Costa to cost Chelsea £80million (but not), Sherwood worried about Eriksen leaving and Barca still want David Luiz
INIESTA FOR UNITED
There's only one place to start with Thursday's gossip and that is with the Daily Mail's back-page claim that 'David Moyes is weighing up a sensational New Year move for Andres Iniesta after being alerted to a growing rift between the Barcelona midfielder and his Nou Camp bosses'. Now we remember that back in September, the Daily Star Sunday claimed that United were one of the teams 'on alert' after hearing of said rift, so this is not quite the shock claim that the Mail would have you believe.
But anyway, here we go. The Mail says: 'Manchester United manager Moyes is carefully monitoring events in Barcelona and could follow up his interest with a bid in the January window, if he feels there is a genuine chance of pulling off a transfer that would rank as one of the most audacious the Barclays Premier League has known.'
Did United learn nothing from their pursuit of Cesc Fabregas? Barcelona rarely, if ever, lose players they want to keep. It's best just to accept right now that they'll end up with Leon Osman. He's a tidy player.
Further down the piece is an interesting claim that 'Real Madrid are ready to look favourably on any renewed attempt by United to sign Fabio Coentrao'. Which is good news for United and Coentrao but very bad news for Patrice Evra, who must feel as unwanted as a turd in a swimming pool right now.
SO WHO WANTS DEMPSEY?
Clint Dempsey is on his way back to the Premier League for a loan spell from the MLS and, according to the Daily Mirror, there is a 'scramble for his signature'. That sounds terribly undignified to us. Anyway, Tottenham (who are certainly struggling for goals) have first refusal but Fulham, Aston Villa and Everton are also said to be interested.
Seattle general manager Adrian Hanauer said: "Clint's contract allows him to go on loan for the off-season. All parties are working on a deal and we won't be surprised if it happens."
CHELSEA TARGET IMBULA
We've been banging a drum marked 'why haven't Chelsea bought a central midfielder?' for several months now and The Sun have obviously been listening because they have cast forward the name of Giannelli Imbula, described as a 'hothead' because he has been thrown out of the French U-21 squad this week for saying 'something inappropriate' to a member of staff.
Chelsea have had him watched several times and are apparently readying a £25m bid for a player who only joined Marseille from Guingamp this summer. His stats are in no way remarkable but Chelsea must have seen something they like. Or The Sun are mistaken. One of the two.
AND THE REST
Iain Dowie is the latest manager to be interviewed for the vacant Crystal Palace job...Former Chelsea defender Dan Petrescu is set to agree to become Crystal Palace's next manager - if he is given a long-term deal...Jackson Martinez has revealed that he is prepared to depart FC Porto for a bigger club, with Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham interested in his services...Celtic have agreed a £100,000 fee for the transfer of Fram Reykjavik's Iceland Under-21 striker Holmbert Fridjonsson, 20, his club chairman has claimed...AC Milan have turned to Newcastle full-back Davide Santon as the man they want to replace Ignazio Abate.