Saturday's gossip column


Despite their transfer ban until January 2011, Chelsea are still scouting for players to sign with Benfica winger Angel di Maria top of the list. The Blues are also monitoring Benfica's Brazilian centre-half David Luiz.(Daily Mirror) 
Barcelona have told Manchester City that they will need to find £300m to buy Lionel Messi, after the Argentine winger signed a new deal that will keep him at the Spanish giants until 2016.(The Sun) 
Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill will decide Nigel Reo-Coker's future on Monday, after the midfielder was sent home following a training ground bust up.(Daily Mirror) 
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has revealed he may renew his interest in Bordeaux striker Marouane Chamakh following an unsuccessful long-running transfer saga throughout the summer. The 25-year-old Moroccan international was linked with a number of Premier League sides but the Gunners seem keen to secure his services. ( 


Manchester City manager Mark Hughes says he almost walked away from the club in the summer of 2008 because of a lack of money as well as the turmoil over the club's ownership.(The Guardian) 
The war of words between Hughes and Manchester United counterpart Sir Alex Ferguson has been stepped up ahead of Sunday's city derby at Old Trafford. 
City boss Hughes says the failure to replace winger Cristiano Ronaldo and the departure of forward Carlos Tevez has left United "below par".(The Sun) 
And United manager Ferguson believes his side will never be underdogs against City long as he is alive.(Various) 
Former Newcastle boss Alan Shearer is keen to return to management. "If a job was to come up, not necessarily Newcastle, then I would be interested," he told an assembly of school children. (Daily Mirror) 
England's players have backed Fabio Capello's no-nonsense regime by cancelling plans for a lavish pre-World Cup party.(The Times) 
Chelsea skipper John Terry has revealed the level of influence he has at Stamford Bridge. He says he tells owner Roman Abramovich which players they need to keep and that he played a key role in the new deals signed by Ashley Cole, Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard.(The Sun) 
Celtic boss Tony Mowbray has warned contract rebel Gary Caldwell could have received his final offer of a new deal. The Scottish international claimed on Thursday that talks with his agent had been halted and that he had been offered less than some of his team-mates.(Daily Mail) 
Munto Finance's takeover of Notts County has not yet been ratified by the Football League, as officials are still to be satisfied that the new owners pass the "fit and proper persons" test.(The Sun) 


Manchester City defender Kolo Toure says he has earned every penny he has made from football after an impoverished childhood growing up in Ivory Coast. "I've done things that no other player has done. I have sold newspapers by the side of the road and cleaned the shoes of people for less than a pound."(Daily Telegraph) 
Argentina manager Diego Maradona has reportedly had a pair of earings seized by Italian police. The World Cup-winning midfielder, who is staying in a spa in Merano, apparently owes £20.25m to the Italian taxman. The earings will go only a small way to paying off the bill, however, as they are only worth £3,500.(Associated Press)