TRANSFER RUMOURS: Birmingham, Aston Villa, Arsenal, Spurs, Liverpool, Chelsea, Wigan

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Probably the only nice thing about rancid Mondays is a fresh crop of transfer rumours (and a rotten one about Dimitar Berbatov that just won’t leave).

Jens Lehmann could be jumping the good ship Arsenal come January. He wants guaranteed first-team football to strengthen his teutonic hold on the German international goalkeeping slot (The Guardian). Now Manuel Almunia will be able to show his face at training without having to speak through a mask of tears.

In yet more Arsenal transfer news, Inter Milan are interested in bagging up Tomas Rosicky; and they’ll offer the not-so-princely sum of £10million (less than the cost of Yakubu!) for the midfielder. Arsene Wenger is said to be pondering the sale as he is a tad frustrated with the fact that Rosicky seems to be always knackered – with a veritable Quality Street assortment of injuries (Daily Mail).

And that master of the unsubtle rant, Birmingham’s Steve Bruce, is shaking in trepidation at the possibility that Arsenal wont let Nicklas Bendtner join his team on loan in January (various).

Meanwhile, as his teammates are linked with moves away from Highbury, Cesc Fabregas has declared his undying love for the Gunners, whilst also admitting that the prospect of watching Bolton v West Ham sends him off to sleep (Daily Mail).

In separate, very non-Arsenal related news, Scott Carson reckons he’s going to make his loan move to Aston Villa permanent, and crucially, so does Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez (various).

Ricardo Carvalho could join the ever-growing queue of injury-laden stars in the Chelsea treatment room and will be given a scan on his back today (BBC).

Yossi Benayoun is crippled and won’t be able to play his part for Israel in dragging England to shore. We were hoping from a David Hasslehoff Baywatch-esque rescue operation from Benayoun, his naff 90’s haircut flopping in the wind whilst he gave spluttering England (metaphorical) mouth-to-mouth. Tragically he’s torn a muscle, so Plan A for England’s safety is out the window. Anybody have a Plan B? No? (various).

The Daily Mirror are still relentlessly flogging the dead horse that is the Berbatov transfer story. They claim that Berby will leave Spurs in the summer and everyone, including Juande Ramos, is resigned to that fact (Mirror). Yawn.

Whilst Fergie is spouting on about how his team is the greatest he has ever assembled (1999 Treble team anyone?), his adversary on Sunday, Mark Hughes is claiming that Old Trafford can be quite an “intimidating” venue for referees (various). Well done, Sherlock.

Across Manchester at the Eastlands Stadium, Sven is claiming that all the rumours about Adriano, Javier Mascherano and Berbatov are a load of balderdash . But the free-spending Swede has claimed that Manchester City are after someone in January, and the mystery signing will be a “big one” (various).

Wigan’s Dave Whelan is left with one paltry name on his wish list after both Stuart Pearce and Alex McLeish told him to ‘do one’. The one name left – Paul Jewell! (Mirror).

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