TRANSFER RUMOURS: Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea, Aston Villa, Manchester City, Portsmouth, Newcastle and Tottenham.

Sportingo’s Mark Apostolou, more reliable than a stingy Italian defence has yet again faithfully brought us some transfer rumours.

Another bulletin of rumours and gossip from the newspapers. Believe it all if you must, but if the track record of the tabloids is anything to go by, you’d be better off just having a good laugh! Plus news Bayern Munich, Aston Villa, Manchester City, Portsmouth, Newcastle, Juventus and AC Milan.

Arsenal and Luka Modric have become synonymous and for a while it seemed the Croat was on his way to the Emirates. However, the move faltered during the summer and Bayern Munich were rumoured to be close to securing his signature.

Now, as we draw ever nearer to January, the move is back on. The only problem for Arsene Wenger is that moneybags Chelsea have decided to get involved and now the asking price has moved up to what would be an Arsenal transfer record of £30m (The Sun).

Now £30m is a lot of money and even though the Gunners are cash-rich at present, is Modric really worth such an outlay? He is a quality player, of that there is no doubt, but with no top league experience the price is astronomical. Wenger rarely pays such sums and that’s what makes him such a great manager. Besides, if Luka is worth such a sum, what would Cesc Fabregas be worth? £80m plus, I reckon!

On the subject of cash-rich clubs, I was under the impression that under Liverpool’s American owners, money would be no object. But apparently if Rafa Benitez wants to clinch the permanent signature of midfield dynamo Javier Mascherano, he will have to do so by trimming his current squad (The Times).

The Argentinian will set him back around £17-20m, hence the need to offload all or some of the £25m trio of John Arne Riise, Mohamed Sissoko and Peter Crouch. However, The Times fails to mention the Scott Carson factor. Should Aston Villa or indeed Spurs cough up for the keeper – and the signs are that Martin O’Neill, another manager with cash to burn, wants Carson – then that should yield at least £6-8m.

Benitez realises how important Mascherano could be for Liverpool. Personally I wouldn’t sell Crouch (who is wanted by Man City, Portsmouth, Spurs and Newcastle) as I think he has a lot to offer the Anfield side – that’s if he signs the contract he has been offered. Riise, who is on the Aston Villa radar, also gives a lot to the Reds; at least when he is on his game, which recently he hasn’t been. However, Sissoko, who is apparently Juventus bound, is a player that Rafa can afford to lose.

Spurs are in need of a defensive solution. This is not news to anyone who follows the White Hart Lane side, in fact even when Ledley King regains full fitness they will still be short of some quality in their back four. That is probably why Juande Ramos is said to be looking into signing Aston Villa’s in-form defender Martin Laursen, who is out of contract next summer (various).

Now it would be unwise to purchase a player purely on the basis of a short patch of excellent form. However, if 30-year-old Laursen is available for relatively little then the gamble is less problematic. The former AC Milan player has fought his way back from injury problems and would be a good signing; however, O’Neill will surely be keen to keep Champions League winner Laursen – though he may be amenable to a £3m fee for the Great Dane in January.