Wednesday's gossip column


Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will launch a £9m move for West Ham striker Carlton Cole if Nicklas Bendtner fails a fitness test on Friday. "If Bendtner is out for another two months we will need to buy someone, absolutely," admitted Wenger.(The Sun) 
However, Arsenal are set to lose highly-rated Spanish midfielder Fran Merida, who has snubbed a new deal at the Emirates and is set to join Atletico Madrid. (Daily Star) 
The Gunners are battling it out with Manchester United for Cardiff City's 17-year-old defender Adam Matthews, who is seen as one of the best prospects outside the Premier League.(The Sun) 
Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic has played down suggestions he will leave the club for Real Madrid, insisting he has "a marvellous understanding" with manager Sir Alex Ferguson. (The Sun) 
Bolton are prepared to cash in on £15m-rated defender Gary Cahill in order to provide prospective new manager Owen Coyle with substantial funds during the transfer window.(Daily Mirror) 
Tottenham have renewed their interest in Miguel Veloso after seeing the Sporting midfielder score in the Portuguese Cup win over Braga.(The Times) 
Spurs have joined Chelsea and Manchester City on the trail of Sampdoria striker Giampaolo Pazzini, who is valued at £22m by his club. (Daily Mirror) 
Former Manchester United and Chelsea midfielder Juan Sebastian Veron, who plays for Estudiantes, has been linked with a shock £7m move to Manchester City.(Daily Mail) 
Andrea Dossena's agent claims a deal to take the Liverpool defender to Napoli is all but done. "I believe the player will arrive in Napoli tomorrow," Roberto La Florio told Tuttomercatoweb. (Press Association)
Liverpool have turned down Birmingham's £9m bid for winger Ryan Babel, as the price falls short of their £12m valuation.(Daily Mirror) 
Wigan boss Roberto Martinez is ready to swoop for Sporting Gijon left-back Roberto Canella - and open the door for Maynor Figueroa to be sold.(Daily Mirror) 
Midfielder Kevin Kilbane and striker Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink are heading out of Hull as the Premier League strugglers attempt to cut costs.(Daily Star) 
Blackburn are prepared to listen to offers for striker Benni McCarthy who has told Rovers manager Sam Allardyce he would like to leave Ewood Park.(The Sun) 
Wolves are on the trail of £2m-rated Derby winger Kris Commons.(The Sun) 
Derby boss Nigel Clough wants Bolton's out of favour right back Nicky Hunt on loan. (Daily Mirror) 


Burnley have put manager Owen Coyle on gardening leave until Bolton agree to pay them £3m in compensation to take him to the Reebok. The Clarets released a statement yesterday saying Coyle had requested to leave Turf Moor to join the Trotters.(The Sun) 
Hibernian's John Hughes is an early candidate to replace Burnley manager Owen Coyle, who is poised to take over at Bolton. (The Guardian) 
Portsmouth will have to sell some of their stars to avoid becoming the first club in Premier League history to go into administration, with defender Younes Kaboul likely to be the first to leave in a £5m switch to French side Lyon.(Daily Mirror) 
West Ham and Millwall face the threat of ground closures when the two clubs answer Football Association charges on Wednesday brought after violence marred a Carling Cup clash between the sides last August.(Daily Mail) 
Manchester City are set to hand goalkeeper Joe Hart a double-your-money pay rise, even though they intend to send him out on loan again next season. The England man is currently on a season-long loan at Birmingham. (The Sun) 


Liverpool striker Fernando Torres is putting in up to five hours extra training a day in order to boost his fitness so he can last the season. "One of the reasons I'm working really hard is because I know in this situation Liverpool need every player fit," said Torres.(The Sun)