Latest transfers speculations Monday 15.12.08
All the latest football gossip
Wednesday's gossip column
Monday's gossip column
New Real Madrid boss Juande Ramos wants to bring Aston Villa's Ashley Young to the Bernabeu, but the club fear they may have to pay up to £27m for the in-form winger. The Spanish giants have already enquired about Portsmouth midfielder Lassana Diarra and have been told they must pay £18m.
Blackburn manager Paul Ince's job is hanging by a thread after their run of defeats continued against Wigan on Saturday - and former Rovers boss Graeme Souness is the clear favourite to replace him.
Ince will be called into an emergency meeting on Monday or Tuesday to explain Blackburn's sixth straight defeat.
Ince is likely to be sacked this week and a new manager will be in place before Saturday's game against Stoke.
Ince will ask Blackburn to let him take charge against Stoke to prove he has what it takes to turn things around at Ewood Park.
Souness will return on a short-term basis and his backroom staff would include popular Blackburn midfielder Tugay.
The prospect of Souness returning has met with opposition on Blackburn's board because of the way he left the club to take charge at Newcastle in 2004.
The directors at Ewood Park are split over who should succeed Ince, with ex-Bolton boss Sam Allardyce and former Charlton manager Alan Curbishley also being considered.
Allardyce has ruled himself out of the Blackburn job if it does become vacant.
Burnley boss Owen Coyle is also among the contenders for the Rovers post.
Most of the Blackburn squad flew to Dublin for their Christmas party following Saturday's 3-0 defeat by the Latics but Ince did not join them.
Some Rovers players, including striker Roque Santa Cruz, did not travel to Dublin either.
Former Inter Milan coach Roberto Mancini, ex-Real Madrid boss Bernd Schuster and veteran Carlos Alberto Parreira - who won the World Cup with Brazil in 1994 - lead the host of big-name applicants for the Sunderland job.
Parreira is a shock front-runner for the post at the Stadium of Light but faces stiff competition from Celtic manager Gordon Strachan, ex-Bolton boss Sam Allardyce and former Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier.
Allardyce is keen on the Black Cats job but is yet to be approached by the Wearsiders.
Louis van Gaal, now coaching AZ Alkmaar, and Leo Beenakker, currently in charge of Poland, are also in the frame.
Sunderland's caretaker manager Ricky Sbragia could stay in charge until after Christmas as the club continue their search for Roy Keane's successor.
Black Cats chairman Niall Quinn says Sbragia is a serous contender for the vacant post.
Manchester City will have to pay £18m to capture Blackburn striker Roque Santa Cruz because of a clause in the Paraguayan striker's contract.
Inter Milan boss Jose Mourinho has hinted that striker Adriano will be allowed to leave the San Siro in the transfer window - sparking rumours of a possible swap deal for Chelsea front-man Didier Drogba.
Middlesbrough will demand Wales international left-back Gareth Bale from Tottenham as part of a £15m deal for Stewart Downing, who has become Spurs manager Harry Redknapp's top January target.
Celtic are set to scupper Birmingham's hopes of signing highly rated Hungarian winger Szabolcs Huszti but Everton, Bolton and Blackburn are also watching the Hannover star.
Manchester United are set to pull out of a deal for Partizan Belgrade's Serbian winger Zoran Tosic in a row over his personal terms.
Everton are keen on Wolves striker Sylvan Ebanks-Blake but Molineux boss Mick McCarthy says the Championship leaders will not be selling any of their stars.
Tottenham have made an £8m offer for Bordeaux striker Fernando Cavenaghi.
West Ham midfielder Nigel Quashie wants to turn his loan stint at Birmingham into a permanent move.
Celtic winger Aiden McGeady could be set to leave the Glasgow club following a fall-out with manager Gordon Strachan in the wake of Saturday's draw with Hearts.
Bolton are weighing up a bid of about £3m for Hearts defender Christophe Berra.
Berra and Tynecastle team-mate Andrew Driver are attracting interest from Rangers but the Ibrox club will need to sell players before they can bolster their squad.
Celtic have beaten AC Milan to the signing of teenage Czech Republic star Milan Misun, who will arrive from FK Pribram in January.
Derby boss Paul Jewell hopes to sell striker Emmanuel Villa to raise funds for new signings.
The Rams have not received any enquiries about former Wales midfielder Robbie Savage, who has been out of favour at Pride Park since August.
Preston boss Alan Irvine is keen to sign on-loan Scotland defender Ross Wallace on a permanent basis from Sunderland.
Other gossip other than transfer news.............
Newcastle striker Michael Owen will open talks about a new deal with the Magpies on Tuesday.
Tottenham defender Jonathan Woodgate spent Saturday night in hospital amid fears of a recurrence of the back injury that has blighted his career.
Chelsea coach Luiz Felipe Scolari spent Saturday night in hospital with kidney stones and was still in pain during his side's 1-1 draw with West Ham on Sunday.
Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp has written off Liverpool and Arsenal's title hopes and says only Chelsea can stop Manchester United from winning a third successive Premier League title.
Former Walsall boss Richard Money, currently in charge of Newcastle's academy, has been offered the manager's job at League One side Swindon Town.
Swindon also interviewed former QPR boss Ian Holloway, ex-Carlisle manager John Ward and former Cheltenham manager Steve Cotterill.
Norwich defender John Kennedy's career is under threat after being carried off during the 2-0 loss at Reading. The 25-year-old, who is on loan from Celtic, has previously spent long spells on the sidelines due to knee injuries.
Middlesbrough's Austrian defender Emmanuel Pogatetz has persuaded the club to put up a cuckoo clock in the dressing room at their Rockcliffe Park training ground.