastle that are not too big a club to be relegated to League One. (The Sun)
Scotland manager George Burley says his side can still make the World Cup qualifiers even if they lose to Norway in Oslo this month. (Various) 
Burnley's Steven Caldwell is dreaming of partnering brother Gary in Scotland's defence for the World Cup qualifier against Norway. (Various) 


Arsenal forward Andrey Arshavin is being mocked by his Gunners team-mates who say his accent sounds like the meerkat featured on the Compare the Market television advert. (The Sun)
Everton's plans for a new stadium in Kirby are on hold because the site is currently occupied by voles. The rodents are protected by law and have to be rehoused before work can begin on the 50,000 seat venue. (The Sun) 
West Brom will back England's bid to stage the 2018 World Cup by displaying the campaigns logo on the club's shirts for Saturday's Championship match against Newcastle. (Daily Star)