Thursday's gossip column


Tottenham will make a £6m move for Manchester City midfielder Michael Johnson in the January transfer window. (The Sun) 
Birmingham will join the race to sign Emile Heskey if the 31-year-old England striker quits Aston Villa to boost his World Cup hopes.(The Sun) 
Sunderland will make a move for Middlesbrough's England Under-21 winger Adam Johnson, 22, in January. (The Sun) 
Stoke manager Tony Pulis is ready to make an opening £1.5m bid for Huddersfield's highly rated young goalkeeper Alex Smithies. The Terriers rate the stopper at about £4m.(Daily Mirror) 
Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill is interested in signing Barnsley's teenage striker Reuben Noble-Lazarus. The 16-year-old became the youngest Football League player at 15 years and 45 days in a game against Ipswich in October 2008. (The Sun) 
Arsenal are leading the chase for 14-year-old Montenegro midfielder Nikola Zvrko. Chelsea and Barcelona are also interested in the youngster. (Daily Mail) 
Sheffield United manager Kevin Blackwell is weighing up whether to bring in former Wigan striker Henri Camara, who is a free agent, to boost his injury-hit squad.(Daily Mirror) 


Rafael Benitez's job as Liverpool manager is safe for now because the club cannot afford to sack him. The Spaniard has four and a half years to run on the £4.5m-a-season contract he signed in March, so sacking him could cost about £20m.(Daily Mail)
Former Germany manager Jurgen Klinsmann, who was approached a couple of years ago to succeed Rafael Benitez at Liverpool, has reiterated his desire to manage in the Premier League. (The Sun) 
Former Chelsea boss Claudio Ranieri has admitted he would love to come back to England and manage in the Premier League again. (Daily Mirror) 


Germany's World Cup players have been warned to expect to wear bullet-proof vests if they venture away from the team hotel at the 2010 finals in South Africa.(The Daily Telegraph)