Thursday's gossip column


Barcelona are piling the pressure on Arsenal, with the Spanish giants planning a £40m summer swoop for midfielder Cesc Fabregas.(The Sun) 
Barcelona are also interested in another Gunners player, midfielder Emmanuel Eboue. (The Sun) 
Fulham are to battle it out with Arsenal for QPR's 15-year-old striker Raheem Sterling.(Daily Mirror) 
Crisis club Portsmouth face the loss of striker Aruna Dindane in the next week - if French side Lens do not receive the £3.5m owed for his transfer.(Daily Mirror) 
Stoke keeper Thomas Sorensen will consider his future at the club if he is dropped in favour of new arrival Asmir Begovic on Saturday. (The Sun) 
Birmingham midfielder Gary McSheffrey will make his loan move to Leeds permanent if the Elland Road outfit are promoted to the Championship this season. (Daily Mirror) 
Manchester United's England Under-20 midfielder Matty James is set to join Preston on loan. (Daily Mirror) 
Bayern Munich's Franck Ribery has set a March deadline for deciding his future at the club. Chelsea, Manchester United and Real Madrid have all shown an interest in the winger. (The Times) 
Preston defender Sean St Ledger has blasted club chairman Derek Shaw for denying him a dream move to Celtic.(Daily Record) 
Liverpool are hoping to bring 14-year-old Danish forward Alexander Jacobsen, who is at FC Copenhagen, into their academy. (Daily Star) 


England manager Fabio Capello will give Chelsea defender John Terry the chance to quit as England captain following newspaper revelations about his private life.(The Sun) 
Capello's hopes of having Owen Hargreaves fit for the World Cup finals have suffered another blow after Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson removed the midfielder from his Champions League squad. (The Times) 
Hong Kong businessman Balram Chainrai, who has so far lent Portsmouth £20m, is exercising his right to seize control after the cash-strapped club failed to honour their repayments to him.(The Sun) 
Chainrai has taken over the 90% shareholding held by Ali Al Faraj to become Portsmouth's fourth owner in a year. (The Guardian) 
Manchester City have rejected Real Madrid's claims that they scuppered a last-minute £16.3m transfer for midfielder Fernando Gago.(The Independent) 


Manchester United winger Ryan Giggs believes team-mate Wayne Rooney is about to join Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Real Madrid duo Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo in being seen as the best players in the world. (Daily Star) 
Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder David Beckham, who is on loan at AC Milan, has signed up for an Italian cookery course. "It's something I've always wanted to do," said the former England captain. (Daily Star)