TRANSFER RUMOURS AND GOSSIP: Liverpool, Newcastle, Aston Villa, Chelsea, Reading, West Ham and Portsmouth’s Mark Rivlin brings some of the day’s topic transfer rumours and gossip.

The FA are apparently prepared to offer Jose Mourinho an incredible £6m a season to become the new England boss (various) But the powers that be in Soho Square will have to move fast to land Mourinho or risk losing him Real Madrid (Daily Mirror).

Now if you were already reasonably well-placed financially, which job would you take, given that the salaries will be similar, one where thick planks (aka sports journalists) are peeking into your lavatory window in the snow or one with one of the most prestigious clubs in the world, in a sunny climate?

Aston Villa boss Martin O’Neill is adamant that he does not want the England job (Daily Express). For the reason, see above under Mourinho.

Reading boss Steve Coppell believes the next manager of the national team should be English – but has ruled himself out of the job (Daily Telegraph). Again, see above under Mourinho and add into the mix that he is not exactly pushing his club side to the heights like last year.

Former Newcastle chairman Freddy Shepherd is talking with Ken Bates to buy a stake in Leeds United (Daily Mirror). Nope, this is not the return of the Hammer Studios’ horror film series, although it could be classed as the football equivalent thereof. This rumour reminds me of the fella who goes into the butcher who points to two pieces of meat on hooks on the wall: “Bet you can’t guess exactly what those those pieces of meat are.” “Don’t want to.” “Why not?” “The stakes are too high.”

And while we are on a pun run, did you hear about the barber commissioned to cut the Duke of Edinburgh’s hair? He got the Palace gates in his car and the security guy said: “What’s your business here, sir?” “I’ve come to cut the Duke of Edinburgh’s hair.” “Have you got a permit?” “No, just a straight short back and sides.”

West Ham boss Alan Curbishley is ready to offload Bobby Zamora for £4m in January (Daily Mirror). I’m certainly not in a position to advise Curbs on who to buy or sell but I would have thought that if push comes to shove and West Ham are involved in a possible relegation threat, Zamora is just the kind of striker the boss needs in the locker room. And these days, £4m buys you a spotty 16-year-old and not much more.

Joey Barton says Newcastle’s demanding supporters are ‘scaring’ the players into poor performances (various). For Barton-related items, please see Hammer Films reference above. And it seems a tad unfair to blame the fans as they are the people who pay the players’ wages, so shouldn’t they be entitled to have their say?

Manager Rafa Benitez’s future is still uncertain despite apparently ending his feud with Liverpool’s American owners (Daily Express). Great news for we gossip junkies, we’ll have endless options for the England and Liverpool jobs. And maybe some of our ‘gossipees’ will be candidates for both!

Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp wants film toughie and fellow East Ender Ray Winstone to play him in a film of his life (Mirror). Good call, we could extend it to other football personalities: Sven Goran-Eriksson played by Errol Flynn, Wayne Rooney by George Formby, Peter Crouch by the team that built Frankenstein, Frank Lampard’s England career by the Invisible Man and Stuart Pearce by, er Stuart Pearce and not Anthony Perkins.

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