Friday's gossip column - transfers and rumours

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Striker Mario Balotelli wants to leave Manchester City and return to Italy, says the 22-year-old's friend - Manchester United defender Patrice Evra.

Mario Balotelli
Manchester City bought Mario Balotelli from Inter Milan for around £24m in August 2010

Full story: Daily Mirror

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is ready to concede his £50m gamble on striker Fernando Torres has failed and step up his pursuit of 26-year-old Atletico Madrid and Colombia forward Falcao.

Full story: Daily Mail

Chelsea are "almost certain" to sign Fluminense and Brazil right-back Wallace, 18, in a £4.4m deal and will stay at Stamford Bridge rather being sent out on loan.

Full story:

Everton manager David Moyes was among the scouts watching Norway defender Vegard Forren, 24, during their 2-0 win over Hungary on Wednesday, but Fulham are thought to be favourites to sign the player from Norwegian champions, Molde.

Full story: Daily Mail

Liverpool winger Stewart Downing, 28, has been told he can leave in January, with the club willing to accept a huge loss on the £20m they paid Aston Villa just 16 months ago.

Full story: Daily Mirror

Adam Morgan, 18, hopes he can help save Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers the hassle of spending big-money on a new striker - but admits the fan in him wants to see the Reds spend in January.

Full story: Liverpool Echo

Southampton boss Nigel Adkins has no plans to loan out any more players this month. Adkins, who allowed Dan Seaborne to join Charlton last week, has no intention of letting the likes of Tadanari Lee and Steve De Ridder to leave before Football League's emergency window closes next week.

Full story: Liverpool Echo

Sheffield Wednesday remain hopeful of bolstering their front-line before next Thursday's emergency loan deadline, with Sunderland striker Connor Wickham, 19, still in their sights.

Full story: Sunderland Echo


Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has denied suggestions of a contract dispute with Raheem Sterling, 17, over a new deal for the winger.

Nigel Adkins
Southampton manager Nigel Adkins is under pressure amid his side's poor start to the season

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Manchester United are increasingly hopeful that club captain Nemanja Vidic, 31, could return early from a serious knee injury in time for the derby away to Manchester City on 9 December.

Full story: the Times (subscription required)

Senegal are heading for a confrontation with Newcastle after threatening to prevent striker Papiss Cisse, 27, from playing against Swansea on Saturday.

Full story: Daily Telegraph

Former QPR forward Trevor Sinclair says his former team, who are bottom of the Premier League, have one month to start picking up points or they will leave themselves with too much to do to avoid relegation.

Full story: talkSPORT

Nigel Adkins is confident he will remain Southampton's manager even if they lose Saturday's bottom-of-the-table meeting with QPR.

Full story: the Guardian

West Ham will present a take-it-or-leave-it deal to occupy the Olympic Stadium after running out of patience at delays in the bidding process.

Full story: the Times (subscription required)


Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke, 21, says "Arsenal are the club I love" and admits that when he joined Villa he thought they were based in London.

Neymar was guilty of an awful penalty miss during Brazil's friendly against Colombia on Wednesday

Full story: the Sun

Newcastle players had their own bush-tucker trials at their training ground when the club's chef, Liz Hornsby, hosted her own 'I'm A Celebrity' challenge, as a tribute to Newcastle fans Ant and Dec.

Full story: Daily Mail

Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, 31, came close to joining Arsenal in 2001 - even posing in a Gunners shirt - but despite Malmo agreeing a £3m fee for their player, he went to Ajax and Arsenal signed Francis Jeffers from Everton for £8m.

Full story: the Sun

Santa Cruz midfielder Chicao has been banned for two matches for smearing his blood over rival Esley during an ill-tempered match in Brazil.

Full story: Metro

Manchester United and England striker Wayne Rooney has revealed his football hero is Argentina legend Diego Maradona, who used his hand to score against England at the 1986 World Cup.

Full story: Daily Star

Brazil forward Neymar, 20, blamed an "unstable" pitch after missing a penalty against Colombia with an effort which bore more resemblance to an American football field goal or rugby conversion.

Full story: the Independent

Barcelona forward Messi, 25, had a rifle inadvertently poked in his face as he was given an armed guard through Riyadh Airport in Saudi Arabia while on international duty with Argentina.

Full story: the Sun

Nolberto Solano is on the brink of one of the most remarkable turnarounds in South American football as manager of Universitario. The 37-year-old former Magpies midfielder took over earlier this year with the 25-times Peru champions battling against relegation, but they go into the final game of the regular season with a chance of qualifying for the Copa Libertadores.

Full story: Newcastle Evening Chronicle

A 14-year-old goalkeeper with Tourette's syndrome has been banned by Hertfordshire FA for swearing at a referee.

Full story: Daily Mirror