By Chris Wright
Here’s the round up…
Rumour No. 1: Things may be about to go from bad to worse for Liverpool. With manager Rafa Benitez being presented with his exit route yesterday, it seems the club may now be facing a battle to hold on to their captain Steven Gerrard.
Many sources are reporting this morning that Gerrard has been bumped to the top of La Liga powerhouse Real Madrid’s summer transfer wishlist, but MARCA (unsurprisingly) have gone a step further by announcing that Madid president Florentino Perez is putting together a £30 million bid for the England midfielder.
Rumour No. 2: Arsenal are set to abandon their interest in Fulham ‘keeper Mark Schwarzer and instead turn their sights on an altogether younger option, in the shape of West Ham’s Robert Green.
Green is rated at around £9 million by the Hammers, but Arsene Wenger is set to test the water by lodging an initial bid of £6 million for the England stopper.
The Best of the Rest: Arsenal and Tottenham are to go head-to-head in the race to sign £9-million-rated Manchester City defender Micah Richards.
Manchester United are lining up a £22 million bid for Lyon’s Brazilian winger Michel Bastos.
Aston Villa midfielder James Milner has again refused to commit his future to the club, fuelling speculation that Manchester City are to meet Villa’s £30 million valuation of the England man.
Fulham will move for veteran Portsmouth keeper David James should Arsenal actually follow up their initial interest in Mark Schwarzer.
Fulham have also agreed a £2 million with Lyon for striker Frederic Piquionne, who spent last season on loan at Portsmouth.
Sunderland manager Steve Bruce is eyeing a £5 million move for Wigan ‘keeper Chris Kirkland due to doubts over the form of current Black Cats’ ‘No. 1’ Craig Gordon.
Birmingham and Stoke have both enquired as to the availability of Newcastle striker Andy Carroll.
Wolves are set to seal a £7 million deal for Burnley striker Steven Fletcher after the Scotsman completes his routine medical at Molineux on Friday.
Portsmouth have rejected a ‘derisory’ £300,000 bid from Rangers for Tommy Smith.