The Speculatrum ranges from the most solid rebuttal of media rumours (the upper red region) to the most flimsy wafting away of the mounting reports (yellow/green), before eventually reaching the stage where the candidate in question is reported to be "mulling over" an offer from the desperate club.
Ruled himself out - In theory at least, this is the most unequivocal response to media speculation. Gerard Houllier was among those who effectively ruled themselves out of the running for the Newcastle job.
Poured scorn on speculation - A delightful turn of phrase. The act of scorn-pouring can be performed not only by managers linked to a position, but also the chairmen of the clubs involved. Interestingly, Newcastle poured scorn on reports that Sam Allardyce only had six games to save his job.
Called for an end to speculation - A good indication that the manager in question is getting distinctly sick and tired of the media whispers regarding his future. Recently, Rafael Benitez desperately called for an end to speculation that he was to leave Liverpool. This, as with any other example of this request, will be universally ignored.
Scotched rumours - To scotch, the dictionary says, is to "bring an abrupt end to" something. Useful for nipping in the bud more unlikely rumours like, say, Kevin Keegan coming out of the managerial wilderness to rejoin Newcastle.
Quashed rumours - A similar act to scotching, although this one is apparently borrowed from media coverage of the legal system.
Dismissed reports - A club or organisation may take it upon themselves to further echo a manager's negative reaction to speculation by dismissing reports. The French FA were quick to dismiss reports that Houllier was bound for the St James' Park hotseat.
Rubbished reports - Clearly a more suitably casual rebuttal to more outlandish rumours. Such rumours will also be referred to as "utter nonsense" or "pure fantasy".
Quelled speculation - Reserved for more negative speculation. Clubs may need to quell fears that a player may miss the rest of the season with an injury.
Laughed off rumours - Rumours of audacious or cheeky bids can be easily laughed off in jovial press conferences.
"I have not spoken to anyone from Newcastle, I spoke to my chairman last night
and he has had no contact, and I don’t think there will be any contact.
Alternatively, managers may attempt to avoid talking directly about the vacancy by mumbling something about not wanting to comment on "hypothetical situations". Yep, Mark Hughes had a crack at this one, too...