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TRANSFER RUMOURS: Newcastle, Tottenham, Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City, Bolton and Derby County

Lots of rumours and transfer gossip in today’s tabloids, as ever. This bulletin also features Manchester City, Derby County, Sporting Lisbon, AC Milan, West Brom, QPR and Sheffield Wednesday.

Sam Allardyce has finally clocked what the whole of Newcastle and most of football has been muttering for weeks now – his Tyne is nearly up at St James’ Park. “My position is safe if I get results but not if I lose,” Allardyce told The Sun.

One point from the last four games and having his own players branding the team “a disgrace” make Big Sam’s position look about as safe as an England goalkeeper playing against Croatia. In desperation, apparently Allardyce even had Sir Bobby Robson stopping by to talk to Newcastle’s players and coaches – isn’t that the manager’s role rather than the bloke who was shamefully kicked out of the job in 2004?

Juande Ramos is one cool customer, just like the band who were still playing ‘Glory, Glory’ or whatever as the Titanic slipped below the Atlantic waves. The Spurs boss has said no to plans for panic buys when the transfer window opens – and he won’t be letting Dimitar Berbatov or Jermain Defoe go (The Sun and everyone else).“In January the only teams that sign players are the desperate ones,” says the Spaniard, whose side are two points off the drop zone.

OK, so Chelsea must be desperate. They are now favourites to nick Nicolas Anelka from stodgy old Bolton for £10m (The Sun). Although, Le Sulk is still fluttering his eyelids in the direction of Old Trafford. “There has been speculation,” admits Anelka, “and Alex Ferguson has said nice things about me.” Yes, well Fergie’s also known to have been kind to horses in the past.

If players haven’t got anything interesting to say, then why don’t they just keep their traps shut? Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo for instance … “I am a big fan of [Eric] Cantona (Daily Star). He was a great player and is a great man. He always spoke well of the team and the players. It’s great to be compared with him and I actually do know him because I do adverts with him for Nike. I enjoy meeting him.” Oh, do put a sock in it.

West Brom outcast John Hartson may go on loan to Sheffield Wednesday in January (Daily Mirror), QPR want former Inter Milan defender Francesco Coco who starred in Italy’s ‘I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here’ (The Sun), and AC Milan’s Kaka will join the God quad as an evangelical minister when he hangs up his boots (various).

Russian midfielder Marat Izmailov, on loan at Sporting Lisbon from Lokomotiv Moscow, is a £3.5m Manchester City target (Daily Mirror).

And just to show the papers don’t ever – sorry, I meant don’t always – get it right, Paul Jewell and NOT Paul Ince was unveiled yesterday as the new boss of Premier League bottom club Derby County (various). Still, well done on getting the first name right, fellas.



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