Friday's gossip column


Defender Sol Campbell is set for a shock return to Arsenal, but only if manager Arsene Wenger sells Philippe Senderos in the January transfer window.(Daily Mirror) 
Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola is delaying signing a new contract with the club until they can guarantee the signing of Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas.(Daily Star) 
However, Spanish rivals Real Madrid are preparing to derail Barcelona's attempt to sign Fabregas. President Florentino Perez and director general Jorge Valdano have held talks about a £43m bid.(The Sun)
Manchester City are on the verge of signing Argentine defender Cristian Ansaldi for £4m from Rubin Kazan. (The Times) 
Liverpool have entered the race to sign Marouane Chamakh with the offer of a pre-contract agreement for the Bordeaux striker, who can leave the French club for nothing at the end of the season.(The Guardian) 
Wolves have made a £3m offer for Hull winger Stephen Hunt.(The Sun) 
Birmingham boss Alex McLeish is willing to make Kenwyne Jones the club's highest earner if he can lure him from Sunderland, but is unwilling to pay the £11m the Black Cats want for the striker.(The Times) 
Former Chelsea striker Eidur Gudjohnsen, who is now at Monaco, is closing in on a £2m move to Blackburn.(The Sun) 
But Gudjohnsen is also wanted by West Ham and Tottenham.(Daily Mirror) 
Middlesbrough manager Gordon Strachan has blocked Austrian defender Emanuel Pogatetz's proposed £1.5m move to Greek club Panathinaikos.(Daily Mail) 
Hull boss Phil Brown is chasing Aston Villa striker Marlon Harewood, who is currently on loan at Championship side Newcastle.(The Sun) 
Liverpool are expected to conclude a £1.5m deal for Atletico Madrid winger Maxi Rodriguez in the next 24 hours.(The Times) 
And Reds boss Rafael Benitez also wants to sign Reading goalkeeper Adam Federici for £2m.(The Sun) 
Winger John Utaka is set to start an exodus at cash-strapped Portsmouth by joining French side Sochaux. (Daily Mirror) 
Defender Younes Kaboul is also expected to leave Portsmouth, with Sunderland keen on the former Spurs player.(Daily Mail) 
Stoke City are considering a £1m move for ex-Wigan striker Amr Zaki, while Marseille enquire about Bolton striker Johan Elmander's availability. (Daily Mail) 
West Ham want to sign striker James Beattie on loan but Stoke say they will only consider a permanent transfer.(The Times) 
Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester City are sending scouts to Crystal Palace's home game on Saturday as the race hots up for striker Victor Moses.(Daily Mirror) 


Manchester City have insisted on a six-month get-out clause with new midfielder Patrick Vieira, just in case the former Arsenal star fails to make the grade at Eastlands.(Daily Mirror) 
Norwich manager Paul Lambert has emerged as a leading contender to replace Owen Coyle at Burnley.(Daily Mail) 
Or Burnley want to talk to Simon Grayson about becoming their new manager.(Daily Mirror) 
Swansea boss Paulo Sousa has also been linked with the vacant job at Turf Moor.(The Guardian) 
In a bid to keep striker Kris Boyd at Ibrox, Rangers are promising to make him one of their best-paid players - on a salary of £18,000 a week. Boyd has been linked with moves to Birmingham and Middlesbrough.(Daily Record) 
Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney is set to become club captain next season should Gary Neville retire in the summer.(The Sun) 
And United defender Rio Ferdinand could make his long-awaited comeback from injury in the home game with Burnley on 16 January.(Daily Mirror) 
Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti could offer the club's 21-year-old Serbian Nemanja Matic the chance to take over the first team's holding midfielder role in the absence of Michael Essien and John Mikel Obi.(Daily Mail) 


Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is so fed up with freezing conditions ruining training that will take his players to Dubai if Saturday's game at Birmingham is called off.(The Sun) 
Thirty-three-year-old Patrick Vieira, who would have been out of contract in the summer, will pick up a weekly wage of £100,000 at Manchester City. The Guardian's report fails to mention whether he will also receive a final-salary pension. (The Guardian)