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TRANSFER RUMOURS Part 1: Tottenham, Manchester United, West Ham, Wigan, Middlesbrough

Some lovely rumours shipped over from the Sportingo website, beautifully penned by Michael Walsh…

Just some of the hot drivel from the know-nothing sports pages and more wishful thinking from West Ham, Derby County and Wigan Athletic.
‘You can get piles just as easily sitting on a bench at Old Trafford as at White Hart Lane’
Oh brother, it’s now the nightmare scenario over Dimitar Berbatov. Not that he’s on his bike, but the bleating Bulgar will be in the papers every day until Spurs finally get shot of him in January.

His brother, Asen, tells The Sun today that ‘Dimi’ has outgrown Tottenham and needs to go to Manchester United – “In my opinion,” says bro, “Tottenham are OK. In Manchester, though, things will be better, much better. I think it is his time to go. There is nothing more to do at Spurs.”

Well, how about saving them from relegation, you berk? Or helping them win the UEFA Cup? And you can get piles just as easily sitting on a bench at Old Trafford as at White Hart Lane.

New boss Juande Ramos says: “I believe you can’t force players to stay in the team if they don’t want to. It is not good for the team or the player, so I wouldn’t stand in anyone’s way if they want to leave” (Various).

Whatever happened to the good old “let ‘em rot in the stiffs” philosophy? The thought that Berbatov will probably be replaced by another fragile flower in Fredi Kanoute must thrill all you Tottenham fans.

Ruud Gullit, whose most recent claim to fame is having the same name as Jose Mourinho’s mutt, is favourite to take charge of the David Beckham Circus, otherwise known as LA Galaxy (Daily Mirror).

Pele, once the world’s greatest footballer who ended up playing for new York Cosmos, says Becks was on a loser from the start in the USA (Various) because the Yanks were banking on him scoring a hatful. “When he was introduced to the MSL,” says the Brazilian legend, “everyone thought they had signed a player who was going to score lots of goals – they want him to be the star and that’s the problem.” With a £125million contract, Beckham is some loser.

Atletico Madrid want to steal Spain under-20s skipper Gerrard Pique from Manchester United (Daily Star), with an initial loan deal leading to a permanent switch in the summer. But Fergie will be having none of that, especially as the young defender showed last night that he can also score goals. Don’t suppose Atletico would fancy Wes Brown instead?

You are boss of a Scotland side on the brink of your nation’s finest footballing hour. Simply beat the reigning world champions at Hampden and you will spend next summer as probably the only British representatives at Euro 2008. Either that, or you can go and manage Wigan Athletic. Alex McLeish for the JJB (Daily Mirror)? Yer having a laugh – especially as Wigan owner Dave Whelan is keeping the seat warm for Paul Jewell’s second coming.

Alan Curbishley is ready to offer £5million for Panathinaikos defensive midfielder Marcelo (The Sun). The plan is to offload Hayden Mullins to help fund the deal, so West Ham might only have to find £4.99million, then. Desperation times at rock-bottom Derby where Billy Davies has made enquiries about Celtic’s out-of-favour hard man Bobo Balde (Daily Mirror).

Gareth Southgate and his Middlesbrough players are hurtling around the English Lake District on mountain bikes and clawing their way up rock faces as part of a special bonding exercise this week (The Guardian). Permanent invalids Mido and Jonathan Woodgate were left behind in case they strain anything else.