Wednesday's gossip column


Germany captain Michael Ballack insists his international career is not over despite missing the World Cup after injuring his ankle playing for Chelsea in the FA Cup final. "I won't let my international career come to an end because of a foul like this," said the 33-year-old (Press Association).
Tottenham have joined Arsenal in the chase for Dynamo Kiev's Senegalese defender Pape Diakhate.( 


Manchester United are prepared to allow Anderson leave Old Trafford in a player-swap-plus-cash deal to land £38m-rated Benfica winger Angel di Maria.(Daily Mail) 
Manchester City have entered the race to sign Bayern Munich's £50m-rated winger Franck Ribery. Barcelona and Real Madrid have dropped out because of the player's personal problems, thus leaving City and Manchester United as the only serious interested parties.( 
Ajax have told Manchester United that it will cost £35m to persuade them to sell Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez this summer.(Daily Mirror) 
The potential stumbling block surrounding the return of Cesc Fabregas to Barcelona could involve the transfer fee, with Arsenal not prepared to accept less than £50m.( 
Barcelona are ready to spend £70m to thwart Chelsea's interest and bring Liverpool's Spanish international striker Fernando Torres to the Nou Camp.(Daily Express) 
Manchester United are set to table a bid of £20m for Everton midfielder Jack Rodwell, with boss Sir Alex Ferguson hoping his offer will see off Chelsea, who are reported to have tabled a bid of £16m.( 
The agent of Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has quashed reports that the 32-year-old Italy star is heading for a Premier League club this summer. (The Sun) 
Liverpool are preparing a double swoop for Manchester City's Stephen Ireland and Chelsea's Joe Cole. The Anfield club are confident they have sufficient funds to finance both fees, and hope to persuade Cole to take a lower wage.( 
West Ham have rejected bids from Fulham, Birmingham and Stoke for striker Carlton Cole as none of their offers matched the Hammers' £15m valuation.(Daily Telegraph) 
Beaten League One play-off side Huddersfield are keen on Falkirk midfielder Scott Arfield and Rangers defender Steven Smith.(Daily Record) 
Celtic are interested in signing defender Sol Campbell, who is a free agent after his deal at Arsenal expired, although the Gunners are thought to be keen to keep hold of him. (The Sun) 
Veteran midfielder Nick Barmby, 36, is close to agreeing a one-year contract extension with Hull (The Sun). 
But Jimmy Bullard could be leaving the KC Stadium for a season-long loan at Celtic.(Daily Star) 
Bolton have seen off competition from Blackburn, Wolves and Greek champions Panathinaikos to win the race to sign Ivory Coast striker Aruna Dindane after his loan spell at Portsmouth. (The Sun) 
Hearts are interested in taking Burnley's former Rangers striker Steven Thompson back to Scotland after his contract with the Turf Moor club expired.(Daily Express) 
Newcastle boss Chris Hughton says he expects to have money to spend in the summer but has ruled out making wholesale changes to the squad that won the Championship this season. (Daily Express) 


Juventus are set to confirm Luigi del Neri as their new manager after running out of patience with Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez.(Daily Telegraph) 
Owen Hargreaves wants showdown talks with Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson to know what he told England boss Fabio Capello about his fitness, after the midfielder was left out of the England World Cup squad.(The Sun) 
Sunderland have passed on the chance to sign striker Benjani on a permanent basis after his loan spell from Manchester City came to an end.(Daily Star) 
Chelsea's Michael Ballack is considering legal action against Portsmouth's Kevin Prince-Boateng over the challenge in the FA Cup final that ruled the Germany captain out of the World Cup.(Daily Express) 
Uefa president Michel Platini says England's 2018 World Cup bid can survive the embarrassment of the Lord Triesman affair.(the Guardian) 
Nottingham Forest boss Billy Davies will hold crisis talks with club owner Nigel Doughty on Friday after discussing his potential availability for other jobs in television interviews.(the Guardian) 
Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart has been told by England boss Fabio Capello that he has an equal chance of being first choice keeper at the World Cup as David James and Robert Green.(Daily Telegraph) 


Rotherham striker Drewe Broughton could need to find a stand-in best man for his summer wedding as first choice, West Ham defender Matthew Upson, could be at the World Cup with England. (The Sun)
Welshman Ryan Giggs says he will be cheering on England at the World Cup but says Spain are overwhelming favourites to win the tournament.(Daily Star)