This morning’s five hottest football stories, rumours and lies:
1. Middlesbrough are happy to sell injury-prone Jonathan Woodgate to Newcastle Utd or Spurs. ‘Boro will want to recoup the Â£7m they paid to Real Madrid though. Independent
2. Arsene Wenger has been on the phone, offering Theo Walcott to any Premier League club that can promise the youngster first-team football (not Arsenal, in other words). The Sun
3. Rafa Benitez finds an unlikely ally in Sir Alex Ferguson. Fergie has slammed Liverpool’s American owners, describing their dalliance with Jurgen Klinsmann as a ‘bad piece of business’. The Times
4. Southampton have agreed a compensation package with the Scottish FA, ensuring that George Burley will be the new manager of the Scotland national side. Guardian The Daily Mail reports – well, speculates â€“ that Chris Coleman is in line to replace Burley at Southampton.
5. Middlesbrough edge closer to signing Brazilian striker Alfonso Alves, the man who scored seven (SEVEN!) goals in one game for Heerenveen this season. The Dutch FA has ruled that Heerenveen are not obliged to sell Alves to AZ Alkmaar, so Boro may step in with their chequebook.