Today's fluff is never watching the Europa League again
Tottenham want to pull off a stunning summer swoop for Chelsea's Didier Drogba, according to the Express, though the Ivorian's £130,000-a-week wages may well scare off the White Hart Lane outfit. Just in case they're also interested in a veritable busload of alternative attacking targets, with a £14m offer for Espanyol's former Atalanta, Lecce, Fiorentina and Bologna striker Pablo Osvaldo very much on the cards in an effort to trump Atlético Madrid's £11m rival bid, and tabs being pretty firmly kept on Hertha Berlin's Pierre-Michel Lasogga, dubbed the new Lukas Podolski. Harry Redknapp is also monitoring £8m-rated Birmingham player of the season Ben Foster, for whom White Hart Lane holds some unhappy memories.
Manchester City are to make Craig Bellamy available to anyone willing to pay his wages, after stumping up £70,000 of his £90,000-a-week pay packet all season for the pleasure of watching the mouthy hitman play for Cardiff City. Manchester United, meanwhile, are set for a "slightly busier than normal" summer, according to their chief executive, David Gill, with the 6ft 3in 18-year-old Lens centre-back Raphaël Varane apparently on the list. He's available for £9m. "I am looking at maybe three signings," says Sir Alex Ferguson. That's one more than Manchester City, whose chairman, Khaldoon al-Mubarak, insists: "We don't need quantity, as today we have quality. We just need a couple of players."
Brazilian star Neymar hopes that his mooted move to Chelsea can be resurrected. "To play in Europe is my dream. I was very proud of Chelsea's interest and I hope to keep playing well so that this proposal can happen again," he pleaded. "I know about these teams; Chelsea, Manchester – to play for them are the dreams of all players. I know about players in England – Drogba, Lampard, Gerrard – these are very good players. I have spoken to Ramires and David Luiz and they say England is a very good country and London is a beautiful place to live."
Pirates of the Caribbean star Johnny Depp has been ordered to throw out his vast collection of hats.
Charles N'Zogbia is set to be the subject of a stunning six-way summer tug of love as a bevy of top teams battle for his southpaw services. Kenny Dalglish would prefer to sign Stewart Downing to occupy Liverpool's left wing but will turn to N'Zogbia if he fails, while Aston Villa will turn to N'Zogbia if he succeeds. Also in the running are Tottenham, Sunderland, Juventus and Newcastle, whose transfer policy according to the Mirror can be summarised as "scouring the French league for bargains". Joining N'Zogbia on his way through the DW Stadium exit is Mohamed Diamé, an £8m target for Sevilla.
The Star has won the competition to see which national newspaper could provide the least comprehensive coverage of the Europa League final, despite the strenuous efforts of their Fleet Street rivals, with six little sentences tucked on to the bottom corner of page 61.
Wayne Rooney's Twitter row with a Liverpool fan, which included him being called "a fat ugly lil nonse" [sic], and the England ace offering to "put u asleep within 10 seconds", has been branded "a bit of harmless banter" by a Manchester United source. Eidur Gudjohnsen's late-career tour of England looks set to continue with a stint at QPR, who also want former new-Diego-Maradona Javier Saviola, currently at Benfica. Wolves will spend £2.5m on Doncaster's Billy Sharp even if they get relegated, while West Ham want Cardiff's free-agent England ace Jay Bothroyd.
Arsenal, with their bumper transfer kitty soon to be boosted by Andrey Arshavin's exit, probably to Fenerbahce, have reignited their interest in the towering Blackburn defensive dominator Christopher Samba, currently topping a want-list that also includes Phil Jagielka, Gary Cahill and Paris St-Germain's Mamadou Sakho. Meanwhile Arsène Wenger is to offer Robin van Persie a £20,000 pay rise if he'll sign a five-year contract that will keep him in north London until he's 32. He currently earns 22% less than Craig Bellamy, and that's got to hurt.
Liverpool have won the race to sign 15-year-old Alex O'Hanlon, regarded as Ireland's most promising teen and also coveted by Real Madrid, Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United. On their way out of the city are Paul Konchesky, the Leicester-bound full-back flop, and Everton's Joseph Yobo, Yakubu Aiyegbeni and James Vaughan, at least one of whom is also likely to join Konchesky and Sven-Göran Eriksson at the Foxes.
And finally, today's survey news: One in seven football fans – and fully 28% of Manchester United supporters – will not renew their season tickets because they're too expensive, according to a new poll. And in an entirely separate survey the Magic Roundabout in Hemel Hempstead has been voted the UK's favourite traffic island.