FOOTBALL TRANSFER GOSSIP:
- Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos has admitted the team are less defensively secure following the exit of Casemiro to Manchester United.
- Leicester City and Belgium midfielder Youri Tielemans, who has been heavily linked with Arsenal and Newcastle, is unlikely to be allowed to leave the Foxes in January despite the 25-year-old being able to depart on a free when his contract expires at the end of the season.
- Chelsea right-back Reece James, 22, is confident he will be fit enough to be picked in England’s World Cup squad following a knee injury.
- Barcelona plan to sign a new centre-back in January to replace the retiring Gerard Pique, with Spain and Athletic Bilbao defender Inigo Martinez, 31, at the top of their list.
- Kurt Zouma has spoken out on his cat-kicking shame, admitting: “I have great remorse”.
- James Milner says turning his back on football’s drinking culture has fuelled 20 years at the top of the game
- Manchester City have opened talks with Chelsea’s academy striker Jude Soonsup-Bell, 18, with a view to signing the English teenager when his contract expires at the end of the season.
FOOTBALL TRANSFER GOSSIP
- Liverpool are favourites to beat Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City and Real Madrid to the signing of Jude Bellingham from Borussia Dortmund after forging a close relationship with the 19-year-old England midfielder.
- Manchester United have scouted Porto’s Portugal goalkeeper Diogo Costa, 23, at least half a dozen times this season as manager Erik ten Hag considers his long-term options in goal.
- Ten Hag will not write off Netherlands midfielder Donny van de Beek, saying he knows the 25-year-old can do better.
- Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira says transfer speculation will not distract Ivory Coast forward Wilfried Zaha. The 29-year-old’s contract runs out in the summer.
- Wolves are set to appoint former Spain, Real Madrid and Sevilla manager Julen Lopetegui, 56, as their new head coach within the next 24-48 hours.
- Manchester United, Arsenal and Southampton all showed interest in signing in-form Miguel Almiron before the 28-year-old Paraguayan midfielder opted to join Newcastle United in 2019.
- Napoli’s 21-year-old Georgian winger Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, who has been linked with a move to Liverpool, is likely to cost around 100m euros (£87m) and will not be available in January.
- Barcelona and Juventus have joined the race to sign Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha.