Thursday's gossip column


Arsenal are favourites to sign Italian under-21 international Mario Balotelli from Internazionale, after the 19-year-old's agent ruled out a move for the £15m-valued striker to Inter's local rivals AC Milan.( 
The Gunners are also chasing Real Zaragoza midfielder Ander Herrera and are mulling over the Spanish side's £7m vaulation of the 20-year-old.(The Sun) 
Chelsea want to sign Everton pair Steven Pienaar and Jack Rodwell, and will undertake a summer clear-out to raise funds for the transfers. ( 
Wigan will let in-form winger Charles N'Zogbia leave the club in the summer if one of the Premier League's big guns comes calling, according to Latics manager Roberto Martinez.(Daily Mail) 
Manchester United will turn down Bolton and Birmingham's requests to sign winger Tom Cleverley on loan. (Daily Star)
Albert Riera wants to stay at "great" Liverpool after his move to Spartak Moscow broke down.( 
Everton winger Dan Gosling will ignore interest from Manchester United and Arsenal and sign a new long-term deal at the club.(Daily Mirror) 
Ipswich have agreed a £100,000 fee with Brentford for Dutch central defender Pim Balkestein. (Daily Mirror) 


Wayne Rooney will be fit for the World Cup after suffering a suspected 'grade one' ligament tear in Manchester United's Champions League first leg defeat by Bayern Munich. The striker is expected to be out for between three and four weeks. (Daily Mail) 
Didier Drogba is a major doubt for Chelsea's top-of-the-table Premier League showdown against United on Saturday after sitting out the last two days of the Blues' training with a knock. (Daily Mail) 
Liverpool boss manager Rafa Benitez has not ruled out Alberto Aquilani missing the rest of the season as he waits to learn the full extent of the Italian's ankle injury.(Daily Mail) 
Leicester manager Nigel Pearson is on the shortlist to succeed Tony Mowbray as the new boss of Celtic.(Daily Mail) 
The Football League's bottom side, Darlington, are poised to name former Barnsley boss Simon Davey as their new manager.(Daily Mail) 
Nenad Milijas will quit Wolves at the end of the season - if he cannot convince Mick McCarthy he has a long-term future at Molineux. (Daily Mirror) 


Chelsea midfielder Florent Malouda has told Manchester United how to stop Blues striker Didier Drogba - make him laugh. "That's the best way to defend against him," said Malouda, ahead of the sides' crucial Premier League match on Saturday.(The Sun) 
Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce has backed plans for referees to use a motorised two-wheeled personal transporter to help them keep up with speedy players. (The Sun) 

West Ham will brave ridicule next season by wearing pink on their home shirts as part of a new sponsorship deal with adult retailers Ann Summers.(Daily Mail)