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Thursday's gossip column

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Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill will allow Marlon Harewood to leave the club as part of a £10m deal to land Reading striker Kevin Doyle. (Daily Mirror)

 

Michael Owen, out of contract next summer, has put talks over a new deal on hold with crisis-hit Newcastle until the end of the season. (Daily Mirror)

 

Manchester United are trailing £5m-rated Turkish striker Sercan Yildirim, 18, of Bursaspor. (Various)

 

Sunderland boss Roy Keane is keeping tabs on Tottenham midfielder Jermaine Jenas. (Daily Mirror)

 

Diego Tristan hopes to be offered a short-term deal with West Ham when his trial ends on Saturday. (The Times)

 

Brian Howard has warned Barnsley he will go on strike unless he is allowed to join Sheffield United. (Daily Mail)

Newcastle may offer full-back Stephen Carr a short-term deal to solve their defensive problems. (Various)

 

Plymouth want to complete the loan signing of Crystal Palace midfielder Carl Fletcher, 28, before the end of the week. (Daily Star)

 

Australian outfit Melbourne Heat are hoping to make injured Newcastle striker Mark Viduka, 32, their marquee signing at the end of the season. (The Times)

 

Birmingham boss Alex McLeish has been promised £2m to sign Crystal Palace midfielder Ben Watson in the January transfer window. (Various)

 

Nottingham Forest are poised to offer deals to Arsenal academy graduates James Dunne, 19, Paul Rodgers, 19 and Abu Ogogo, 18. (Daily Star)

 

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OTHER GOSSIP

The South African consortium bidding to take control of Newcastle believe they are the front-runners to succeed Mike Ashley. (Daily Mail)

 

Former boss Kevin Keegan has met three consortiums bidding for control of the St James' Park club for talks about a comeback. (The Sun)

 

Wayne Rooney will boost England by declaring himself fit for October's World Cup qualifiers, as he has not suffered ankle ligament damage. (Daily Star)

 

Chelsea striker Didier Drogba could miss the next six weeks of the season after injuring knee ligaments away at Cluj on Wednesday. (Various) Chelsea suffer Drogba injury blow

 

Sheffield United's compensation claim over the Carlos Tevez affair looks set to be delayed until February. (The Sun)

 

Hull boss Phil Brown is heading for a row with Jamaica after they called up injured striker Marlon King. (Daily Mirror)

 

Sheffield Wednesday have told would-be chairman Geoff Sheard they will not entertain him unless he delivers on countless promises. (Daily Mail)

 

Dean Saunders is set to become the new manager of Blue Square Premier club Wrexham. (The Sun)

Saunders named as Wrexham chief

 

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AND FINALLY

 

Barnsley's Reuben Noble-Lazarus' reward for becoming the Football League's youngest-ever player at 15 years and 45 days was a clip round the ear from his headmaster for walking slowly in the corridor and the axe from the school team, for fear of him getting kicked. (The Sun)

Barnsley schoolboy makes history

 

Jose Mourinho offered to let a lively Italian reporter the chance to select the Inter team for their Champions League game against Werder Bremen on Wednesday.

 

"I would if you gave me part of the nine million euros you earn," said the scribe. Mourinho shot back: "It's not nine, it's 11 and with sponsors it comes to 14." (Daily Mirror)

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