Man United face stiff competition for Ilkay Gundogan and also want Wesley Sneijder, Arsenal chase 'new Bergkamp' and...
WHO WILL TAKE THE SUNDERLAND GIG?
We have our own ideas, but the papers are full of theories about who could take over from Paolo Di Canio as the new Sunderland boss.
The Daily Mirror reports that Sunderland want Gianfranco Zola, and by total coincidence the Watford boss happened to talk to Sky Sports News last night, when he said:
"Of course I am flattered that I have been considered but I am really happy over here and like what I am doing.
"I think my growth as a manager has been massive and so I want to fulfil this task that I will be here."
Meanwhile, The Daily Mail reckons Paul Ince is on their shortlists, along with Gus Poyet, Roberto Di Matteo and Neil Lennon.
However, The Guardian reports that both Di Matteo and Poyet have 'serious reservations' about taking over from Di Canio.
The paper claims: 'Sources in Italy suggested Roberto Di Matteo, the early bookmakers' favourite, is reluctant to take on such a high-risk opening. Still being compensated by his former employers at Stamford Bridge, the ex-Chelsea manager is understood to be reluctant to accept another position unless it offers an outstanding opportunity.
'It is also believed that Gus Poyet - still locked in a legal dispute with his old club, Brighton, which could complicate any approach from Wearside - may be unsure about taking over at a club where Roberto De Fanti, the director of football, holds considerable autonomy in terms of player recruitment.'
DEALS FOR BAINES (AND ALL OTHERS) PUT ASIDE
There has been talk that Everton are looking to tie Leighton Baines down to a new contract, following his almost-move to Manchester United, but that won't be happening particularly soon, according to Roberto Martinez.
"At the moment, all it is is the games and any individual contracts or situations are put aside," Martinez is quoted in The Daily Mirror as saying.
"The only thing that concerns me is just to make sure he's as fit as he can be and gets in a stronger position and balances the demands of England and club level.
"That's what I'm focused on, that his day to day is perfect.
"Everything else, behind the scenes we're happy with the situation and we're making sure he's happy as well."
LIVERPOOL DUKE IT OUT WITH JUVE FOR ALONSO?
At this point in the non-transfer window gossip, we start to drift away from the usual sources.
According to the SHOUTsport website, Liverpool want to bring Xabi Alonso back, but they will have significant competition from Juventus.
They claim: 'Alonso, who left Anfield for Madrid in 2009, turns 32 in November and is in the final year of his contract.
'Talks over an extension have so far proved fruitless and Real are considering their options.
'They are well stocked in midfield and Alonso could leave - with Juventus keeping a keen eye on developments.'
ARSENAL LOOK AT SCHAR
More from sources of dubious repute, and The Metro tells us that Arsenal are looking at Basel defender Fabian Schar.
Apparently: 'With plenty of money to burn, Wenger is already drawing up his wish-list for January and 21-year-old Schar has emerged as a top defensive target.
'The Gunners have been impressed with the Basle star's performances over the past 12 months and are ready to test the water in the new year.'
Juve are keen too, it says here.
@summerofcmpunk...calm yourself young man! Nobody is saying that he has been crying himself to sleep. but if you check his quotes and twitter account, he has said numerous flattering things about us and has said that he loved the fans and the club (and not in that Luis Suarez bullcrap kinda way). He didn't force a move, he was a complete gent and put up with being hawked around Europe the previous season. He clearly still has affinity with the club, we still clearly love him, so yes if he was to be made available of course we would get excited. That is not to say he would definitely come back (may want to seek new challenges) but we would have a chance. Kaka went back to Milan, Flamini to Arsenal, Joe Cole to West Ham ;-) it can happen for us.- Barnesy10