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Tuesday’s Tabloid Transfer Rumours & Team Gossip

Birmingham boss Alex McLeish will start some contract banter with Tunisian midfielder Mehdi Nafti upon his return from the Africa Cup of Nations. (Daily Star)

Tottenham Hotspur have one fewer option in defence after Gareth Bale was ruled out for the rest of the season. The Welshman was expected to return this month,but he has been advised that if he plays this season his foot injury could get even worse. (Times)

Former Lens coach Guy Roux has criticised the sheer lunacy of Rangers and Fulham and their attempts to shunt through the £3m Daniel Cousin transfer, calling both clubs “stupid” for thinking that FIFA will ignore the fact that Cousin has already played for two clubs this season. (BBC)

Portsmouth and Man City have squirmed, contorted, and limbo danced around regulation to ensure that Zimbabwe striker Benjani’s transfer from Pompey to Manchester City goes through. (Various)

Chelsea have been having a look at the Africa Cup of Nations and have taken a shine to IK Start’s Ghana international midfielder Anthony Annan. (Daily Mirror)

…While Chelsea striker Didier Drogba doesn’t want to be considered for any future African player of the year awards after it was revealed that Fredi Kanoute only won the 2007 title because Drogba refused to travel to Togo to collect the award. (Various)

Liverpool midfielder Javier Mascherano reckons that he will tie up a permanent deal this week, releasing him from his slavemasters at MSI, and taking the Argentine to Anfield. (Various)

Blackburn Rovers goalie Brad Friedel has put pen to paper on a one-year extension to his current contract, which will see him between the Ewood Park sticks until 2010. (BBC)

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