Football transfer rumours: Xabi Alonso set to join Juventus?

Today's tell-all is in a world of triceps hurt

Crystal Palace fans and assorted media outlets have been quick to assume that a tweet posted by Irish midfielder Owen Garvan on Wednesday afternoon was an act of insubordination by a player upset with his manager Ian Holloway after learning he had not made the club's 25-man Premier League squad. "I'll be here longer than he will … trust me" tweeted Garvan, who the confrontation-hating, peace-loving Rumour Mill prefers to think was down to the final two in one of those Touch The Truck competitions and was using his free hand to make supporters aware of his determination to win.

Alternatively, he might have been in a very, very long queue at the supermarket check-out while out doing his weekly big shop and had perhaps spotted his manager, or some other bloke he knows, sauntering towards the comparatively deserted Ten Items Or Less till with a half-empty basket. People are always so quick to jump to the wrong conclusion. Stephen Dobbie, Florian Marange and Aaron Wilbraham have also been marginalised at Palace, to help make way for the 351 new signings Holloway brought to the club in the final three days of the transfer window. Once the aforementioned players get over the disappointment of this disappointing setback, they can head out on loan to any Football League clubs that might want them between 8 September and 25 November.

Arsenal trio Bacary Sagna, Per Mertesacker and Tomas Rosicky are all sharpening their quills in preparation to sign the juicy new contracts they'll be offered now that the transfer window has closed. Meanwhile in South America, Chelsea centre-back David Luiz has informed Brazilian newspaper Gazeta Esportiva that he turned down an offer from Barcelona during the summer because "it was better for me and better for everyone". Everyone that is, except Barcelona. "I am happy at a big club and to be in the national team representing my country," said the big-haired Brazilian, who is one of very few Premier League footballers for whom the Rumour Mill will genuinely pine when he eventually decides to head to pastures foreign and new.

Italian newspaper Tuttosport claim Juventus are after the signature of Real Madrid midfielder Xabi Alonso, whose contract with Real Madrid expires next summer. Having seen how distinguished the former Liverpool player looks on those occasions when he cultivates a beard, the Italian champions clearly see him as the ideal replacement for Andrea Pirlo.

The Birmingham Mail reports that West Bromwich Albion are ready to open talks with their Ireland striker Shane Long about a new contract, just a few days after trying to ship him out to Hull City because they thought they were getting somebody better. West Brom sporting and technical director, Richard Garlick, says Long's move to Hull fell through at the 11th hour, when the Tigers moved the metaphorical goalposts after having their £6.5m offer for the striker accepted.

"Hull informed us they could not finance the deal they had tabled and wanted to reduce it to a level that the club would never have accepted in the first place," said Garlick, whose metaphorical bicycle appeared to be travelling backwards. "Contrary to media reports, the decision to keep Shane had absolutely nothing to do with Romelu Lukaku opting to join Everton." Some media reports suggested the decision to keep Shane was down to the personal intervention of West Bromwich Albion's manager, Steve Clarke, while the decision to offer the player a new contract is almost certainly down to a reluctance to let him go for nothing when his current deal expires in two years time.

All that palaver over Leighton Baines has left Manchester United reserve left-back Alex Buttner feeling unloved, so he may go to Besiktas on loan if David Moyes feels he's surplus to requirements at Old Trafford this season. On Merseyside Baines will be rewarded for his loyalty to Everton with a 50% pay-rise. Elsewhere in Manchester, an optimistic Joleon Lescott has said he'd like to ink an extension to his contract, which expires next summer, but says he won't be upset if the club decide not to offer him one. "I want to stay and be part of the future," said the man who has presumably dropped below new signing Martín Demichelis in the pecking order. "But I understand there's the business side of it and if it's not to be, I will walk away from the club with my head held high and no regrets."

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