Sunday's gossip column


Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has opened the door to a sensational return to Old Trafford for Cristiano Ronaldo, who he sold to Real Madrid for £80m last summer.(Sunday Express) 
Ferguson is also locked in negotiations with Chelsea to sign Joe Cole who is out of contract at Stamford Bridge at the end of the season. (People) 
Manchester United are also eager to sign Everton's young stars Dan Gosling and Jack Rodwell, while Everton boss David Moyes would like to bag Manchester City's Stephen Ireland.(News of the World) 
But Ireland could be spoilt for choice this summer as Everton's Merseyside rivals Liverpool are thought to want his signature too.(Sunday Mirror) 
Spanish giants Real Madrid have made Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard their number one transfer target and believe they can tempt the midfielder away from Anfield with a £30m bid. (People) 
Liverpool winger Albert Riera is a £6m target for Spanish side Villarreal, who are looking for a replacement for Robert Pires who is set to depart at the end of the season. (Sunday Mirror) 
Manchester City are preparing a £45m bid for Real Madrid 's Argentinian stars Gonzalo Higuain and Fernando Gago. Higuain is Real's top scorer this season with 18 goals while City also tried to sign Gago in January.(IM Scouting) 
Chelsea and Manchester United face competition from Spanish side Barcelona in the race to sign Benfica winger Angel Di Maria. Di Maria has a buyout clause of 50m Euros (£45m) in his contract, but his Portuguese side would accept 25m Euros (£22m).(IM Scouting) 
Portuguese international midfielder Deco expects to leave Chelsea at the end of the season and hopes to join Brazilian side Corinthians.(IM Scouting) 
West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola is eyeing Birmingham duo Liam Ridgewell and Sebastian Larsson. Both players are out of contract at the end of the season. (News of the World) 


Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez is preparing for a summer exit from Anfield after reaching "the end of his tether" while billionaire New Yorkers line up a £100m takeover bid of the club.(News of the World) 
Ashley Cole's World Cup hopes are virtually over after it was revealed he would not play again for Chelsea this season. The left-back broke his left ankle on 11 February against Everton and has had three pins inserted in the bone. (News of the World) 
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has emerged as a contender to replace Marcello Lippi in charge of the Italian national team when the 61 year-old steps down after the World Cup in South Africa.(The Sunday Telegraph) 
Meanwhile, City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak, who has spent around £200m on transfers and £100m a year on wages, claims football in Britain - and across Europe - is on the road to ruin. He has also hinted he could favour the introduction of a salary cap.(Mail on Sunday) 
David Beckham has admitted he is not a certainty to make Fabio Capello's England squad for the World Cup in South Africa. The 34-year-old midfielder would become the first Englishman to play in four tournaments if selected.(Mail on Sunday) 
The Football Association has sold its entire allocation of 29,000 tickets for the World Cup. (Sunday Express) 
Portsmouth are on the brink of securing their fifth owner of a chaotic season with property tycoon Rob Lloyd fronting a consortium intending to buy the crisis-ridden club.(The Sunday Telegraph) 


Sunderland manager Steve Bruce has come out in support of his former club Manchester United, reckoning Manchester City will never overcome their rivals.(Sunday Mirror)