Wednesday's gossip column - transfers and rumours

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TRANSFER GOSSIP

Arsenal are set to make a move for former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba as the Gunners look to prise the 34-year-old from Shanghai Shenhua.

Stevan Jovetic
Liverpool and Chelsea have also shown interest in Montenegro forward Stevan Jovetic

Full story: the Sun

Manchester City are close to an agreement with Fiorentina to bring 22-year-old Montenegro forward Stevan Jovetic to the club next summer.

Full story: talkSPORT

Former Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez says he was denied the funds to sign Jovetic in 2009 by then owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett. In a new book, Benitez says the reluctance of the Americans to back him financially that summer resulted in Liverpool's failure to build on their Premier League second-placed finish.

Full story: Metro

OTHER GOSSIP

Roy Hodgson's England team stumbled to a draw against Ukraine with a display in front of many empty seats at Wembley that will not fill their dwindling supporters with hope for Brazil 2014.

Full story: Guardian

Before the match the FA showed clips of St George's Park, the new National Football Centre which is finally complete, to offer a glimpse of a future that cannot come quick enough.

Full story: the Independent

Roy Hodgson's faith in older England players is understandable despite the disappointing draw with Ukraine.

Full story: the Times (subscription required)

Aston Villa defender Ciaran Clark, 22, is disappointed that he has been left out of Giovanni Trapattoni's Republic of Ireland squad for their opening World Cup 2014 qualifiers.

Full story: Birmingham Mail

The Football Association will start John Terry's racism hearing on 24 September after a delay in appointing the three-man Independent Regulatory Commission.

Full story: Daily Mail

QPR defender Anton Ferdinand. 27, is expected to be fit for QPR's Premier League clash with Chelsea on Saturday.

Full story: Daily Telegraph

Manchester United have played down Sir Alex Ferguson's meeting with Pep Guardiola in New York despite rumours he met the former Barcelona boss to discuss handing over the reins at Old Trafford to the Spaniard.

Full story: Daily Express

Fraizer Campbell
Fraizer Campbell made his England debut against Netherlands in February

Manchester United striker Robin van Persie, 29, is a doubt for their game with Wigan on Saturday after he was taken off at half-time with a suspected thigh injury in Netherlands' 4-1 World Cup qualifying win in Hungary.

Full story: Daily Mail

Sunderland striker Fraizer Campbell, 24, is struggling to earn a new contract with the Black Cats following the arrival of fellow forwards Steven Fletcher, 25, and Louis Saha, 34.

Full story: Daily Mirror

Swansea City are in talks with goalkeeper Michel Vorm, 28, Ashley Williams, 28, and Neil Taylor, 23, over new contracts.

Full story: South Wales Evening Post

Former Burnley manager Brian Laws has described his sacking from the Turf Moor club as the "most hurtful parting" of his career after accusing the board of not being strong enough during his tenure.

Full story: Lancashire Telegraph

Birmingham City have rejected a £12m takeover bid from former QPR owners Gianni Paladini and Flavio Briatore.

Full story: Express and Star

Manchester United chief executive David Gill is looking at trying to shoehorn a Christmas break into the English calendar to bring England in line with the rest of Europe.

Full story: Manchester Evening News

AND FINALLY

Peru fans taunted Barcelona's Lionel Messi, 25, with chants of "Cristiano, Cristiano" - in reference to Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo - when the Argentina forward arrived at Lima airport ahead of their World Cup qualifier.

Full story: Metro

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