Wednesday's gossip column


Under-fire Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez wants to sign two players in January, with Aston Villa's former Reds striker Emile Heskey being one of them.(Daily Mirror) 
New Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini will make strengthening his defence a priority in the new year. West Ham centre-half Matthew Upson (£10m), Inter Milan full-back Maicon (£15m), Juventus full-back Giorgio Chiellini (£10m) and Bolton's Gary Cahill (£10m) are all on the wanted list.(Daily Star) 
And City striker Craig Bellamy could be the first player to be shown the door after clashing with Mancini in his first training session. Mancini has reportedly ordered double training sessions but Bellamy was only expecting a light workout because of a recurring knee injury.(The Sun) 
Valencia striker David Villa believes the time is right for a switch to England after failing to secure moves to Barcelona and Real Madrid.(The Times) 
Sporting Gijon midfielder Michel is to become Birmingham City owner Carson Yeung's first signing.(Daily Mirror) 
Manchester United have bid £9m plus Nani for Benfica winger Angel di Maria.(Daily Mail) 
Everton are in talks with Valencia midfielder Manuel Fernandes about the possibility of the 23-year-old returning to Goodison Park for a third loan spell.(Daily Mirror) 
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is under pressure from the club's shareholders to spend big in January. Wenger wants to bring in a striker and West Ham's Carlton Cole, Andre-Pierre Gignac of Toulouse and Bordeaux's Marouane Chamakh have all been linked with the Gunners.(Daily Mirror) 
Real Madrid are keen on in-form Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic.(Daily Mail) 
Tottenham defender Michael Dawson is poised for a move to Sunderland.(Daily Mirror) 
Former Liverpool winger Jermaine Pennant is set for a return to the Premier League after being told by Spanish club Real Zaragoza that he is no longer wanted. Aston Villa are thought to be interested in the 26-year-old.(The Sun) 
Everton are considering making a loan move for former Arsenal winger Jose Antonio Reyes, who is now at Atletico Madrid. (Daily Mail) 
And Everton will battle it out with Tottenham for Watford's England Under-21 goalkeeper Scott Loach. (Daily Star)
Sunderland boss Steve Bruce wants to sign Coventry goalkeeper Keiren Westwood as his new number one.(Daily Mirror) 
Portsmouth manager Avram Grant could still be prevented from signing players in the new year, even if the club pay off all their transfer debts.(Daily Star) 
But if the ban is lifted, Grant wants to buy Wigan midfielder Olivier Kapo.(Daily Mirror) 
New Queens Park Rangers manager Paul Hart will go to his former club Portsmouth to try to sign defender Mike Williamson and striker Tommy Smith.(The Sun) 
Wolves boss Mick McCarthy is interested in Celtic winger Niall McGinn, who is valued at £1.5m.(Daily Mail) 
Glasgow giants Celtic are set to join Newcastle in the race to sign Sheffield United defender Matthew Kilgallon.(The Sun) 


Former England, Tottenham and Chelsea manager Glenn Hoddle is set for a return to the English game with Championship side Reading.(Daily Mirror) 
New Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini is not convinced that his tenure at Eastlands will last beyond next summer.(Daily Mail) 
Notts County director of football Sven-Goran Eriksson is closing in on a £2m buy-out at the club, with backing from Scandinavian investors. (Daily Express)
Sunderland midfielder Jordan Henderson's impressive form has alerted England boss Fabio Capello.(The Independent) 
Saudi prince Faisal bin Fahad bin Abdullah is ready to buy the 50% stake of Liverpool co-owner George Gillett.(Daily Mail) 


As captain of England, John Terry is known to millions but that did not prevent the Chelsea defender from being snubbed when saying hello to darts player James Wade at a chemist in Surrey. "I thought it was someone trying to be a pest so I gave him the flick," explained Wade. "But a few hours later he texted my girlfriend with the message 'How rude is your other half?'. I've never been so embarrassed in my life."(Daily Star)