Monday's gossip column - transfers and rumours
For updated transfer news and gossip throughout the day, read our breaking news service Sportsday Live.
Chelsea are close to finalising an £8m deal for Serbia teenage midfielder Lazar Markovic. The 18-year-old has already been capped by his country and scored in a friendly against Chile last month. He has also hit six goals in 12 games for his club Partizan Belgrade this season.
Wigan manager Roberto Martinez admits midfielder James McCarthy's recent good form means the 22-year-old Republic of Ireland international is bound to become a transfer target for other teams when the window reopens in three weeks.
Aston Villa, QPR and Norwich are set to fight it out to sign former Spurs striker Robbie Keane on loan. However the LA Galaxy striker, 32, has insisted he has no plans to move back to the Premier League during the MLS close season and wants to take a break to recover from knocks.
Thierry Henry is set to make his third Arsenal debut in the all-Premier League FA Cup clash against Swansea on 6 January. The Gunners are in advanced talks with New York Red Bulls over a loan spell for the 35-year-old striker that would start five days earlier.
Southampton manager Nigel Adkins will look to make another attempt next month to tempt Gary Hooper south of the border from Celtic. Adkins sold the 24-year-old striker to Celtic for £175,000 when he was manager of Scunthorpe two years ago.
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has admitted that the club failed to bring in the required reinforcements in the summer and is planning to play an active role in the January transfer window.
Newcastle are likely to renew their interest in France right-back Mathieu Debuchy in January and are also in the market for a new striker.
Fulham manager Martin Jol has revealed that Papiss Cisse turned down a move to the Cottagers in January before signing for Newcastle.
Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini flew into a dressing-room rage after the 3-2 derby defeat by Manchester United, directing most of his anger at Joe Hart, Mario Balotelli, Samir Nasri and Carlos Tevez.
Senior QPR players Clint Hill and Rob Green have warned manager Harry Redknapp against a major overhaul of the playing squad, arguing that wild spending is exactly what brought the club to its knees.
Chelsea interim manager Rafa Benitez claims he has already improved the Blues and they will start to put pressure on Manchester United and Manchester City in the title race after they play in this week's Club World Cup in Japan.
The Football Association could introduce retrospective disciplinary action against divers at the end of the season.
A German referee has apologised for making a crucial mistake during Borussia Dortmund's surprise 3-2 home defeat to Wolfsburg on Saturday. Wolfgang Stark sent off Marcel Schmelzer in the 35th minute and awarded the away side a penalty for an apparent handball on the line. However, when replays showed the ball had actually struck the defender's leg, Stark admitted to his mistake after the match.