Saturday's gossip column


Manchester City are prepared to pay up to £65m to sign France winger Franck Ribery from Bayern Munich in January.(The Sun) 
City are also tracking Atletico Mineiro'a £7m striker Diego Tardelli.(Daily Mirror) 
Manchester United look set to step up their interest in Russia goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev, with CSKA Moscow indicating they are prepared to let United speak to the £10m-rater stopper in the January transfer window.(Daily Mirror) 
United have revived their attempt to sign Valencia's £35m-rated striker David Villa.(Daily Mail)
West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola faces a battle with Napoli to sign Bayern Munich striker Luca Toni.(Daily Mirror) 
Blackburn midfielder David Dunn is being offered a lucrative move to Dubai club Al-Nasr when his contract at Ewood Park expires in the summer, although the 29-year-old's early-season form has also alerted several European clubs. (Daily Mail) 
Wolves striker Sylvain Ebanks-Blake is being tracked by Serie A side Palermo but the Premier League club insist he is going nowhere having signed a new four-year contract in July. (Daily Mirror)
Non-league Woking are lining up an ambitious move for former Chelsea and Leeds United striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink.(Daily Mirror) 


England coach Fabio Capello intends to start the 2010 World Cup in South Africa with David James as his first-choice goalkeeper.(The Times) 
The Football Association has indicated it is willing to provide a £5.5m bonus pot if England win the World Cup and, with it being split on a pro-rata basis depending on number of games played, Capello's top stars could each earn around £400,000.(The Sun) 
England midfielder Steven Gerrard has prepared for his country's World Cup qualifier in Ukraine by studying a DVD of his disappointing performance for Liverpool against Chelsea last Sunday. (The Sun) 
Portsmouth's new director of football Avram Grant will take a place in the dugout alongside manager Paul Hart during matches. (The Sun) 
John Barnes was sacked as Tranmere manager after chairman Peter Johnson had a change of heart: Johnson met Barnes on Thursday and told him he would be carrying on, only to dispense of the former England midfielder's services after being besieged by angry supporters at a fans' forum that evening.(Daily Mail) 
Leeds City Council has demanded that Leeds United reveal who the club's ultimate owners are before the council proceeds with the £6m purchase of the Thorp Arch training ground.(The Guardian) 


England defender Rio Ferdinand says there will be no "distractions" for his side at the 2010 World Cup, insisting manager Fabio Capello will not allow the squad to be thrown off course by WAGs, injudicious predictions of victory or debates over broken metatarsals and players carrying injuries. (Daily Telegraph) 
Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo can be seen playing the guitar and singing for a new tongue-in-cheek television advert. (Daily Star)