Sportingo’s Mark Rivlin provides us with some juicy fresh rumours.
The rumour-go-round is in full swing as ever. Chelsea, Manchester City, Reading and Everton also feature in today’s bulletin of football gossip.
Former Spurs boss Martin Jol is holding out for the Holland job after turning down the head-coach role at PSV Eindhoven (The Times). If he lands the Dutch national position, he will surely take Chris Hughton with him – what with the two-for-one on Orange Wednesdays.
Wigan are sounding out a potential move for England Under-21 manager Stuart Pearce and are also interested in Scotland boss Alex McLeish (Daily Mirror). The strain of so many managers peddling their encyclopaedias along Wigan pier this week will surely compromise the structure of the old architectural icon. Dave Whelan-dealin’ will need to make his mind up soon; the papers are running out of candidates.
Bolton boss Gary Megson wants to bring Chelsea defender Tal Ben-Haim back to the Reebok (tribalfootball). Ben-Haim is not top of boss Avram Grant’s Christmas Card mailing list (or should that be Chanukah card?). Megson, who has enjoyed a couple of good results, is seeking talks over a six-month loan deal for the Israel international, who was a great success under old Trotters boss Sam Allardyce.
Elano likes Manchester City’s push for more Brazilian signings (various). The high-flying Eastlands outfit are chasing Heerenveen striker Afonso Alves and Elano says: “It would be nice to see one or two more of my fellow countrymen come to City. I can think of a lot of names I would like to see. I am sure other Brazilian players would enjoy life here in Manchester as much as I am doing.”
Now if you were a Brazilian sauntering off to the Copacabana every morning to enjoy a kickabout with your mates on the beach while staring at the totty hot spurs, would you really want to swap that lifestyle for a kebab from Moss Side in February?
Reading boss Steve Coppell has criticised Arsene Wenger for failing to nurture English footballers who play with the same flair as the club’s foreign players during his 11 years at Arsenal (various). Coppell claims Wenger’s reliance on foreigners is “dangerous” for the long-term health of English football.
Reading host Arsenal on Monday night and Coppell, despite signing former Arsenal players like James Harper and Steve Sidwell, says: “I just think long-term it is a dangerous game. I admire so much the football they [Arsenal] play, it is most pleasing on the eye. But you would hope that, given the fact that he (Wenger) has been there 10 years, he could create English players who could play that way.”
I’m trying to think of a word that sums up Coppell’s moaning here. Ah yes, I’ve got it: J-e-a-l-o-u-s-y.
Manchester United have rejected an approach from Setanta to play Everton at 8pm on Christmas Eve (Daily Mail). Setanta are not a Santa in this crazy attempt to lure people away from Celebrity conkers and getting the turkey ready for a stuffing. United’s response? The club have sent the TV channel Christmas packing.
According to the Mail, a Greater Manchester Police source said: “It was a nightmare idea and was quickly dismissed. Logistically, it would have caused all kinds of chaos with people coming over from Merseyside adding to the normal Christmas congestion.”