Gossip column: Lloris, Balotelli, Gerrard, Huntelaar, Ince, Eto'o

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TRANSFER GOSSIP

Tottenham are bracing themselves for a £20m bid from Real Madrid for France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, 27, in the January transfer window. (Daily Express) 

Hugo Lloris

Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris has been capped 64 times by France

Napoli are willing to offer Liverpool a "major" transfer fee in order to sign 24-year-old Italy striker Mario Balotelli. (Metro) 

Netherlands striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, 31, has held talks over a new contract with German club Schalke, amid interest from Arsenal and Liverpool in signing him on a free transfer next summer. (Daily Mirror) 

Winger Tom Ince, 22, still has a future at Hull City despite being loaned out to Nottingham Forest. (Talksport) 

OTHER GOSSIP

Liverpool are set to open contract talks with captain Steven Gerrard as they look to ensure the 34-year-old midfielder remains at Anfield beyond this season. (Liverpool Echo) 

Uefa president Michel Platini will hold talks next week with Football Association chairman Greg Dyke over timings for the 2022 World Cup and a potential candidate to challenge Sepp Blatter in the Fifa presidential election. (The Times - subscription required) 

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini claims Manchester United are no better now than last season, despite splashing out £151m on new players. (Daily Mirror) 

Daily Star backpage

Daily Star backpage

Pellegrini revealed the Premier League champions could not afford to sign Angel Di Maria, who joined United for a British record fee of £59.7m, due to Financial Fair Play. (Goal.com) 

Everton boss Roberto Martínez says there are no concerns for striker Arouna Kone's career even though the 30-year-old may not return to full fitness until January. (Guardian) 

Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola will leave the German club when his contract expires in 2016, with Arsenal set to secure his services if Arsene Wenger steps down. (London Evening Standard) 

Former Manchester United and Everton manager David Moyes is wanted by Spanish side Real Sociedad. (Daily Star) 

Former Leyton Orient chairman Barry Hearn has called on London Mayor Boris Johnson to reveal the costs of the Olympic Park Stadium and the terms of West Ham's lease on the venue. (The Sun - subscription required) 

England assistant coach Gary Neville says of modern day defending: "the minimum standards have dropped sharply. When I played, most training was on defending but now I look at teams and think they do not understand the basics." (Telegraph) 

Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert, who has seen his side lose their last five league matches and fail to score in the process, says he thrives on the continual pressure and threat of being sacked - insisting it is part of the game. (Birmingham Mail) 

Crystal Palace defender Scott Dann has hailed the club's owners and says: "I can see why people would be interested in buying Palace. The club is in London and the fan base is massive. If it were to continue to be run in the right way like it is now, it could potentially be a lot bigger club." (Croydon Advertiser) 

Everton striker Samuel Eto'o is determined to help end the club's 20-year trophy drought - and the 33-year-old has targeted the Europa League, which he has yet to win in his distinguished career. (Liverpool Echo) 

BEST OF SOCIAL MEDIA

Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart warmed up for Sunday's derby against Manchester United by playing cricket with England wicketkeeper Jos Buttler. Lancashire posted a picture of the pair in the nets at Old Trafford on their Instagram account,  while Buttler tweeted:  "Awesome day. Great to meet Joe Hart, what a genuine nice guy. Best of luck for Sunday."

Bournemouth are supporting global men's health foundation Movember for the next month by adding a moustache  to the Dickie Dowsett header on their club crest. Special stickers featuring the crest will be handed out around the Goldsands Stadium for supporters to adapt their replica shirts for the day and show support for Movember.

AND FINALLY

Pictures have been revealed of Mario Balotelli's infamous indoor firework escapade from Halloween 2011, which left him with a repair bill of £400,000 at the house he rented for £7,500-a-month in Mottram St Andrew, Cheshire, during his time at Manchester City. (Daily Mail) 

Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana, 26, had his car damaged by monkeys on a trip to Knowsley Safari Park with his son. (Daily Star) 

Barcelona defender Gerard Pique, 27 was substituted at half-time during the Supercopa de Catalunya clash with Espanyol earlier this week - and spent the rest of the game playing on his phone while sat on the bench. (Metro)