Let's start with the crisis clubs. Arshavin news to follow. And Beckham too.
Just when it could not get any worse for Newcastle. Not only is Mike Ashley back in the stands and Michael Owen and Joey Barton back on the treatment table but Shay Given seems almost certain to be a Manchester City player at some time before Saturday. Soccernet says so too.
What's worse is that Everton have failed to sign Alan Smith. So say the Daily Telegraph. Looks like Ashley can continue the cost-cutting by wearing his Alan Smith number 17 in the stands. At away grounds of course.
Portsmouth are sinking faster than a double vodka used to do in Tony Adams' boozing heyday. Sol Campbell, who wants a new deal that has not been forthcoming (Daily Mail), has spoken out and said that at least two new signings are needed to keep the club in the Premier League (Daily Express). Depending on which paper you read they are either in for Spain U-20 midfielder Stephen 'Sunny' Sunday (The Guardian) or have already failed to get him. (Daily Mail). In case you didn't know Sunny is plying his wares at Osasuna though Valencia own his registration.
Pompey may have given up on Javier Saviola after news that the Argentine may be offered to Wigan by Real Madrid as a makeweight for Antonio Valencia. That's in the Daily Telegraph while The Mirror say the Latics want £18m for the Ecuadorian with Manchester United sniffing around too.
Let's add Hull City to list of clubs lurching toward disaster. Can Phil Brown arrest their shocking run? Is French defender Steven Mouyokolo the key to their defensive troubles? Mouyokolo plies his trade at Boulogne so he'll be used to icy sea-breezes (not the cocktail) and the smell of fish. He's linked in the Daily Mirror.
Added to clubs in crisis must surely be Liverpool. Rafa's hackles may be raising further by news that Real Madrid want Xabi Alonso. But not until the summer. If only it had been last summer when he wanted Gareth Barry. Maybe he wouldn't be treating Robbie Keane like a teenager who has been tanning the drinks cabinet if he had Barry. What if, what if, what if? He better not read the Daily Mirror if he doesn't want any stress-related conditions to further flare up.
Real Madrid election time. And we all know what that means. Promises, speculation and flagrant rumour. All grist to our mill here. According to the Daily Mirror they want Kaka, Fabregas and Wenger as boss. What no Cristiano Ronaldo???
Manchester City corner. With a twist: they may lose out to Spurs if The Daily Mirror has it right about a £20m bid for Roque Santa Cruz. Plus players on their way out may be Daniel Sturridge to Villa (ibid) and Michael "the new Colin Bell" Johnson to QPR.
The Star has Rovers linked with Wolfsburg's Bosnian striker Edin Dzeko, rated at £6m, as a Roque replacement.
Arshavin latest: as widely reported, Zenit say Andrei Arshavin can go to Arsenal for £15m straight out, no add-ons. Arsenal will pay £12m plus add-ons. See you next Tuesday, Andrei? Possibly.
Another Russian club, Spartak Moscow, are doing business with West Ham over a loan for Czech midfielder Radoslav Kovac. Let's hope he's no Tomas Repka. All is going rather oddly at Upton Park. Not only is Carlton Cole banging them in but they're spending now. They now want West Ham Inter Milan striker Mario Balotelli, say the Daily Express. He's had a fall-out with Jose Mourinho so could be set for a loan deal at the very least.
Over to the other occupants of San Siro. AC Milan goalkeeping reserve keeper Marco Storari is to succeed Carlo Cudicini in Chelsea benchwarming/cup game duty, say the Daily Mail. Though Ivanovic and Malouda could be going to Italy.
Let's end it like Beckham. The rest of his team-mates at Milanello want him to stay. Hardly a revelation but David Beckham does look more and likelier to be deserting the Galaxy. And The Times say that there's a few Californians want him to go too.