Saturday's gossip column


Sunderland boss Steve Bruce has defended the club following Wigan counterpart Roberto Martinez's criticism of their pursuit of defender Maynor Figueroa. (Press Association) 


Liverpool winger Ryan Babel has been informed by manager Rafael Benitez that he will not be sold before the January transfer window closes on Monday.(The Times) 
Birningham have, meanwhile, made a fresh inquiry for Babel and had an improved £9m bid for Roman Pavlyuchenko turned down by Tottenham.(Daily Mail) 
Wigan chairman Dave Whelan will not prevent Maynor Figueroa leaving for "a good club" despite the Honduras international signing a new contract on Friday.(Daily Mail) 
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has made a fresh offer for Marouane Chamakh in a bid to snap up the Bordeaux striker on a pre-contract.(Daily Mirror) 
Manchester City have made a £7m move for Parma midfielder McDonald Mariga.(Daily Mail) 
Wolves have held talks with Blackburn Rovers striker Jason Roberts and hope to conclude a £2m deal. (Daily Mail) 
David Dunn has urged Blackburn to bring in James Beattie from Stoke as Benni McCarthy's replacement. (Daily Mirror)


John Terry faces an anxious wait to discover if further damaging revelations regarding his private life will cost him the England captaincy. (Various) 
Rafael Benitez has warned Liverpool that they must deliver on a string of promises if he is not to be lured away by Juventus in the summer.(Daily Mail) 
Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti has suggested that the way he man-manages his thirtysomethings at the club will hold the key to the club's hopes of winning the Premier League title.(The Guardian) 
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has warned his players to be wary of Wayne Rooney's gamesmanship in Sunday's league match between the Gunners and Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium.(Daily Mail) 
Tottenham winger Aaron Lennon has suffered a fresh setback and could need a hernia operation only four months before the start of the World Cup.(Daily Mail) 
Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has demanded that the club's fans end their obscene taunts directed at Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. (Daily Mail) 
West Ham are to hand Tottenham a £5,000 bill for putting up Eidur Gudjohnsen in a plush London hotel and paying for a medical before he opted for a last-minute move to Spurs.(Sun)
Martin O'Neill is furious with Arsenal chief Arsene Wenger for labelling Aston Villa a long ball team after the goalless draw between the sides in mid-week at Villa Park.(Daily Mirror) 


Boss Roberto Mancini is so sure about his Manchester City future he is looking for a house in the area.(Independent)