Yoann Gourcuff, famous for scoring a very good goal more than three years ago, is unhappy with Lyon for trying to slash his cash, which is thought to amount to around £90,000 a week. With Lyon trying to cut costs, they have identified Gourcuff's contract as a handy place to start. Only he's not too happy about it and may seek a move away, and given that the Frenchman is a playmaker where else should he be linked than Arsenal, who already have Mesut Özil, Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshere and Nicklas Bendtner on their books. They, it transpires, have been "alerted" to Gourcuff's position but their response should probably be a shrug of the shoulders and to go back to sleep. It is the weekend, after all. TGIF.
Another playmaker being touted around is Juan Mata, this winter's must-have transfer rumour. According to the Daily Star, Chelsea are "bracing themselves for a Juan Mata storm" in January. The Mill has no idea. Perhaps they mean that a freak storm is going to whip up Mata off Chelsea's training ground and he's going to return to wreak terrible vengeance on José Mourinho. A Juan-nado, if you will. Alternatively it could just mean that Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United, Tottenham and Valencia would all like to sign Mata and then place him in a straight-to-TV-movie alongside Tara Reid.
Real Madrid have identified the new Gareth Bale and his name is Ryan G ... Ryan G... Ryan G-G-G-G-G-G-G... wait for it ... Ryan Gauld, a 17-year-old Scottish lad currently plying his trade at Dundee United. According to the Daily Mail, Gauld's team-mate, John Rankin, has insisted that he is the "Real deal", even though Real doesn't rhyme with deal in Spanish. "Ryan has a massive future," said Rankin. "The talent in the boy is incredible. If he is being linked with Real Madrid at that age, then it wouldn't surprise me – it really wouldn't. He is so level-headed and if anyone deserves it, it would be him. I don't know if someone is hyping it up or someone is just trying to make a story. But I hope for the sake of the boy it's true. It certainly would not surprise me if he moved on to a big club." Real talk.
André Villas-Boas spurned Paris Saint-Germain's advances to stay at Tottenham in the summer but he has revealed he's been fluttering his eyelids at the filthy rich French club, who are owned by our Qatari overlords, who are slaving away to bring glorious success to the French capital. So that's nice.
Spartak Moscow's Aiden McGeady is being watched by Aston Villa, Everton and Fulham, none of whom were willing to meet his £9.5m asking price last summer. "My client has a contract with Spartak, which he will see out like a true professional," McGeady's agent, Jan Dreyer, said earlier this year. "While he is totally focused on Spartak, if he gets a really serious offer from England which is acceptable to the club we will consider it. To talk about anything at this stage is premature." All of which sounds a lot like talking about something.
You'll like this one: Didier Drogba is being lined up as Galatasaray's next manager after Fatih Terim was relieved of his duties. Robertos Mancini and Di Matteo are also in the frame, though. But the Mill wants Drogba to get the job, if only to see his reaction when an opposition player dives. In other managerial news, Gus Poyet is the only candidate for the vacant Sunderland job.
West Ham are close to re-signing Carlton Cole on a short-term three month deal as cover for Andy Carroll – who is close to being packed off to the glue factory – even though the striker failed a fitness test earlier this month. They are genuinely never going to get rid of Cole. When he signed for them in 2006, he was one of six strikers at the club, alongside Dean Ashton, Marlon Harewood, Teddy Sheringham, Carlos Tevez and Bobby Zamora but, one by one, he saw them off, just as he saw off Demba Ba and Craig Bellamy. Do not mistake this for a three-month deal, it's just paving the way for Cole to become honorary life president. West Ham won't be playing at the Olympic Stadium in 2016, they'll be playing at the Carlton Cole Thunderdome.