Thursday's gossip column


Chelsea midfielder Joe Cole is set to quit the club on a free transfer in the summer. The Blues have reportedly offered him a one-year extension, incorporating a 40% pay-cut, to his current deal which expires at the end of the season.(Daily Star) 
Brazilian midfielder Sandro is preparing himself for a £6m summer move to Tottenham from current club Internacionale by learning English.(Daily Mirror) 
Tottenham are sounding out clubs in Belgium about taking Zambian left-back Emmanuel Mbola on loan after the London club agreed a £1m deal to sign the teenager from Armenian club Yerevan.(Daily Mirror) 
Celtic are keen to recruit Arsenal striker Jay Simpson for next season after watching him in action for QPR, where he is on loan for the season.(Daily Mirror) 
Bayern Munich midfielder Franck Ribery, who is a target for the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and Real Madrid, says he will resolve his future before the summer.( 
Birmingham City and Wolves are both trailing Crystal Palace full-back Nathaniel Clyne.(Daily Mirror) 
Everton hit man James Vaughan is joining Leicester City's promotion push - to the fury of Championship rivals Derby County, who had the striker on loan earlier this season and had hoped to re-sign him.(Daily Mirror) 
Fulham striker Erik Nevland will leave the club on a free transfer at the end of this season to join his former team Viking Stavanger.(Daily Express) 


Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson has challenged striker Wayne Rooney to beat former United winger Cristiano Ronaldo's United goal record of 42 during the 2007/08 season. The England man took his tally to 30 for the season with a brace in United's 4-0 Champions League win over Milan on Wednesday.(The Sun) 
England boss Fabio Capello says Rooney is one of the three best players in the world; putting the striker on a par with Barcelona's Argentine forward Lionel Messi and Real Madrid's Portuguese winger Cristiano Ronaldo.(The Sun) 
Arsenal defender Sol Campbell, who started the season playing for League Two side Notts County, is eyeing a shock re-call to the England side.(The Sun) 
Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez has called a crisis meeting of his players in an attempt to stamp out the discord that threatens the very fabric of the club. In recent weeks, the Spanish coach has been dismayed by what he sees as "negative body language" from his players as they struggle to keep themselves in the race for a top-four finish.(Daily Mirror) 
Fulham manager Roy Hodgson, who enjoyed managerial spells with Udinese and Inter Milan prior to taking over at Craven Cottage, has admitted he would like to coach again in Italy before the end of his career.(Daily Mirror) 
The backlash towards Real Madrid coach Manuel Pellegrini has begun following the club's Champions League exit at the hands of Lyon on Wednesday. The front page of Madrid based newspaper Marca this morning says "Adio Champions, Adios Pellegrini. Fuera" which translates as "Goodbye Champions [League], Goodbye Pellegrini. Out."( 
Former Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink has agreed to manage Ivory Coast at this summer's World Cup in South Africa - providing he can negotiate an early release from his contract as Russia coach, which runs until mid-July. After the World Cup, Hiddink will take over as coach of Turkey.(Daily Mail) 


Newcastle stars like Alan Smith and Kevin Nolan will be asked to take a pay cut if the Magpies win promotion to the Premier League because they are still on lucrative contracts handed to them prior to the club's relegation from the top flight last season.(Daily Mirror)


Real Madrid    1 - 1    Lyon

1 - 0 C. Ronaldo  6.min.

1 - 1 M. Pjanic  75.min.