Last updated : 13 January 2005 By editor

News reaches Red Issue bunkers that United could have their hand forced into making a bid for Thomas Gravesen during the January transfer window. Although the player himself has told Everton that he is willing to stay until the end of the season, our source tells us that Bill Kenwright would rather let him go now in order to prevent him leaving for free in the summer. Gravesen’s agent is apparently pushing hard to try to convince the midfielder to accept Real Madrid’s offer, and the Everton board, worried about the lack of progress from the Brunei investment deal, are happy for a deal to go ahead. Although David Moyes does want to keep the player at Goodison for the remainder of the season, he is also looking to bring fresh blood to Merseyside and may need to offload Gravesen in order to have the funds to do so.

The initial plan at Old Trafford was to wait until Gravesen was a free agent to make a move; but, as with the Rooney deal in the summer, outside factors look likely to press us into making a bid. Indeed Bill Kenwright is said to have remarked in private about the similarity between this situation and the £20m transfer that took place in August. The Everton Chairman is said to be expecting a bid from United, so watch this space.

In a separate development, we hear whispers that a certain contract rebel may have already agreed to sign for a major domestic rival. More on this as it develops, keep an eye on BackBeat.

And finally, two of our emerging youngsters have fallen out. How predictable, it is over a girl! They are not talking apparently, the only surprise being who she left and who she is with now. Clearly looks aren’t everything!