Today's gossip suggests anyone but Chapman
According to today's Sun, Brendan Rodgers is backing up his pick-up truck and unfurling his articulated hook in preparation for the humane removal of Jamie Carragher from the Anfield benches. Carragher, 43, wants to spend a larger proportion of his life grabbing people and complaining than he does currently. Or as the Sun puts it: "The Scouser is desperate for more playing time".
Also in the Sun, Mario Balotelli's move to the Milan home for semi-retired oddball footballers may not happen after all. Balotelli's agent, who appears to be only able to communicate human experience in terms of percentages, has said there is a "zero per cent" chance of him joining Milan. Previously City had said they wanted £31m worth of real, actual money in exchange for the non-scoring goal-sulk.
QPR have failed in their attempts to sign Rennes midfielder Yann M'Vila. M'Vila has decided to join Rubin Kazan instead because they are willing to pay him slightly more money than the already-too-much on offer at Loftus Road. And José Reina's dad says he (José Reina) wants to move back to Barcelona. "Barcelona made him an upstanding man from the time he arrived at 12 until he left," Miguel Reina said yesterday being so embarrassing.
In the Daily Mirror, Montpellier defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa has been advised by his chairman not to join Newcastle, because it is "the wrong choice". "If he's an ass, it's not my fault," Louis Nicollin said, using the word "ass" in the English sense of a stubborn or foolish person, even if the American usage might, on this occasion, be funnier. Even worse, West Ham are currently storming the cockpit with a banana in their pocket and attempting to "hijack" Alan Pardew's move for Nantes left-back Massadio Haidara.
Southampton are keen on Anderlecht's Lucas Biglia, previously a target for Arsène Wenger's random overseas player generator software. Biglia is 26 years old and would cost £8m.
Mauricio Pochettino is after Málaga striker Sebastián Fernández, who is available on a temp to perm deal and could be the man to bring the best out of poor old Gastón Ramírez. At Málaga Fernández is currently being squeezed out by the improbable odd couple pairing of Roque Santa Cruz (who still exists) and noughties sensation Javier Saviola.
The Daily Mail asks the question: "Is Sir Alex about to cut losses on flaky De Gea and send goalkeeper back to Spain?", ignoring the fact that: a) it isn't within his power to insist on David De Gea's ultimate destination, simply to decide whether De Gea stays within his compass at Manchester United, therefore making it both legally and morally impossible for him to "send goalkeeper back to Spain"; and b) the absence of any concrete evidence he might be thinking of doing this in the first place.
"It is understood that United will explore the possibility of sending him back to Spain in the summer after accepting that he is unlikely to ever settle on or off the pitch in England," the Mail understands. Iker Casillas, Victor Valdes and Pepe Reina are all potentially lurking about in a pre-sent-back-to-Spain state. Asmir Begovic, Fernando Muslera of Galatasaray and Borussia Mönchengladbach's Marc-André ter Stegen are also in the mix, a mix that seems pretty much completely non-exclusive, relying instead simply on possessing a pair of foam gloves and the ability to point and shout at Chris Smalling a lot.
Michael Laudrup is "desperate" to sign Jonathan de Guzmán on a permanent transfer. Harry Redknapp is considering once again ruining Niko Kranjcar's life by signing him for QPR just as he seemed to be finally making some kind of life for himself at Dynamo Kiev. Tony Pulis has set his cap at signing US international Brek Shea of 10 gallon hat fanciers FC Dallas.
Shea will cost £2.5m. And Birmingham stripling Jack Butland is still up for sale to anybody willing to stump up the cash: the club are apparently ready to "listen to offers".