Latest transfers speculations Friday 14.03.08

All the latest football gossip

Friday's gossip column

Manchester United have jumped ahead of Barcelona as favourites to sign 10m-rated Argentine star Ezequiel Garay from Racing Santander. Lyon and Juventus have also shown interest in the in-form central defender.

Newcastle are hoping to sign Sam Vokes, the 18-year-old Bournemouth striker, who is also being pursued by Aston Villa.

Tottenham boss Juande Ramos, now busy planning a summer clear-out, has Portsmouth's Ghanaian midfielder Sulley Muntari in his sights. Aaron Lennon could be the shock casualty as Spurs are willing to listen to 10m offers.

Everton boss David Moyes is tracking Sevilla midfielder Seydou Keita. The Spanish club believe the Mali international can be as good as Michael Essien and will want 10m for him.

Arsenal are weighing up a summer approach for Bosnian youngster Miralem Pjanic. The 17-year-old Metz midfielder has also caught the eye of Real Madrid.

Hull manager Phil Brown wants to sign bench-warming Fulham striker David Healy on loan in a bid to rejuvenate his side's chances of promotion to the Premier League.

Other gossip other than transfer news.............

Frank Lampard, who scored four goals against Derby on Wednesday, has told Chelsea to sort out his contract immediately. The England man is apparently fed up waiting to open talks about a new deal to replace his current contract, which runs out next summer.

Newcastle and billionaire owner Mike Ashley are becoming increasingly jittery about their Premier League future and have demanded that manager Kevin Keegan improves results over the next two games.

Thierry Henry has admitted that "the fact I have left Arsenal has freed up the other players". But, with the striker still finding his feet at Barcelona, he insists: "I still have plenty left in my locker".

Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp reckons his keeper David James could be the new Dino Zoff - or John Burridge, both of whom played in their forties. "As he gets older he gets better and he is fit enough to keep going until he is 45," said Redknapp.

Reading midfielder Marek Matejovsky has accused the club's strikers of being "selfish" and also claimed that manager Steve Coppell does "nothing during training".

Eduardo, who suffered a fractured left fibula and an open dislocation of his left ankle in February, paid a morale-boosting visit to Arsenal's London Colney training ground on Thursday morning. "He looked good," said Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger. "He is positive in his mind and a strong boy mentally."

David Beckham, stuck on 99 caps, will have the chance to impress the new England set-up because coach Fabio Capello's general manager Franco Baldini is expected to check on the midfielder at LA Galaxy's upcoming friendly in Dallas.

Steed Malbranque has been labelled a 'bottler' by angry Spurs fans after he ducked out of Wednesday's penalty shoot-out against PSV.

Beleaguered Derby boss Paul Jewell has been clocking up the air miles in a bid to overhaul his stricken side. He and his staff took in matches in five different countries last weekend searching for fresh blood. "Next season can't come quickly enough," he said. "It's embarrassing having to sit there and squirm."

To make things even worse for Jewell, the odds for Derby beating Manchester United at Pride Park on Saturday - 14/1 - are the longest offered for a home side's victory in Premier League history.

Everton captain Phil Neville has made a frank admission for an English player following his side's Uefa penalty shoot-out heartbreak against Fiorentina. "I know I don't enjoy penalties and I wouldn't give anyone advice on taking them but it's something we need to get better at," he said.

Former Manchester United midfielder Eric Djemba-Djemba, now plying his trade in Qatar, was in such dire financial straights when at Old Trafford - despite his 75,000-a-month wage - that it is alleged he relied upon appearance and win bonuses to get by. It is also claimed he ran a fleet of 10 4x4 vehicles and juggled 30 bank accounts at the time. He was declared bankrupt in at a Birmingham court last September.

Ouch. Tottenham have released Terry Dixon, their reserve-team striker, after he suffered a dislocated kneecap for the third time. Dixon is only 18.