The Rumour Mill would like to wish Connor Wickham a very happy birthday - the burly Ipswich Town man-boy turns 18 today, which means he's now legally old enough to drink alcohol, vote or get sent to an adult prison.
Should he choose to do so, Wickham is also old enough to go under the needle down at his local body-art emporium and may well celebrate this milestone in every young man's life by getting himself a tattoo ... to go with the several he's had done already.
According to the Mirror, Tottenham Hotspur are this close to finalising a £15m deal to bring Wickham to White Hart Lane this summer and they say the teenager is aware of the offer and "has told friends he'll be moving to north London this summer". With Arsenal and Manchester United also reported to be desperate to secure his scrawl, it remains to be seen which northern outpost of London he ends up calling home: White Hart Lane, the Emirates Stadium, or Old Trafford.
It should go without saying that Wickham isn't the only striker being linked with a move to Spurs this summer, as Harry Redknapp is also believed to be keen on signing Diego Forlán from Atletico Madrid. Having gone to the Spanish capital to watch the Uruguayan play during the January transfer window, poor old Harry ended up being mugged by a team of Spanish ne'er-do-wells who swarmed around him, discombobulated him and rifled through his pockets outside the Vicente Calderon stadium. The upshot? Poor old Harry was left practically penniless and unable to afford his dinner, let alone a two-time winner of both the Pichichi Trophy and the European Golden Shoe. "There was no offer," said Forlán of Tottenham's interest in January. "There was a lot of talking but not a proper offer. Yes, Harry Redknapp came to watch me - they said that he got robbed. It was a funny story."
Forlán may not be the only big-name player heading for the exit door of the Vicente Calderon this summer - 20-year-old goalkeeper David de Gea remains high on Sir Alex Ferguson's "most wanted" list, with the Spanish side believed to have already rejected a £17.5m ofer from Old Trafford. United also have an option on 16-year-old Chilean striker Angelo Henriquez and will nurture his fledgling talent at their Carrington training ground for a year or two before shipping him out on loan to Colchester United, Bury or some team in the Belgian second division in a bid to make a man of him.
The Daily Star reports that both Everton and Tottenham Hotspur are interested in signing beer-drinking, pope-loving, holy goalie Artur Boruc from Fiorentina, while Arsenal are mulling over the slightly safer option of taking Gigi Buffon from Juventus on a free when his contract expires this summer. The Gunners are also giving Blackpool goalkeeper Matt Gilks the glad eye, but will be disheartened by the news that Manchester City plan to turn his head by waving their considerably bigger wad. And rounding off a bumper paragraph of hot goalkeeper tittle-tattle, England Under-21 star Frank Fielding is set to leave Blackburn Rovers for Derby County in a £400,000 deal.
With their arms outstretched, Newcastle, West Ham, Aston Villa, Stoke City, Wolves, a vicar, a milkman and a couple of top-heavy nurses bursting out of skimpy uniforms are chasing Reading's Republic of Ireland striker Shane Long in fast-forward to the theme music of The Benny Hill Show. Meanwhile back at White Hart Lane, Niko Kranjcar has once again been moaning about his lack of first-team football and threatening to do one in the summer unless he starts seeing more action.
Alberto Aquilani - remember him? - has declared he's willing to return to Liverpool in the summer if Juventus decide not to make his lon move permanent, while Chelsea target Neymar is emphatically not for sale according to the president of his current club Santos. "He is going to gain international recognition, and maybe get chosen as the best player in the world, playing in Brazil," harrumphed Luis Alvaro Ribeiro de Oliveira, fooling nobody.
And finally, Ipswich Town midfielder and skipper David Norris looks certain to continue playing Championship football next season having been targeted by both Portsmouth and Wigan Athletic, while both Derby County and Millwall like the look of Brighton's 27-year-old striker Glenn Murray.
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010