Saturday's Gossip column

 

TRANSFER GOSSIP

Mario Balotelli is ready to join AC Milan in a £24m deal. The 22-year-old striker has given notice on his rented house in Cheshire and started flying his possessions back to Milan.

Full story: The Sun 

Stoke manager Tony Pulis has insisted that striker Michael Owen, 33, will not be moving anywhere on loan during the January transfer window. Owen has made just five appearances since joining the club in the summer.

Full story: The Sun 

Liverpool have launched an £8m bid for Inter Milan's Brazilian midfielder Philippe Coutinho, 20, after becoming increasingly frustrated in efforts to sign Blackpool's former Reds youngster Thomas Ince.

Full story: Daily Telegraph 

Brek Shea

Brek Shea has been linked with moves to Liverpool, Manchester City and German side Schalke

Queens Park Rangers are chasing Porto and Portugal defender Rolando, even though the 27-year-old Europa League winner has turned them down three times already.

Full story: Daily Mirror 

Meanwhile, QPR's hopes of signing Rennes and France midfielder Yann M'Vila, 22, have been complicated by interest from Rubin Kazan and Tottenham Hotspur.

Full story: the Times (subscription required) 

Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard, 34, is close to agreeing a deal with LA Galaxy for next season - but he will definitely remain at Stamford Bridge for the rest of the current campaign.

Full story: London Evening Standard 

Stoke City are close to signing 22-year-old United States and FC Dallas winger Brek Shea.

Full story: nbcsports.com 

Arsenal want 20-year-old French midfielder Gilbert Imbula, who has starred for French second-tier side Guingamp in recent seasons and holds the record as the youngest player to play in the division, at 17 years, one month and four days.

Full story: Daily Mail 

West Bromwich Albion defender Craig Dawson, 22, is attracting attention from a number of Championship clubs, including Black Country neighbours Wolves. Blackburn, Bolton and Leeds are also keen on taking him on loan.

Full story: skysports.com 

West Ham are ready to abandon their pursuit of Blackburn left-back Martin Olsson, 24, as they are not keen to offer more than the £2m bid which has been rejected.

Full story: London Evening Standard 

West Bromwich Albion manager Steve Clarke has held talks with striker Peter Odemwingie, 31, and defender Jonas Olsson, 29, after interest from Queens Park Rangers, and told the pair to forget about leaving the club.

Full story: Express and Star 

OTHER GOSSIP

Former Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira says eight years without a trophy is too long for the Gunners and playing beautiful football is not enough any more.

Full story: The Sun 

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers admits he is in a "healthy disagreement" with his board over the merits of the club's transfer policy.

Full story: Daily Telegraph 

Nigel Adkins knew he was going to be sacked by Southampton after watching television - before he met with executive chairman Nicola Cortese.

Full story: Daily Mirror 

Mauricio Pochettino will walk head first into a supporters' protest when he takes charge of Southampton, with fans set to wave white handkerchiefs in protest after five minutes of Monday's televised game against Everton.

Full story: the Guardian 

Adkins, 47, scribbled a message on a flipchart for his Saints players after being given his marching orders: "Keep smiling. Have faith and belief that you are doing the right thing. Keep looking to improve."

Full story: Daily Mail 

Pavel Pogrebnyak

Russian international Pavel Pogrebnyak has scored five goals in 17 league games since joining Reading in July

Lucas Radebe, the former Leeds United and South Africa captain, expects more Premier League players will follow Everton midfielder Steven Pienaar, 30, and decide not to play in future Africa Cup of Nations because of its scheduling.

Full story: Independent 

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has warned his Newcastle United players before Saturday's home game with Reading that 29-year-old Royals striker Pavel Pogrebnyak is "one of the worst players I've seen for falling over and buying free-kicks".

Full story: the Guardian 

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has waded into the Luis Suarez row by blaming foreign players for the escalation of diving in the English game.

Full story: Daily Express 

Rafael Benitez is ready to gamble on defender John Terry's fitness and recall the 32-year-old Chelsea skipper for Sunday's league game with Arsenal.

Full story: the Times (subscription required) 

Blackburn Rovers co-owner Venkatesh Rao has vowed to win the hearts of the club's supporters, with the family expected to make an appearance at Ewood Park for Michael Appleton's first game in charge.

Full story: Lancashire Evening Telegraph 

AND FINALLY

BBC Radio 5 live's 606 newsletter reports how former Aston Villa manager John Gregory showed his guitar-playing talent at a recent supporters club meeting.

Boss Paolo Di Canio joined fans to shovel snow off Swindon's pitch before their scheduled League One game with Shrewsbury. Reports circulated on Twitter that Di Canio also ordered in pizza for the volunteers to thank them.

Full story: Daily Mail