Thursday's gossip column


Barcelona are weighing up an increased offer for Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas and would like to sign the Spaniard before the Gunners' Champions League match at Celtic on Tuesday to avoid him being cup-tied for the European competition.(The Sun) 
Tottenham are considering a £5m move for Crystal Palace forward Victor Moses.(Daily Star) 
West Ham and Fulham are set to battle it out for Bordeaux striker Marouane Chamakh after Arsenal called off their chase for the highly rated Moroccan. (Daily Mirror) 
Fulham also face a fight with Everton for the signing of Middlesbrough midfielder Gary O'Neil.(Daily Mirror) 
Manchester United are hoping to hijack Bayern Munich's £5m move for FC Schalke keeper Manuel Neuer, who has received rave reviews from United scouts.(The Sun) 
Argentine defender Renato Civelli, who broke off discussions with Blackburn over a Bosman transfer after failing to agree terms due to his excessive demands, wants to re-kindle the move because he is desperate to play in the Premier League.(Daily Mirror) 
Portsmouth are closing in on the signing of former Middlesbrough midfielder Bolo Zenden.(Daily Star) 
Fulham are closing in on a deal to sign Mark Viduka after the former Newcastle striker flew into London for talks on Wednesday night.(Daily Mail) 
Real Madrid striker Alvaro Negredo is keen to join Hull.(The Sun) 
Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp is considering a move for Celtic's Scottish international midfielder Scott Brown.(The Guardian) 
Burnley boss Owen Coyle hopes to clinch the £2.8 million signing of Reading's Cameroon defender Andre Bikey on Thursday.(Daily Mirror) 
Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce is on the verge of bringing Paris St Germain midfielder Jerome Rothen to Ewood Park for £2million.(The Sun) 
Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti is keen to make 20-year-old Serbian striker Nemanja Matic his fourth signing since taking the reins at Stamford Bridge in a £4million deal.(Daily Mirror) 
Wigan boss Roberto Martinez is putting a move for French midfielder Mohamed Diame from Spanish side Rayo Vallecano on hold because of a heart scare in his medical.(Daily Mirror) 
Chelsea defender Michael Mancienne is set to sign a new four-year deal at Stamford Bridge before then joining Premier League newcomers Wolves on loan for the season.(The Times) 


Manchester City have demanded to see the medical records of Joleon Lescott before making a new bid for the Everton defender. (Daily Mirror) 
Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard believes Manchester City could be Premier League title challengers this season.(The Sun) 
Similarly, Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill feels that City can challenge for the title, conceding that the Eastland outfit's summer spending spree has created a Premier League "big five".(Daily Mirror) 
Carlo Ancelotti claims the English core of John Terry, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole at the heart of his Chelsea team will help him recapture the title for the Stamford Bridge outfit.(Daily Mirror) 
Liverpool midfielder Lucas believes he is the man to fill the shoes of recently departed Spanish midfielder Xabi Alonso.(Daily Express) 
Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez has insisted the Reds have not taken a gamble in signing injured midfielder Alberto Aquilani, arguing that his ankle problem means he was cheaper.(Daily Mirror) 
Fulham chairman Mohamed Al Fayed has given manager Roy Hodgson a license to spend as the Cottagers go in search of Europa League success.(Daily Express) 
Sulaiman Al Fahim has promised to be at Fratton Park for Portsmouth's season opener even though his proposed takeover of the club has yet to be completed.(Daily Mirror) 
Barcelona midfielder Alexander Hleb, who has recently joined German side Stuttgart on a season-long loan, admits he made a mistake in leaving Arsenal last summer.(Daily Mirror) 


While Rio Ferdinand and Ashley Cole were lining up for England in Holland on Wednesday night, the first screening of a film they jointly funded, Dead Man Running, starring 50 Cent, was showing in Central London. (The Guardian)
Arsenal striker Nicolas Bendtner hopes that a change of squad number from 26 to his lucky number 52 will improve his fortunes in front of goal.(The Sun) 
However, Bendtner's decision to change number has not got off to the best start as he faces a £10,000 bill from Arsenal after offering to reimburse fans who bought replica shirts bearing his old number. (The Guardian)