Latest transfers speculations Thursday 11.09.08

All the latest football gossip

Thursday's gossip column

Former Chelsea striker Gianfranco Zola has agreed a three-year deal to be the new West Ham manager.

Zola agrees to take West Ham job

Zola will be unveiled as Hammers boss at a press conference on Thursday.

However, he will not start work until Monday.

The Italian's contract at Upton Park is worth 4.5m.

Zola will appoint Chelsea number two Steve Clarke and ex-Blues fitness coach Antonio Pintus as his backroom staff.

Another ex-Chelsea man, Pierluigi Casiraghi, will stay with the Italy Under-21 side after Zola resigned from his post in charge of that squad on Wednesday.

Hammers caretaker boss Kevin Keen will continue on the coaching staff, although ex-West Ham striker Paolo Di Canio is not part of Zola's plans.

Zola is still working towards getting a Uefa Pro Licence - the required coaching qualification to become a Premier League boss - but that is not expected to stop him taking the job.

Newcastle want Blackburn boss Paul Ince to be their new manager.

But Rovers are convinced Ince will not leave Ewood Park.

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley wants a new boss installed in time for Saturday's home game against Hull City.

Tottenham first-team coach Gus Poyet, Zenit St Petersburg boss Dick Advocaat and Russia coach Guus Hiddink are all under consideration for the Magpies post.

Ashley is set to watch the match against the Tigers from the St James' Park directors box, rather than his usual position in the stand alongside Newcastle fans.

Wigan boss Steve Bruce has blocked Sheffield United's attempts to sign Michael Brown on loan.

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

Sheikh Mohammed has ditched Dubai International Capital and will use his own wealth to invest in Liverpool.

Liverpool's owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett are ready to sell the club but want 300m more than Sheikh Mohammed's valuation of about 450m.

Arsenal's injured Croatian striker Eduardo, who suffered a fractured left fibula and an open dislocation of his left ankle in February, hopes to return to action before Christmas.

Crocked Hearts defender Robbie Neilson is also hoping to make a comeback before the end of the year following his Achilles tendon surgery.

Rangers star Lee McCulloch will speak out later this week to reveal why he chose to quit the Scotland set-up.

Hibernian boss Mixu Paatelainen tried to lure ex-Hearts star Antti Niemi to Easter Road in the summer before injury forced the Finnish goalkeeper to retire.

The 80m National Football Centre at Burton-on-Trent has again become a low priority in Lord Triesman's plans as chairman of the Football Association.

Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez believes Reds defender Jamie Carragher will achieve his dream of becoming manager at Anfield in 10 or 15 years.

Newcastle striker Michael Owen plans to build a 12m wonderland theme park on the Costa del Sol in the grounds of his new luxury retreat.

Manchester City are spending 150,000 on a private plane to bring quartet Robinho, Elano, Jo and Pablo Zabaleta back from international duty in South America in time to face Chelsea on Saturday.

Or City will use outgoing owner Thaksin Shinawatra's private jet to fly the quartet back to Manchester.

Scottish referee Stuart Dougal has been ruled out for two months with a broken wrist after slipping on colleague Dougie McDonald's kitchen floor.