The Mill has long been famed for its rigorous research.
And today was no different as we logged on to Google, typed "Burnley + Tanning + Salon", and were delighted to find that it brought 912,000 results. Well that's settled then: with Burnley having ditched their manager Brian Laws yesterday, the zesty former Hull intellectual, Phil Brown, is a shoo-in for the job, with The Tanning Studio, Suntastic and Body Bronze set to duke it out for his custom. Rejoice! With his unique brand of philosophical musings, comedic timing and all-round warmth, Brown is just the man to lead Burnley back into the big time.
That, or crack under the pressure, take to draping a salmon-pink jumper around his shoulders, hold pre-match, half-time and full-time team-talks out on the pitch, quite rightly criticise Cesc Fábregas's fashion sense and stop women from jumping off bridges. Who knows? Anyway, Burnley are advised to move fast if they want Brown, because there could well be a vacancy at Liverpool soon.
He does have some competition for the Burnley job, though. With Internazionale having recently appointed Leonardo as their new manager and José Mourinho surprisingly still going strong at Real Madrid, the Daily Mirror reports that Sam Allardyce quite fancies pitching up at Turf Moor. Huddersfield's Lee Clark and Doncaster's Sean O'Driscoll are also being considered. None of the above have Brown's charisma.
In gripping etymological news today, the word "exclusive" appears to have altered its meaning with the Mirror and the Daily Express both EXCLUSIVELY reporting that Tottenham are the favourites to sign David Beckham on a loan deal from LA Galaxy which will last for two dispiriting and vaguely unsatisfying months. There aren't any quotes or anything fancy like that, so the fact that Beckham's grandad, Joe West, supported Spurs appears to form the basis for this particular piece of tittle-tattle. Blackburn, Everton, Newcastle, Sunderland and West Ham are also said to be keen on upping their shirt sales. The Mirror delivers a further slap to the face of the English language by describing that quintet of clubs as "amazing". Dr Johnson didn't die for this!
Edin Dzeko is on his way to Manchester City from Wolfsburg for £35m, but that's not all folks. City now have so much money that Roberto Mancini has decided he can use a rhyming couplet to guard Joe Hart's goal. The Daily Mail says he'll give Espanyol £8m for the defender Victor Ruiz and Benfica £25m for David Luiz. The Mill is as yet undecided whether to christen Dzeko, Luiz and Ruiz as The Z-Listers in a nod to City's past, or perhaps Zzz, strangely appropriate considering that's what most people have been doing when watching City at times this season.
Dzeko's arrival at City will lead to a host of departures too. They are still trying to offload their Paraguayan hottie Roque Santa Cruz, but he wants a permanent move to Lazio instead of a loan. West Ham are interested in Emmanuel Adebayor, but so are Real Madrid. Avram Grant or Mourinho? It's a bit like Sophie's Choice.
Grant has been reminiscing about how helpful England's Brave and Loyal John Terry was during his time at Chelsea, the memory of which has prompted him to buy a Team Bridge T-shirt. Unfortunately for the West Ham manager, City won't let him take Wayne Bridge on loan according to the Sun. He'll sign for Aston Villa or Valencia instead. Meanwhile West Ham are so skint that they are now scrimping and saving on central heating. "We've got 15 irons in the fire, and I mean that literally," said their chairman, David Gold, who has been taking English lessons with Jamie Redknapp. Once Upton Park is nice and toasty, they'll try to bring in the Everton striker Yakubu Ayegbeni, who's just big-boned, OK?
Aston Villa's Ashley Young has decided all he wants in life is for Sotirios Kyrgiakos to lob the ball in his direction, so he will join Liverpool for £14m. Impressed with Liverpool's tribute to the Wimbledon team of old during last night's unfortunate but encouraging defeat to Wolves, Agent Hodgson reckons he doesn't need Daniel Agger, a classy ball-playing central defender with a left foot sweeter than a bag of Haribo. He's being pimped around Europe according to Wolfsburg's sporting director, Dieter Hoeness. Agger's agent is not best pleased, but then who is at Anfield these days?
Manchester United are set to allow Federico Macheda to go out on loan. Wolves, Bolton and Fulham are all possible destinations, although they'll have to find a place for Macheda's agent too. "We were given the all-clear by Ferguson to go on loan for six months in January," said Marcello Bonetto, grossly overestimating his own importance. Mauro Boselli is set to end his Wigan hell and join Bari. Wolves need someone to play Lurch in their production of the Addams Family. David Wheater will do. He'll cost £1.5m from Middlesbrough.
Mark Hughes will continue his drive to recreate his Blackburn side at Fulham by signing Jay Bothroyd from Cardiff City for £2m. Cardiff will respond with the £1m capture of the Everton striker James Vaughan, while the Tottenham defender, Jonathan Woodgate, who pulled a muscle yesterday when opening a jar of pickles, is also on Dave Jones's radar.
Meanwhile Eidur Gudjohnsen's spell at Stoke is going as well as everyone expected it would, and he'll rip up his contract and leave in January.
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