Leighton Baines is Man United's 'only realistic target', Jose not asking for anyone in January, Big Sam in trouble...
CESC TALKS TO HIS FRIENDS
Ah friends. Grand, aren't they? The Gossip Column has at least three friends, and we can tolerate nearly all of them, but probably not if we told them our plans and they went and ran their massive mouths off to The Daily Mail.
But that's apparently what Cesc Fabregas's pals have done, if you believe the Mail, of course.
The paper reports that Cesc 'has told friends in English football that he wants to quit Barcelona for Manchester United.'
Apparently: 'It is understood Fabregas is attracted by the promise of regular football at United and he is keen to link up again with one of his old Arsenal team-mates, United striker Robin van Persie.
'Fabregas also believes he can win an English title with United to go with the one he won in Spain's La Liga last season. The 26-year-old won only an FA Cup and Community Shield during his years with Arsenal.'
LIVERPOOL IN FOR SOLDADO?
Once you're done 'doing lolz' at Brendan Rodgers for this pile of bullguff, regard some rather more sensible work from the Liverpool manager. If you believe, The Daily Mirror, anyway.
The paper reports that Liverpool are trying to gazump Spurs for Roberto Soldado, with the Spanish striker their 'number one target to replace Luis Suarez.'
The Mirror claims: 'The Reds are in a straight fight with dithering Spurs for Valencia's £26million man as angry Suarez edges closer to a move to Arsenal. Liverpool have not yet made a bid to the Spain international's club Valencia, but they are being helped by Spurs' reluctance so far to meet his £26million asking price.
'As reported by Mirror Sport, Spurs sent Technical Director Franco Baldini to Spain for talks over a £22million bid earlier this week but that was rejected.
'Financially stricken Valencia want a deal done by August 3 for tax reasons.'
WHERE'S WAYNE GOING?
The short answer to that question is: 'Nobody really seems sure.'
We'll present a couple of stories in the papers this morning and invite you to make your own mind up.
The Guardian reports: 'Manchester United will not sell Wayne Rooney even if their No1 target Cesc Fábregas or another forward is recruited this summer. Rooney is intent on leaving due to the breakdown in his relationship with the club and, despite their position that he is not for sale, there has been a sense on the pre-season tour that, if a like-for-like replacement was bought, this could shift United's stance. However, the club will not change their view that Rooney is not for sale.'
While The Daily Express says: 'JOSE MOURINHO is willing to wait for Wayne Rooney as he remains confident the Manchester United striker will be a Chelsea player before the transfer window closes.'
Like we said, draw your own conclusions.
MOYES PLAYS CHICKEN
Incidentally, further down that Rooney story in The Guardian is word that David Moyes seems to be playing a curious game of transfer chicken with his old club.
Apparently Moyes will 'wait until Marouane Fellaini's buy-out clause expires on 31 July before deciding whether to move for him and the manager is hopeful of striking a better deal than the £23m currently required to prise him from Everton.'
So he's going to wait until Fellaini is no longer available for a fixed price, when Everton can and probably will demand much more for him, to try and get him on the cheap.
AND THE REST...
Stoke boss Mark Hughes expects to see off French side Rennes and sign Benfica's Nelson Oliveira on a season-long loan...Norwich are ready to swipe Gary Hooper from under QPR's noses after they agreed a fee with Celtic for the striker...French midfielder Etienne Capoue is stalling on a £10million move to Cardiff because he has his eye on a move to a bigger club...West Brom have made a season-long loan bid for Matej Vydra...Schalke striker Klass-Jan Huntelaar still fancies a crack at the Premier League...Newcastle are set to land PSV goalkeeper Jeroen Zoet with an improved £2.35million bid...Crystal Palace have pulled the plug on a double deal for Dan Gosling and Carlton Cole...West Ham have revived their interest in Southampton's Rickie Lambert...Hull have been thwarted in their chase for Wilson Palacios - after he was brought in from the cold at Stoke...Everton are keen on Austria Vienna striker Phillipp Hosiner...Junior Malanda is poised to join Fulham after Zulte Waragem gave up trying to hold him to a contract he broke under a Belgian law...Wigan will sign Honduras left back Juan Carlos Garcia on a free transfer...Blackpool are in talks with Bolton midfielder Keith Andrews...Leeds are ready to sacrifice El Hadji Diouf to help finance Brian McDermott's plans for a major overhaul of his squad...Hull hope to finalise a £3million deal for Evian striker Yannick Sagbo today...Bolton boss Dougie Freedman is planning a £750,000 move for Zulte Waregem striker Jeremy Bokila...Fulham have signed French midfielder Ange-Freddy Plumain from Lens...Arsenal striker Joel Campbell is in talks with Olympiakos over a loan move...Cardiff have signed Derby's John Brayford for £1.5million.