Tuesday's gossip column


West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola insists the club will not be forced to sell striker Carlton Cole in January, despite interest in the £20m-rated player from Manchester United and Liverpool.(The Sun) 
Chelsea have dropped out of the running to sign Benfica's Ángel Di María after balking at the £36m asking price, leaving the way open for the Argentine winger to join Manchester City next summer.(Daily Telegraph) 
Birmingham's £4m bid for Standard Liege's Serbian striker Milan Jovanovic has collapsed, leaving Manchester United, Tottenham, Aston Villa and Everton to battle it out for his signature.(Daily Mirror) 
Sunderland manager Steve Bruce is willing to listen to offers for defender Anton Ferdinand and Spurs are believed to be preparing a £6m bid. (Various) 
Manchester City have moved a step closer to signing QPR's Raheem Sterling after the young forward notified Rangers of his desire to leave.(Daily Mirror) 
Nottingham Forest are planning a £3m move for Tottenham defender Gareth Bale.(Daily Mirror) 


Los Angeles Galaxy and England midfielder David Beckham is struggling to be fit for his New Year move to AC Milan after needing three cortisone injections in his right ankle before Sunday's MLS Cup Final defeat to Real Salt Lake.(The Sun) 
Beckham is ready to move into club ownership after expressing his wish to buy a Major League Soccer team. He has the right to invest in a future franchise as part of his deal to join Galaxy in 2007.(Daily Mirror)
Liverpool midfielder Ryan Babel says he will leave the club in January if he is not given more opportunities in the first team by manager Rafael Benitez. "I have tried to talk to the manager but it isn't of any use," admitted Babel."(The Sun) 
Real Madrid forward Kaka has revealed that he turned down a move to Chelsea in the summer in order to complete his dream move to the Bernabeu. (Daily Mail) 
Bolton manager Gary Megson has rounded on some of his players, accusing them of trying to destabilise the club. The Trotters are currently in the Premier League relegation zone following three successive defeats. (Various)
Tottenham defender Jonathan Woodgate has admitted he has no chance of representing England at next year's World Cup in South Africa because of his persistent injury woes.(Daily Mirror) 
Ipswich have dismissed speculation that their manager Roy Keane is on the brink of being sacked. A club spokesman said: "The story in a national newspaper that our manager is about to leave is complete and utter nonsense.(Daily Mirror) 
Arsenal midfielder Alex Song has agreed to sign a new contract that will keep him at the Emirates until 2015.(The Sun) 


Liverpool midfielder Yossi Benayoun has revealed that his recent injuries were treated by Serbian healer Marijana Kovacevic with human placenta. Benayoun's team-mate Glen Johnson, Arsenal's Robin van Persie and Chelsea's Frank Lampard have all recently been treated with what was believed to be horse placenta.(The Sun) 
Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe says that watching Spurs coach Clive Allen in action during his playing days on YouTube helped him claim his five-goal haul during the 9-1 win over Wigan on Sunday.(Daily Mirror)