Arturo Vidal
Will Arturo Vidal be moving to Manchester United? Probably not but you never know. Photograph: Fabio Muzzi/AFP/Getty Images
Sick and tired of the cacophony being generated by folk insisting that he needs to sign a central midfielder, Sir Alex Ferguson may attempt to quieten his hundreds of thousands of advisers by bringing Arturo Vidal to Old Trafford. The Chilean midfielder currently plies his trade with Juventus but reports from Italy, via Friday's Mirror, suggest United have enquired about his availability. A versatile box-to-box heartbeat that's played more than 40 times for his country, the 24-year-old is valued at £40m and is also being coveted by both Manchester City and Real Madrid.
Despite having been dropped for Real Madrid's recent Champions League victory over Manchester City at the Bernabéu, Sergio Ramos is reported to be making loud pinging noises on Roberto Mancini's radar. For so long a staple in the Los Blancos side, the handsome Spanish full-back and bullfighting aficionado's rare omission from the starting XI on that occasion was enough to fuel no end of speculation about his future. Even the Barcelona president, Sandro Rosell, has hinted that he may be interested in bringing Ramos to the Camp Nou. "Never say never," he told an ESPN interviewer while being quizzed on American TV, prompting Real Madrid to do exactly that by announcing the defender is not for sale.
Having signed new eight-year contracts on Thursday, Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew and his backroom staff have stopped pinching themselves, high-fiving each other and cackling gleefully at their chairman's astonishing largesse to pursue their interest in CSKA Moscow's 24-year-old striker Seydou Doumbia. The Ivorian international has scored 34 goals in 56 appearances for CSKA, 24 of which he bagged in 2011 to earn himself the gong for Russian player of the year. With Serie A sides Napoli and Lazio also reported to be keen on signing Doumbia, he won't come cheap. £16m is the fee being touted, not the kind of chump change you find behind the sofa, but considerably less than the £25m his club were asking for him during the summer that prompted interest from Arsenal, Manchester City, Manchester United and Liverpool to wane.
The unhappy Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Hugo Lloris is about to "demand showdown talks" with André Villas-Boas after being left at home for the club's midweek Capital One Cup victory over Carlisle United, so that Carlo Cudicini and Heurelho Gomes could have a night out. The Rumour Mill predicts a short, largely wordless exchange: André Villa-Boas will point to White Hart Lane on a map of the UK, slowly move his laser pen all the way up to Brunton Park and look expectantly at the Frenchman, who will almost certainly cry with relief, thank his manager profusely and walk sheepishly from his office. Villas-Boas has also revealed that he won't be promoting Tim Sherwood to the position of director of football, a snub that could pave the way for the club's current technical director to leave White Hart Lane and replace Steve Kean as manager of Blackburn Rovers.
Heartwarming news from Spain, where Marca report that the Barcelona defender Eric Abidal could return to first-team action before the end of the year following his liver transplant in March this year. The French international had been diagnosed with cancer 12 months previously but doctors have told him he's well enough to resume his career.
John Terry's troubles are likely to continue, with the Sun reporting that he's facing a legal bill of £770,000 on top of his £220,000 fine in the wake of being found guilty of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand by the FA. The tabloid reports that Chelsea won't be paying his costs, while their rivals at the Mirror suggest that many black players are considering boycotting the FA's Kick It Out anti-racism campaign in protest at what they see as the leniency of the four-match ban and fine handed down to the Chelsea captain. Meanwhile Terry continues to mull over the possibility of an appeal.
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