Thursday's gossip column


Bayern Munich midfielder Franck Ribery has told a German television channel he hopes to decide where his future lies "in the next 10 days". The Frenchman claims Real Madrid, Barcelona and Chelsea are all interested in signing him. (The Guardian) 
Bayern Munich are determined to keep hold of Franck Ribery and will snub any £40m bids for Franck Ribery from Chelsea and Real Madrid even if it means the France international leaves on a free transfer in 2011.(Daily Star) 
Manchester City are closing in on a £11m deal to sign Hamburg's 6ft 3in Germany international defender Jerome Boateng, the younger brother of Portsmouth's Kevin Prince. (The Guardian) 
Real Madrid hope to fend off competition from Manchester United by signing 24-year-old Spanish striker David Silva from Valencia in a £22m pre-World Cup deal. (Daily Mirror) 
Chelsea midfielder Michael Ballack could be heading for a reunion with former Blues boss Jose Mourinho at Inter Milan after admitting there have been no talks over renewing his Stamford Bridge contract, which ends this summer.(Daily Mail) 
Mourinho is increasingly confident that he can tempt Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard to quit Anfield for a move to Inter.(Daily Mail) 
Palermo are hopeful of agreeing a summer loan deal for Manchester United striker Federico Macheda.(Daily Star) 
Olympiakos want to sign Liverpool's Fabio Aurelio, and the Brazilian defender could join Hungarian Krisztian Nemeth in Greece, with AEK Athens keen to extend the Anfield striker's loan spell at the club.(Daily Mirror) 
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has stepped up his bid to sign Lyon goalkeeper Hugo Lloris as his long-term replacement for Edwin van der Sar.(Daily Mail) 
Barcelona have denied claims by Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood that they have promised not to make a summer bid for Cesc Fabregas.(Portuguese newspaper Abola)
Sunderland midfielder Steed Malbranque, wanted by Bordeaux and Marseille, has ruled out a return to France, with the former Lyon man intent on staying on Wearside.(Daily Mirror) 
Nottingham Forest hope to lure midfielder Darren Pratley from Championship rivals Swansea with a £2m summer swoop. (Daily Mirror) 


Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney has recovered from the ankle injury that has sidelined him for two games and will return for Saturday's derby game at Manchester City. (The Sun) 
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini is on a shortlist to succeed Marcello Lippi as Italy manager after this summer's World Cup.(Daily Mail) 
World Cup organisers have called on Fifa to overhaul the way tickets will be sold for the 2014 tournament in Brazil as they begin a race against time to sell half a million tickets for this year's event in South Africa.(The Guardian) 
In-form Stoke winger Matthew Etherington will open talks with the Potters next week over a new £30,000-a-week deal. (Daily Mirror) 
The Premier League will deny FA Cup finalists Portsmouth their dream of playing in the Europa League next season, unless the south-coast club can come out of administration and pay off all their debts by the end of the season. (Daily Mirror) 
Southampton manager Alan Pardew has emerged as a shock contender to be the new Celtic boss.(Daily Record) 
Juventus's hopes of tempting Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez to become their new manager rest on them overhauling Palermo and finishing fourth in Serie A this season.(Daily Telegraph) 
Benitez's agent, Manuel Garcia Quillon, claims a Chinese investor wants to buy Liverpool on condition that the Spaniard remains as Reds boss.(Spanish newspaper AS)
Manchester City winger Adam Johnson has played his way into England boss Fabio Capello's World Cup plans and will be named in the Italian's provisional 30-man squad next month. (Daily Mirror) 
The Red Knights consortium that is considering a bid to take over Manchester United are expected to finalise their proposal to make an offer for the club by the end of this week, with an approach expected at the end of the season.(The Guardian) 
Fernando Torres is on course to return from the knee injury which kept him out of the goalless draw with Fulham. The Spaniard "will do whatever it takes to be ready" to face his old club Atletico Madrid in the Europa League semi-final next week, according to an unnamed team-mate. (Daily Mirror) 
Relegation-threatened Crystal Palace are just three weeks away from 'meltdown' - manager Paul Hart is poised to quit the financially stricken Championship club to join Tottenham's coaching staff, first-team coach John Pemberton is off to Sheffield United, while the Croydon side's ground, Selhurst Park, is at risk from developers. (Daily Mirror) 


Former England star John Barnes will reprise his legendary rap from New Order's 1990 World Cup song 'World in Motion' for a TV advert.(The Guardian) 
Real Madrid claim they have already recovered the £80m it cost them to buy Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United through sales of replica shirts bearing the Portuguese star's name.(Daily Mirror)