Sunday's gossip column
Robin van Persie was ordered to miss Arsenal's pre-season tour by Arsene Wenger - and Manchester United have now emerged as favourites to sign the Dutch striker, 28, providing they can avoid a transfer auction.
United's move to sign Van Persie is hanging in the balance because Arsenal are refusing to budge on their £30m valuation of the Dutch striker.
United have a key advantage in the fight to sign Van Persie as it emerged that the Dutchman would prefer moving to United rather than to rivals Manchester City or Juventus.
United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has been given the go-ahead to gamble more than £50m to win back the Premier League title next season.
Nicklas Bendtner is set to leave Arsenal this week, with the 24-year-old Danish striker a £7.5m target for both AC Milan and Galatasaray.
Barcelona forward Gerard Deulofeu, 18, is on the radar of both Liverpool and QPR.
Ryo Miyaichi, 19, could be set for first-team opportunities at Arsenal after Ajax manager Frank de Boer admitted defeat in his pursuit for the winger.
Everton are on the brink of re-signing midfielder Steven Pienaar, 30, from Tottenham.
Manager Michael Laudrup has revealed he won't stand in the way of Joe Allen, 22, should the midfielder wish to leave Swansea.
Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill is to raid former club Aston Villa for defensive duo Stephen Warnock, 30, and James Collins, 28.
Sean O'Driscoll's first task as new Nottingham Forest chief will be to run the rule over Kuwait star striker Bader Al-Mutawa, 27.
Ambitious QPR are making a £6m move for Celtic's South Korean midfield star Ki Sung-Yeung, 23.
Liverpool's £35m record signing Andy Carroll will join his team-mates on their pre-season tour in the United States on Monday despite continuing uncertainty about his future.
Defender Vincent Kompany, 26, is set to commit his long-term future to Manchester City by signing a new deal worth around £34m.
Luka Modric will be fined more than £80,000 after refusing to train as the midfielder attempts to finally force through a move from Tottenham.
West Ham are playing hardball with inspirational midfield star Mark Noble, 25, over his new contract.
Recreativo de Huelva fans are so appalled by the club's new Minnie Mouse-style away shirt that they have organised a protest rally.
AC Milan stars Robinho and Kevin-Prince Boateng don't like to take training too seriously, so have been working on a routine more suited to a disco than a football field.