Gossip: Bale, Mancini, Koulibaly, Van Dijk, Southgate, Hart, Mourinho

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Real Madrid and Wales forward Gareth Bale is set for longer on the sidelines than initially estimated with an ankle injury. (AS)

Manchester City have targeted Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk, 25, and Sporting Lisbon midfielder William Carvalho, 24, as they look to find long-term replacements for Vincent Kompany and Yaya Toure. (Daily Mail)

Guardian
The front page of the Guardian's sports section focuses on Gareth Southgate's media debut as permanent England boss

Southampton manager Claude Puel has described reports linking Van Dijk with Liverpool in the January transfer window as "speculation and rumour". (Talksport)

Arsenal are not planning to invoke emergency rules next month to recall midfielder Jack Wilshere, 24, from his loan spell at Bournemouth, despite Santi Cazorla, 31, being ruled out for three months. (Times - subscription required)

Former Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini, 52, is interested in making his Premier League return at Crystal Palace if Eagles boss Alan Pardew, 55, is sacked. (Daily Mirror)

Pardew's future is in doubt after six straight league losses but he is continuing to make plans to sign players in January. (Guardian)

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is keen on signing Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic, 28.(Don Balon via Daily Star)

Spurs defender Toby Alderweireld's return from injury seems imminent after the 27-year-old completed two double training sessions with the Tottenham squad this week. (Evening Standard)

Chelsea will hold off until the summer to make a £50m move for Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly because he will be on Senegal duty in the Africa Cup of Nations. (Sun)

Everton and West Brom will compete to sign 27-year-old Manchester United midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin for £20m in the January transfer window. (Daily Telegraph)

Chief executive Martin Glenn has revealed that the Football Association used a psychologist as part of the interview process when measuring Gareth Southgate for the England job. (Daily Mirror)

Southgate will get a £1.5m bonus if he can lead England to victory at the 2018 World Cup or Euro 2020. (Daily Mail)

Southgate is fully deserving of his new role as England manager, according to his former Middlesbrough player Jonathan Woodgate. (Evening Standard)

Friday's Daily Mail
Friday's Daily Mail leads on Southgate's news conference and the latest on football's sexual abuse allegations

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is set to spend heavily in the January transfer window, with the defence a priority. (Sun)

Watford boss Walter Mazzarri insists striker Odion Ighalo, 27, remains part of his plans despite his poor start to the season. (Daily Express)

England goalkeeper Joe Hart, 29, says he is unlikely to play for Manchester City again once his loan spell at Torino ends. (Sky Sports)

Liverpool are set to miss out on Wales Under-19 midfielder Ethan Ampadu, with Arsenal favourites to sign the 16-year-old. (Liverpool Echo)

Everton are interested in signing a new goalkeeper in the January transfer window and have drawn up a three-man shortlist. (Liverpool Echo)

Goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, 23, can emulate Victor Valdes' distinguished career at Barcelona, says former Italy international Gianluca Zambrotta. (Omnisport via Goal)

AC Milan president Silvio Berlusconi says "the money is there" for a takeover of the club, but that they are "waiting for Chinese bureaucracy".(Football Italia)

A clause in the deal that brought Anthony Martial to Manchester United from Monaco may mean the Old Trafford club having to pay the Ligue 1 side a further £8m if the France international, who has scored 21 times for the club, reaches 25 goals for them. (Daily Express)

Best of social media

Christmas is coming and plenty of people are getting into the festive spirit, including Chelsea midfielder Eden Hazard, who posted a photo heralding the start of December on Twitter.

Eden Hazard tweet

And finally

Everton manager Ronald Koeman has been forced to change the colour of his red Christmas tree by angry fans. (Daily Telegraph)

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