Wednesday 07th May gossip column


Middlesbrough midfielder Fabio Rochemback, a free agent, is set to meet with former club Sporting Lisbon to discuss a move back to Portugal.

Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill has admitted keeping Liverpool-target Gareth Barry will be his top priority this summer.

Everton have joined Roma in the race to sign the Spanish winger Joaquin from Valencia.

Scotland forward James McFadden has vowed to remain at Birmingham even if they are relegated from the Premier League on Sunday.

El Mundo Deportivo is reporting that Chelsea are in negotiations with Real Madrid and Spain defender Sergio Ramos over a move to Stamford Bridge.

Sheffield United chairman Kevin McCabe does not expect James Beattie to leave the club after scoring 22 goals in his first season at Bramall Lane.

Striker Peter Crouch is demanding showdown talks with boss Rafael Benitez after admitting he cannot take another season spent on the Liverpool bench. (Mirror).

Everton boss David Moyes is lining up a 3m bid for out-of-favour Chelsea midfielder Steve Sidwell. (Various)

Moyes is also prepared to pay 4m for American midfielder Michael Bradley from Dutch side Heerenveen. (Mirror)

Manchester United will sit down with Wigan next week to thrash out an 8m deal for midfielder Wilson Palacios. (The Sun)

And there could be more business between the two clubs, with United looking to offer striker Louis Saha and cash in exchange for Ecuador winger Antonio Valencia. (Mirror)

The Latics, meanwhile, are looking to reinforce their attacking options by making a 4m swoop for Egypt striker Amr Zaky after boss Steve Bruce watched the 25-year-old score twice for his club Zamalek on Monday. (Various)

Sol Campbell's Portsmouth career appears to be over with boss Harry Redknapp eyeing Benfica defender Luisao as a replacement. Pedro Mendes is also likely to leave Fratton Park. (Various)

Another player leaving Portsmouth could be Lassana Diarra, with Tottenham said to be confident of signing the former Chelsea and Arsenal midfielder. (Guardian)

Tottenham boss Juande Ramos will attempt to lure West Ham's England's Under-21 defender Anton Ferdinand to White Hart Lane in a 6m deal. (The Sun)

The Spaniard will shell out another 6m on Birmingham winger Olivier Kapo, if the Blues are relegated on Sunday. (Mirror)

But Spurs could be set to lose star striker Dimitar Berbatov, who was conspicuous by his absence at the launch of the club's new kit on Tuesday night. (Various)

Mathieu Flamini will be joined at AC Milan by Barcelona full-back Gianluca Zambrotta with the Italian set to sign for 5.5m. (The Sun)

Sunderland are leading the race to sign Carlton Cole from West Ham but Celtic and Middlesbrough are also interested in the former England Under-21 striker. (Mirror)

Martin O'Neill could turn to Stephen Carr, who has been released by Newcastle, after being priced out of a move for Porto full-back Jose Boswinga. (Mirror)

Ivan Campo will be one of several players to leave the Reebok Stadium as Gary Megson sets about a clear-out at Bolton. (The Mirror)

One player who could be arriving at Bolton is Sheffield United defender Chris Morgan in a 1m deal. (Daily Star)

Watford could be the destination for out-of-favour Fulham defender Moritz Volz. (Daily Star)

Cardiff winger Peter Wittingham will be targeted by newly-promoted Nottingham Forest as a replacement for Derby-bound Kris Commons. (The Sun)

Sunderland and Wolves are to scrap it out for Barnet's 1m-rated winger Albert Adomah, who only arrived from Harrow in January. (The Sun)

Manchester City have offered Portugal coach Luiz Felipe Scolari over 3m a year to replace manager Sven-Goran Eriksson at the City of Manchester Stadium. (Various)

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is considering reporting Real Madrid to Fifa for allegedly tapping up midfielder Cesc Fabregas. (Various)

The Frenchman has also advised striker Emmanuel Adebayor against leaving Arsenal, telling him he could end up a "nobody" by doing so. (Daily Star)

Kevin Keegan's relationship with his employers at Newcastle has reached breaking point following disagreements over transfer targets and amid private concerns that executive director Dennis Wise is being lined up to succeed him as manager. (Daily Mail)

Portsmouth midfielder Richard Hughes, a friend of Avram Grant's, says the Israeli would be happy to step down as Chelsea manager and let Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard take over at Stamford Bridge. (Various)

Former Tottenham manager Martin Jol is set to replace fellow Dutchman Huub Stevens as boss of Hamburg next season. (The Sun)

Brian McBride will be offered a new one-year deal with Fulham but the 35-year-old American striker may still opt to join Columbus Crew in the States. (Various)

Brazilian Lucas will deliver Rafael Benitez a blow ahead of next season by announcing his intention to join team-mate Javier Mascherano by competing at the Olympics in Beijing in August. (Independent)

Michael Owen is ready to commit his future to Newcastle by signing a new contract at St James' Park. (Various)

Former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has been snubbed by Barcelona, who he was tipped to take over if Frank Rijkaard departs. (Independent)

Injured midfielder Harry Kewell will have cost Liverpool 157,554 per game when his Anfield career comes to an end this month. Kewell, who was signed by Gerard Houllier from Leeds in 2003, is one of several players heading for the exit door. (Various)

Footballers from outside the EU could be banned from playing for British clubs if they can't prove they can speak English under new Home Office rules. (The Sun)

With owner Roman Abramovich prepared to fork out almost 14.2m in incentives, the Chelsea players will pocket nearly 600,000 each in bonuses if they win the Premier League and Champions League Double. (Mirror)

Harry Redknapp is predicting the day when 20 billionaires are slugging it out for Premier League dominance, insisting it will take 150m to shatter the big four's monopoly. (Daily Express)

A Rangers-supporting father of four has vowed to do housework for a year after his wife spent her 600 savings on a Uefa Cup final ticket for him. (Daily Record)