Premier League Gossip and Rumours: Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United and more

Posted by’s Mark Apostolou brings daily coverage of the Premier League’s gossip. 

It’s been an on-off saga since the summer but Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez is getting closer to winning the race for Roma wing man Amantino Mancini. Liverpool face stiff competition from Lyon, among others. Benitez is prepared to pay around £8m to land the 27-year old South American (various).

I have asked this question before but do Liverpool really need a creative midfielder to add to their large squad? Mancini is a decent player, maybe even a good player, but in my opinion he is not worthy of all this fuss. I much prefer another of Rafa’s favoured targets, Portuguese international Simao, who unfortunately for the Reds moved to Atletico Madrid in the summer. Do Liverpool fans rate Mancini?

Bungling Jens Lehmann has had a pop at current Arsenal No.1 and goal-keeping rival Manuel Almunia. Lehmann, the German shot-dropper and occasionally insane person, claims: “Almunia never made Arsenal win anything although he said he is one of the best keepers in Europe. His performances never made me fear for my job.” (Der Spiegel)

If these quotes are correct, and my German is rusty, then this is pretty vicious stuff from the 37-year-old. Clearly he is upset at losing his place and will soon be leaving the Emirates, but it is totally crackers of him to make such an attack on a player, especially a team-mate.

It’s true Lehmann has had a few bad days in the Arsenal goal, but those bad days are probably still outnumbered by good ones. Even so, it is definitely time for him to leave North London.

On the subject of personal attacks Chelsea striker Didier Drogba has taken a much gentler swipe at Old Trafford’s Portuguese wing wonder Cristiano Ronaldo. Drogba has stated: “I do not believe Cristiano Ronaldo has the rhythm to follow up last season’s achievements. He is not a machine.” (various)

Not so much a personal attack, more a mini mind game … Ronaldo may not be a machine, although this could well be the case, he is however a very talented player and seems unstoppable at present, following on nicely from last term with some good performances. His national side antics have been even more consistent and spectacular than those in a Manchester United shirt, and I don’t see his rhythm slowing at present.