David Villa and Thierry Henry to Man City, Beckham to extend stay at AC Milan

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23 days until the window is flung open


It’s not long until Manchester City’s bottomless coffer is unleashed, and the press are having a fantastic time linking everyone under the sun to them. Here’s the latest happenings in gossipland…

David Villa to Manchester City
The Sun has revealed Man City are in talks to sign Euro 2008 star David Villa after Mark Hughes insisted there would be big name signings in January.

The Spoiler Truth-o-meter: Cash-strapped Valencia would surely accept £60 million and City wouldn’t think twice about breaking the world transfer record. And for around £150,000 a week you’d think the man himself might be quite interested too.

Thierry Henry to Manchester City
Manchester City are keen to bring Thierry Henry back to England after his turbulent time in Spain according to the Daily Mail. Barcelona might be interested if the right money is offered although a sale would most likely follow a guaranteed replacement with Lyon striker Karim Benzema consistently linked with the Catalan giants.

The Spoiler Truth-o-meter: City and Barcelona might both be interested in a deal, but Thierry Henry remains determined to prove his time in Spain has been a success. Following a hat-trick at the weekend he looks keen to win over his detractors in Spain.

Milan to extend loan for Beckham?
AC Milan chief executive Adriano Galliani has revealed he hopes to keep David Beckham for as long as possible. LA Galaxy have already agreed to loan out Beckham in January for the close season of the MLS. Despite competition for places in Milan’s midfield – Kaka, Andrea Pirlo and Ronaldinho to name just a few, Beckham’s England career prospects would be enhanced by proving his quality in Serie A as opposed to in USA. Milan might struggle to match the Galaxy’s asking price or Beckham’s weekly half a million dollar wages but would enjoy significant commercial success if a permanent deal could be agreed with the Galaxy.

The Spoiler Truth-o-meter: Posh might like life in Italy better than LA where she is far less popular than her hubby and might want to stay for Milan Fashion Week in September.

A Manager to Sunderland
Rumoured replacements for Roy Keane include Peter Reid in a possible Joe Kinnear-esque interim role, Sven-Goran Eriksson, Co Adriaanse of Austrian side Red Bull Salzburg and former Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier. The Guardian reports the Sunderland board aim to cut a list of 33 names down to 3 on Wednesday with Hull boss Phil Brown and Sam Allardyce still amongst the front runners. The Daily Mirror meanwhile claims recently departed Keane could be offered the Celtic job if Gordon Strachan leaves the Scottish side.

The Spoiler Truth-o-meter: Peter Reid’s Thailand side won 6-0 last night, suggesting he’s doing pretty well in the east. The bookies fancy Strachan to head to the Stadium of Light, so a managerial switch-a-roo wouldn’t be out of the question.

Pavel Pogrebnyak to Everton
According to the Guardian Everton boss David Moyes is tracking 20-year-old Zenit St Petersburg forward Pavel Pogrebnyak. With the ‘Yak’ out for the season and injuries to serial sick notes James Vaughan and Louis Saha, Moyes has admitted he is scouring the market for reinforcements upfront. Pogrebnyak has added fuel to the claim after declaring in the Daily Star that he has received interest from the Toffees.

The Spoiler Truth-o-meter: Moyes is desperate for a new striker but his board are unlikely to stump up the cash. Loan signings look a more likely option.

Branislav Ivanovic to Inter Milan
The Chelsea defender has made just 4 appearances this season, although better than zero in the 07-08 campaign. Former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho is reportedly keen to bring him to Italy says the Daily Star. His agent declared he was close to signing for AC Milan in the summer and it appears the player would welcome a move away from the London side.

The Spoiler Truth-o-meter: Mourinho might want him but he’ll have the same knock backs that he’s had for Lampsie and Drogba. Carvalho and Terry are not the least injury-free centre backs and Chelsea won’t let Ivanovic leave with just Alex providing cover.

Lassana Diarra to Manchester City
Critics of Mark Hughes’ side have claimed despite all their attacking class they lack a strong defensive midfielder to cover for the attacking exploits of Robinho, Wright-Phillips and co. Lassana Diarra would fit the bill perfectly and as Pompey boss Tony Adams announced at the weekend that his side were looking for buyers you might assume that the club would take decent bids for any of their players quite seriously.

The Spoiler Truth-o-meter: Diarra hasn’t even been at Pompey a year but he has impressed in his time there. Portsmouth would most likely cash in if they received any decent bid and Diarra wouldn’t have many qualms about relocating after playing for 3 clubs in the past 18 months.

Emile Heskey to Aston Villa
Emile Heskey is being followed by a number of Premiership sides as the big man is back in fashion and Villa are rumoured favourites. Martin O’Neill has seen the impact to his side without injured target man John Carew and would be interested in being reunited with Heskey – a player who made his name in football under the manager at Leicester.

The Spoiler Truth-o-meter: Wigan boss Steve Bruce has indicated that only a ‘silly offer’ (about £10 million) would force him to sell the striker in January as is the importance of Heskey to his side. However, Heskey has just 6 months to run on his contract and doesn’t seem interested in signing a new deal and Villa would be his likely destination come the summer.

Elano to Lazio
The Mirror claims Lazio want to take City playmaker Elano on loan in January with a view to a permanent transfer. Despite an impressive first half to his debut season last year, Elano has failed to recapture his form and has been used sparingly by Hughes this campaign. Scoring goals hasn’t been City’s problem this year but conceding them has and many argue the inclusion of flair players like Elano are leaving the side unbalanced when defending.

The Spoiler Truth-o-meter: Hughes’ decision to let Elano leave would ultimately depend on who comes into the club in the transfer window but with unlimited funds, arrivals to Eastlands are imminent and Elano – who has criticized Hughes would be one of those expected to leave.

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