William Gallas is in trouble with Chelsea after the club confirmed the player had not reported back for pre-season training.

The France defender made it public following their victory over Manchester United, which clinched the Barclays Premiership title, at the end of May that he sought a fresh challenge abroad.

Gallas has one year left on his contract but he was still asked by Jose Mourinho to join the squad in Los Angeles. But he is in hot water having failed to join up with new signing Michael Ballack on Monday.

Chelsea could fine him for his conduct even though those close to the player claim there was a misunderstanding. AC Milan and Juventus have been watching with interest.

Sylvain Distin boarded Manchester City's flight to China last night with manager Stuart Pearce still believing he can persuade the French defender to sign his contract extension.

Pearce awoke to speculation that instead of heading to the Far East, his former skipper was due on Teesside for talks with Premiership rivals Middlesbrough. While it quickly transpired the reports were wide of the mark, Distin's long-term City future remains in doubt.

The former Newcastle star's contract is due to expire next summer and, so far, Distin has showed no inclination to sign the lucrative new deal placed in front of him before the end of last season.

Portsmouth manager Harry Red-knapp is stepping up his search for a new goalkeeper after Jamie Ashdown was ruled out for six weeks with a broken thumb.

Ashdown underwent surgery on Monday night after damaging the thumb while catching a ball in training.

The injury leaves Dean Kiely and untried youngsters Nick Jordan and Asmir Begovic as the only goalkeepers at the club. Redknapp was linked with Liverpool's Scott Carson and Jerzy Dudek Arsenal's new 60,000-seater Emirates Stadium will host a South American derby between Brazil and Argentina on September 2. The match will be Alfio Basile's first as Argentina head coach and the second for new Brazil boss Dunga.