EPL Transfer Speculation: Berbatov, Bothroyd, Enrique, Gervinho, N'Zogbia
D-Day looms in the Premier League as four clubs fight desperately to stay up. Manchester City look to pip Arsenal into the last automatic Champions League spot and Liverpool and Spurs battle for an Europa League place.
The outcome of today's ten EPL matches will go a long way to deciding the aims and budgets of many top-flight clubs for next season: The boards of those clubs which narrowly avoid relegation will look to strengthen significantly over the next four months to avoid a repeat of this season while the difference in winnings between each league position amounts to more than $1.2 million.
With this in mind, I look at five of the more interesting transfer stories doing the rounds this morning.
Feel free to comment, especially if you have heard of other gossip involving your club.
Controversial tabloid the News of the World is reporting today that Wigan winger Charles N'Zogbia, who has enjoyed his best season in the Premier League but does not want to play in the Championship with the Latics, will be the subject of a transfer tussle between rivals Sunderland and Newcastle United and midlanders Aston Villa.
Top scorer at the DW Stadium this season with 9 goals in the league, Frenchman N'Zogbia scored a vital 94th-winner last weekend to relegate West Ham United to the Championship and his skills and creative ability have been noticed by many observers.
Now Toon manager Alan Pardew is ready to part with a large proportion of the $50 million fee his club received from Liverpool for forward Andy Carroll to bring the 24 year-old back to St. James's Park, where he is more likely to thrive again in the absence of Carroll and former manager Joe Kinnear, with whom he had ongoing disputes.
However, several mid-table clubs appear interested in the left-winger's services and any auction may push his price above $15 million in today's inflated market.
Ivorian forward Gervinho, 23, has enjoyed a breakthrough season in France's premier competition, Ligue Un. Together with team-mate Moussa Sow, he has helped Lille win the league to end years of domination by southerners Lyon.
Although Sow has 22 goals to Gervinho's 15, it seems that the latter is in greater demand -at least according to French journalist Xavi Rivoire.
Rivoire has told TalkSport that ''huge English clubs are looking at [Gervinho]''.
With Director of Football Damien Comolli still exerting influence in French football, it would seem that Liverpool is a likely destination for Gervinho but Spurs are looking to offload at least half of their strikers this summer, have watched Lille on several occasions this season and can also offer European football.
Since SKY Sports pundit and Liverpool legend Phil Thompson told a Norwegian TV station back in April to the transfer of Newcastle United's Spanish left-back Jose Enrique to Anfield was a ''done deal'', there has been little substance added to the claim.
This is partly due to the Reds focusing on securing European football after a remarkable turnaround from their poor form before Christmas.
However, SKY Sports is again mentioning Enrique's name as one of a few players who are being targeted to breathe new life into Manchester United's fierce rivals. As is evident in this video 25 year-old Enrique, who joined the Magpies from Villarreal in 2007 for $10 million, is skillful on the ball and a good defender.
In fact, so far has his stock risen in the past season that it is thought owner Mike Ashley will demand a minimum fee of $20 million from Liverpool.
According to SKY Sports, Cardiff City star Jay Bothroyd is considering his future after The Bluebirds lost out again on promotion to the Premier League after stuttering in the play-offs.
The 29 year-old forward gained the rare distinction of winning an England cap while playing Championship football and has 20 goals to his name this year and his agent Sky Andrew has confirmed in an interview with the Daily Star that his client will ''mull over his options'' this summer.
This is likely to spark a bidding war between clubs looking to seal promotion or bounce back to the top flight next year and SKY is reporting that it is East Londoners West Ham United who are in pole position to land the former Arsenal player.
Everton and Sunderland are also rumoured to be interested but the former may instead look to recall Yakubu Aiyegbeni from his successful loan spell at Leicester City while Sunderland may feel that Bothroyd is an inadequate replacement for Darren Bent.
Caughtoffside.com is reporting that Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp is assessing a move for former fans' favourite Dimitar Berbatov in a move which could cost upwards of $25 million.
Having scored 46 goals in 91 appearances for Spurs before his 2008 departure, the former Bulgaria forward looks likely to increasingly become a bit-part player for Manchester United, despite being in line to receive the league's prestigious Golden Boot award having scored 20 times for the champions.
Spurs would need to sell some of their under-performing squad players to fund such a move and it is uncertain whether ''The Berb'' would be keen to leave a club where he won silverware and is playing at the very highest level.
If chairman Daniel Levy could execute such a transfer, Tottenham might once again boast a top-class striker capable of returning them to Champions League football next year.