Thursday's gossip column


Arsenal are considering a move for West Ham's £6m-rated England goalkeeper Robert Green, 30, after opting not to pursue 37-year-old Fulham stopper Mark Schwarzer.( 
Manchester United are interested in Lyon's £22m-rated Brazilian left winger Michel Bastos, 26. ( 


Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has been identified as Real Madrid's number one transfer target this summer. (Daily Telegraph) 
Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti has reportedly met with Barcelona striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic in Miami, to discuss a potential move to Stamford Bridge. (IMScouting) 
Real Madrid look set to beat Manchester United and Chelsea to the signing of Benfica winger Angel Di Maria. (IMScouting) 
Arsenal and Tottenham are locked in a head-to-head battle for the signature of £9m-rated Manchester City defender Micah Richards. (footylatest) 
Portsmouth and England goalkeeper David James could be in line for a move to Fulham as Arsenal step up their interest in the Cottagers' Mark Schwarzer.(Daily Mail) 
Wigan goalkeeper Chris Kirkland could also be on the move, to Sunderland, as a replacement for Craig Gordon who has failed to convince manager Steve Bruce he is up to the job.(Daily Mail) 
Arsenal have become the latest team to be linked with Chelsea's out-of-contract midfielder Joe Cole, but the player will not decide on his future until after the World Cup.(Daily Mirror) 
James Milner has refused to commit his future to Aston Villa and could be in line for a £30m move to Manchester City.(Daily Express) 
Hamburg's German defender Jerome Boateng has confirmed that he will sign for Manchester City after the World Cup.(Daily Star) 
Manchester City will play a waiting game for Wolfsburg's Bosnia striker Edin Dzeko, but have no intention of breaking his £34m buy-out clause. (Daily Express) 
Another Manchester City target - Inter Milan full-back Maicon - says he has no intention of moving to Eastlands, but instead would like to link up with former Inter boss Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid.(IMScouting) 
Birmingham are preparing a £4.5m offer for Newcastle's 21-year-old striker Andy Carroll. (Daily Mail) 
Fulham have agreed a £2m deal with Lyon for French striker Frederic Piquionne, who was at loan at Portsmouth last season.(Daily Mirror) 
Portsmouth have turned down a "derisory" £300,000 offer from Rangers for striker Tommy Smith. (Daily Express) 


"Sacked" (Daily Mirror), "Rafa Out" (The Sun), "Rafa's £3m Kop Off" (Daily Star), "Rafa is Out" (Daily Mail), "End of Road for Rafa" (Daily Express), "Benitez on the Brink" (Daily Telegraph), "Liverpool offer Benitex £3m to quit" (Guardian), "Benitez set to quit" (The Independent). With the World Cup just over a week away, there is only one story dominating the back pages of Thursday's newspapers.
It is claimed that player power is responsible for Benitez's potential departure from Anfield.(Daily Mirror) 
Liverpool's wish list to replace Benitez is thought to include ex-Manchester City manager Mark Hughes, Fulham's Roy Hodgson and former Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink. (Daily Mail) 
Inter Milan are now thought to be monitoring Benitez's situation and are lining up the Spaniard to replace Jose Mourinho who this week joined Real Madrid. (The Sun) 
Hiddink meanwhile has ruled himself out of the running to be Inter Milan's next coach, after his agent claimed he was the club's number one choice.(the Independent) 
Hull are in talks with former Portsmouth and Crystal Palace manager Paul Hart about becoming their new boss. (Daily Mirror) 


Captain Rio Ferdinand has revealed striker Wayne Rooney to be England's karaoke king with the Manchester United star set to entertain his team-mates on and off the pitch in South Africa.(Daily Mirror)