Sunday's gossip column


Barcelona are lining up an £85m summer bid for Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney - and believe the Old Trafford club's huge debts mean they would consider the offer. (News of the World) 
Barca officials want to meet with Manchester City's owners in Abu Dhabi this week to discuss a loan deal for City's £32.5m Brazilian forward Robinho.(News of the World)   
Barcelona also hope to sign Liverpool midfielder Javier Mascherano for £20m during the January transfer window. (News of the World) 
Man City are willing to meet Bayern Munich's £60m valuation of Franck Ribery when he recovers from a long-term tendon injury - and City boss Mark Hughes flew to Germany last week to speak to the French winger.(News of the World) 
Benfica are willing to sell star winger Angel Di Maria, with Manchester United and Chelsea both interested in the Argentine. (Sunday Mirror) 
Manchester City see Di Maria as the ideal replacement for Robinho but could have to pay as much as £27m to capture the 21-year-old. (Sunday Times) 
Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has earmarked three potential January signings with CSKA Moscow goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev and his team-mate, right-sided midfielder Milos Krasic, in his sights along with Palermo defender Simon Kjaer.(Sunday Express) 
Schalke's Manuel Neuer and Bayer Leverkusen's Rene Adler are also on Ferguson's shortlist as potential replacements for Edwin van der Sar. (Sunday Express) 
Chelsea, Liverpool and Sunderland have been told they will have to pay £7m if they want to sign Middlesbrough winger Adam Johnson. (Sunday Express)
Up to four Premier League clubs willl try to sign AC Milan striker Klass-Jan Huntelaar for a cut-price £12m in January, with Tottenham, Manchester United, Liverpool and Birmingham all interested. (News of the World) 
Tottenham's £14m striker Roman Pavlyuchenko will move to Spain in January, with Valencia favourites to sign the Russian.(Sunday Mirror) 
Arsenal are set to offer £6m for Wolfsburg's Bosnian playmaker Zvjezdan Misimovic. (News of the World) 
Chelsea will make a £17m move for Sampdoria striker Giampaolo Pazzini in January, following the suspension of the London club's transfer ban. (News of the World) 
Sunderland boss Steve Bruce will bid £6m for West Ham's England goalkeeper Rob Green in January, but the Hammers will hold out for £8m. (News of the World) 
Porto are interested in re-signing Blackburn striker Benni McCarthy after Rovers boss Sam Allardyce revealed he is willing to sell the South Africa international in January. (News of the World) 


Rafa Benitez will be sacked as Liverpool boss in the summer if his side fail to qualify for next season's Champions League, with Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill the favourite to succeed him. (News of the World) 
Former Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish, who is now working for the club's academy, will be appointed temporary boss if Benitez is fired before the end of the season. (News of the World) 
Liverpool co-owner Tom Hicks insists the Reds will not be forced to sell Steven Gerrard, Fernando Torres or Javier Mascherano, even if they miss out on next season's Champions League. (Sunday Mirror) 
Liverpool hope to raise £250m through the sale of the naming rights to their proposed new stadium. (Sunday Times) 
Manchester United striker Michael Owen is all-but certain to miss out on the World Cup finals if he is not named in Fabio Capello's squad to face Brazil next week. (Sunday Times) 
Owen will not be in Capello's squad when it is named on Sunday evening - and his only chance of getting on the plane for South Africa is if England suffer a glut of injuries to the striker, with Wayne Rooney, Jermain Defoe, Emile Heskey, Peter Crouch, Darren Bent and Gabriel Agbonlahor all above him in the pecking order. (Mail on Sunday) 
Capello has warned Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand, currently sidelined by a back injury, that he will not pick any half-fit players in his squad for the World Cup finals. (The Observer) 
Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez feels Steven Gerrard should not travel to Qatar for Saturday's game with Brazil, even though the Reds captain is likely to play some part for his club against Birmingham on Monday after recovering from a groin problem. (Sunday Telegraph) 
Liverpool could ignore a specialist's advice over their striker Fernando Torres and play him against Birmingham on Monday, despite being told that he needs to rest. (Sunday Express) 
Hull City will sack boss Phil Brown this week, and he is doomed regardless of how the Tigers get on against Stoke City on Sunday afternoon. (Mail on Sunday) 
England midfielder David Beckham, 34, is ready to sign a new contract with Los Angeles Galaxy that would take him up to his 40th birthday. His current deal ends in 2011. (News of the World) 
Former Newcastle boss Alan Shearer is hoping to return to management with another club in the next few months. (Sunday Mirror) 
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has threatened to quit the Gunners if Alisher Usmanov wins control of the club. Wenger would take over at Real Madrid instead.(News of the World) 
Former Chelsea and Tottenham midfielder Gus Poyet is set to be interviewed by Brighton about becoming the next boss of the Seagulls. (Sunday Mirror) 
Or, Brighton hope to appoint Scunthorpe manager Nigel Adkins as their new manager this week. (News of the World) 


Burnley right-back Tyrone Mears played for Jamaica last season despite having no links with the country - his father was actually from Sierra Leone. (News of the World) 
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has ordered his players to be mindful of their public image and curb their "lifestyle excesses" - with one of his major gripes being the 'super car' culture at the club.(News of the World) 

During his time with Monaco, Manchester United defender Patrice Evra played for a month with chicken breasts packed into his left boot to protect an ankle injury.(Sunday Times)