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TRANSFER RUMOURS Part 1: Arsenal, Aston Villa, Birmingham, Manchester United, Newcastle, Portsmouth, Tottenham

Sportingo’s Michael Walsh brings us the latest transfer gossip.

There’s a menacing new threat to Newcastle’s Big Sam in today’s rumour and transfer gossip bag, while Portsmouth want £10m Mutu. Aston Villa, Chelsea, Fiorentina and Roma also feature.

Sir Alex Ferguson must have choked on his Corn Flakes this morning when he woke up to read that Cristiano Ronaldo is on his way to Barcelona. The Spanish giants want Manchester United’s diving wing dazzler as replacement for fast fading Brazil nut Ronaldinho.

Snag is that Fergie would probably rather give up guzzling red wine than part with the most exciting and most lethal player in the Premier League. Spanish rag DiarioSport is the source of the tale but it doesn’t mention a price.

In fact, no amount of money is going to make Ronaldo decamp to the Nou Camp, despite Barca president Joan Laporta being chummy with the Portuguese player’s agent, Jorge Mendes. And look what happened to the last Prem superstar lured to Barcelona – anyone remember that bloke Thierry Henry?

As if Carlos Tevez, Wayne Rooney and Ronaldo aren’t enough of to give defenders the heebee-geebees, United are lining up a £15million bid for Aston Villa striker Gabby Agbonlahor (Sunday Express). Fergie is keeping a close watch on the 21-year-old England Under-21 star. But United face competition from Arsenal, who are also keeping tabs on a player who has banged in six Premier League goals this season.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger probably has more chance of landing Dinamo Zagreb midfielder Luka Modric (Mail on Sunday). Wenger sent an Emirates envoy to Croatia last week to watch Modric play against SV Hamburg in the UEFA Cup.

Just to show that no striker is safe from the prying eyes of Old Trafford, Roma’s Mirko Vucinic is also said to be on Fergie’s shopping list (News of the World).

Sam Allardyce secured his immediate future as Newcastle snatched a last-minute win at home to Birmingham yesterday, but takeover plans by a Singapore-based consortium could put his job on the line (Daily Star on Sunday). Current owner Mike Ashley – the tubby bloke who always wears the shirt – insists he has no plans to sell up just six months after buying the club for £170m, but insiders believe he is ready to listen to serious offers. “The talk is that £200m would be enough to buy Newcastle – and it could happen early in 2008,” according to ‘a source’.

More bad news for Big Sam. The People reports that there are two names in the frame to replace the ex-Bolton boss – Alan Shearer and … Steve McClaren. Oh yeah, and Pete Doherty for Pope.

It’s clearout time at White Hart Lane. And instead of the usual suspects up front – Bent, Berbatov. Defoe – boss Juande Ramos has apparently realised it’s not the strikers who are the problem, but the plonkers who let in all the goals. The Spurs defence have been put on trial with just the next few games to show they can cut the mustard (Sunday Express).

Michael Dawson, Younes Kaboul, Anthony Gardner, Ricardo Rocha and Young-Pyo Lee all face being booted out unless they can display some aptitude for doing what they are paid to do – defend.

Cokehead Adrian Mutu, who has resurrected his career at Fiorentina in Italy, is set for a surprise return to the Premier League with Portsmouth (The People). Mutu, shown the door by Chelsea over a drug bust, has helped Romania reach the Euro 2008 finals and has been in scorching form in Serie A. Harry Redknapp is desperate for more firepower with most of his side heading for the African Nations Cup in the New Year. The Italians want £10m

Anyone still interested in who’s the next manager of England? Well, we can exclusively reveal that it will categorically (The People) be Jose Mourinho, who has categorically stated (News of the World) that he doesn’t want the job. That’s settled then.