Sportingo.com’s Phil Smith brings guest coverage of the day’s Premier League Hot Gossip.
It might be the close season as far as transfers are concerned, but that doesnâ€™t stop the stream of rumours escaping from all corners of Europe.
And howâ€™s this for todayâ€™s double whammy: Henk ten Cate moving to Chelsea to form a new alliance alongside Steve Clarke under the watchful guidance of Avram Grant, and Martin Jol switching to Ajax to replace ten Cate (Daily Mirror).
Doesnâ€™t get much juicier than that. Jol, who took Spurs to the UEFA Cup Group stage last night with a draw in Cyprus (giving them a 7-2 aggregate win), has been fighting to save his job all season but now suddenly finds himself in demand.
Spurs have gone behind Jol’s back twice this season with approaches for Sevilla coach Juande Ramos and former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, and despite a couple of decent results against Aston Villa and Famagusta, his future at White Hart Lane seems to be hanging by a thread.
Ten Cate is expected to leave Ajax fairly soon and as Jolâ€™s standing with the Dutch club is still at a high level he might well be tempted to turn his back on Spurs â€“ nice payback for the way heâ€™s been treated this season.
Chelsea yesterday released a statement admitting that one option the club were considering was teaming current number two Steve Clarke with a foreign coach. Well, that says it all for me.
Arsenal have been building barricades all season trying to ward off a couple of foreign takeover bids, but now chairman Peter Hill-Wood has turned to one of the clubâ€™s suitors, American investor Stan Kroenke, to help block a takeover by Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov.
The American has a 12% stake in the Gunners and his shares could be a significant target for Usmanov, who has increased his holding to 23%. Arsenal’s board members between them hold 45% and have signed a “lockdown” agreement to refuse to sell their shares in the short term.
The big problem for Arsenal is that former vice-chairman David Dein is very cosy with Usmanov as he sold his own 14.5% share-holding to the Russian and is chairman of the Usmanov-controlled Red and White Holdings Ltd. Any sign of weakness will give the Russian a chance to launch a hostile bid.
Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick is likely to miss the rest of Englandâ€™s Euro 2008 qualifying campaign after fracturing his right elbow during Unitedâ€™s midweek Champions League win over AS Roma. He expects to be out for six weeks (Daily Mail).
England face qualifying games against Estonia and Russia this month and in addition to these games, Carrick will likely miss the friendly against Austria on November 16 and the final qualifier against Croatia five days later.
United have suffered a further injury setback with Owen Hargreaves likely to be ruled out for the next four weeks with a tendinitis of the knee problem.
Sunderland boss Roy Keane will make a decision on whether or not to offer Kiki Musampa a contract during the next 48 hours. The 30-year-old former Manchester City midfielder, who has been training with the club since last week, was watched by the Black Cats boss as he played in the reserves’ 1-0 win at Liverpool on Tuesday evening.