Tuesday's gossip column


Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson will try to persuade Old Trafford chiefs to allow him to splash out £60m this summer to sign striker Karim Benzema and winger David Silva from Real Madrid and Valencia respectively. (The Sun) 
Chelsea are also planning a raid on Valencia, with £50m-rated forward David Villa the target.(caughtoffside.com) 
However, both Manchester United are Chelsea are set to fail in their attempts to sign Ajax's Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez, who wants to remain with the Dutch side.(imscouting.com) 
Manchester United could also miss out on Schalke goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, who is also wanted by Bayern Munich.(imscouting.com) 
Liverpool are ready to make a renewed effort to snap up promising Dutch winger Eljero Elia for £9m from Hamburg this summer.(caughtoffside.com) 
Arsenal defender Bacary Sagna's agent Christophe Mongal claims he has held informal talks with Inter Milan over a possible move to Serie A for the Frenchman. (Footylatest.com) 
The Gunners may also seek to strengthen their defence this summer by making a move for Uruguay defender Martin Caceres, who is on loan at Juventus this season from Barcelona.(Daily Mail) 
Manchester City have put 26-year-old Paraguayan striker Oscar Cardozo on their list of summer targets after he caught the eye in Benfica's Europa League quarter-final clash with Liverpool. (Daily Mirror) 
Cardozo could replace fellow Paraguayan striker Roque Santa Cruz at Eastlands, with Tottenham considering a move for the out-of-favour 28-year-old. (caughtoffside.com) 
Everton will try to sign Inter Milan's former Portsmouth midfielder Sulley Muntari this summer. (caughtoffside.com) 



The Football Association is considering spending £90,000 to relay the Wembley pitch for the 11th time in three years in time for the FA Cup final on 15 May and England's friendly match against Mexico just over a week later.(Daily Mail) 
Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney's ankle injury will be reassessed on Tuesday to determine his chances of playing in Saturday's derby game at Manchester City. Rio Ferdinand is also a doubt for the match at Eastlands after suffering a groin injury in the 0-0 draw at Blackburn on Sunday.(Daily Mail) 
Striker Carlos Tevez has been prevented from speaking out by Manchester City ahead of Saturday's derby match with rivals Manchester United. The Argentine sparked a war of words with his former club when the two teams met in the Carling Cup semi-final and he branded Red Devils defender Gary Neville a "boot licker" and a "moron".(Daily Mirror) 
Manchester United are ready to sell striker Dimitar Berbatov at the end of the season. The Bulgarian has struggled to make an impact since his £30.75m switch from Spurs in September 2008 and it appears as though manager Sir Alex Ferguson has lost faith in him.(The Sun) 
Portsmouth boss Avram Grant has received an offer from an unnamed Premier League club to be their manager next season. The Israeli guided Pompey to the FA Cup final on Sunday via a 2-0 win over Tottenham, but the south coast club are already consigned to Championship football next season.(The Sun) 
Hull fear winger Stephen Hunt may not play again this season and have sent the Irishman for an exploratory operation to get to the bottom of the foot problem that has kept him sidelined since February.  (The Sun) 
Liverpool striker Fernando Torres could miss out on a return to his old club Atletico Madrid in the Europa League semi-final on 22 April after being booked in for further treatment on his knee injury with a specialist in Barcelona. (Daily Mail) 
Victory in next month's FA Cup final against Chelsea would net Portsmouth about £3.2m, the club's administrator Andrew Andronikou estimates. (Daily Mail) 
Tottenham's hopes of an Aaron Lennon comeback in Wednesday's north London derby have been dashed. The England winger trained last week but was forced to undergo another scan on the groin problem that has kept him out since December, ruling him out of the game against Arsenal. (Daily Mail) 
However, injury-prone centre-back Ledley King is confident he has shaken off the thigh problem that has kept him out since February and may start for Spurs.(The Guardian) 
Celtic's majority shareholder Dermot Desmond has told interim manager Neil Lennon he still has a chance of being awarded the job on a permanent basis, despite Saturday's embarrassing Scottish Cup semi-final defeat by minnows Ross County.(Daily Mail) 
Birmingham boss Alex McLeish has insisted that the club are not "oppressive" when it comes to contract negotiations but they refuse to be held to ransom by players. The club are undertaking talks with a number of players over improved terms following what has been a successful first season back in the Premier League for the club.(Daily Mirror) 
Bolton manager Owen Coyle thinks 18-year-old midfielder Jack Wilshere, who is on loan at the Reebok from Arsenal, should be selected by England boss Fabio Capello for the World Cup this summer.(Daily Mirror) 
Leeds are a reported takeover target for Australian billionaire Frank Lowy, who is chairman of the sport's governing body in the country, Football Federation Australia.(Daily Mirror) 


Brazilian legend Pele, often considered the best player in football history, has offered a retort to those hailing Barcelona forward Lionel Messi as the greatest star to have played the game. The three-time World Cup winner says people should only start drawing comparisons when Messi has equalled his goal tally of over 1,000 career goals. The Argentine took his senior career tally to 133 goals, which includes 42 this season for club and country, with a goal against Real Madrid on Saturday.(Daily Mail)