Paper News & Gossip: Januzaj Race Hots Up, Bale's Back & Chelsea Transfer Hunt
England may still be basking in the glory of World Cup qualification, but Roy Hodgson is not resting on his laurels.
The Three Lions boss is looking at all sorts of ways to add quality to his squad.
Irrespective of England’s World Cup qualification, time has not stood still. Which means the papers are overflowing with transfer gossip, while there’s also news on a certain Gareth Bale.
All this and more appear in Thursday’s edition of the Paper News and Gossip Roundup.
Adnan Januzaj Remains on England's Radar
It seems like we've gone at least a whole two days without Adnan Januzaj hogging the headlines, but he's back and the Mail has gone to town on the in-demand teenager.
The 18-year-old burst into the public spotlight when inspiring Manchester United to victory over Sunderland, and a tug o' war has been going on between a host of nations for his services.
Januzaj is eligible to play for a host of countries due to his place of birth and family connections. Residency rules mean he could qualify to play for England in the future, and Three Lions boss Roy Hodgson has already spoken publicly about bringing the midfielder into the fold.
The Mail has taken up the baton and published an in-depth piece on the youngster's rise to prominence.
And to accompany that, the paper's Matt Lawton has penned an article saying Januzaj wants to play for England, if the residency laws, which state that he has to have lived in England for five years, can be circumnavigated.
In his piece, Lawton writes:
Adnan Januzaj will choose England as his international team if the Football Association can overcome the obstacle of the five-year residency rule.
Sources close to the Januzaj family have confirmed this, as Sportsmail reveals the story behind the most wanted teenager in European football.
The key for the FA is how long Januzaj would have to wait for international clearance, because after two years in England—he joined United at 16—he has another three years before he would be considered eligible by FIFA to represent his adopted country.
England manager Roy Hodgson and FA chairman Greg Dyke have spoken of their desire to at least look at the possibility of recruiting Januzaj and that could begin with an application for a British passport and a possible legal challenge to the current residency rules.
Lawton also states that his sources claim the player would actually prefer to play for Kosovo if they were to become a recognised FIFA nation.
So, to sum up, the player would prefer Kosovo but would choose England if he could secure a passport and win a legal challenge to the current residency rules.
Galatasaray Set Sights on Nani
Roberto Mancini only recently succeeded Fatih Terim at Gala and will in all probability want to stamp his own mark on the squad.
Jefferson has picked up on a report from Fotomac in Turkey, which claims Mancini has earmarked Nani as a player to add some zip to his side.
The report also states Mancini could look to engineer some sort of swap deal involving Wesley Sneijder heading to United.
Gareth Bale on Brink of Real Madrid Return
Gareth Bale is back in training with Real Madrid and in line to face Malaga on Saturday.
The Wales international has had a stop-start time since making his mega-money move to the Spanish capital from Tottenham in the summer.
Niggling injuries have restricted Bale to one start, while the club went to war with the media over claims a back operation was needed.
Bale trotted out to train with his Real teammates on Wednesday, confirmed by pictures carried in the Mail.
And in the piece by the Mail's Pete Jenson, Real president Florentino Perez is quoted as saying Bale is primed for action: “Gareth is calm and ready, waiting to play on Saturday.
“Bale is fit to play and wants to show that he is fine. All of the doctors have made it clear that a small disc bulge is relatively common in elite footballers.”
Eliaquim Mangala on Chelsea's Radar
Chelsea have taken a step closer to signing Eliaquim Mangala, according to the Mirror's Neil McLeman, after the defender hired Jorge Mendes as his agent.
As McLeman points out, Mendes represents Blues boss Jose Mourinho and "has a history of doing deals with the Stamford Bridge club."
Chelsea were interested in Mangala in the summer, and McLeman feels they will make a renewed attempt to sign the defender from Porto in the January transfer window.
Kevin De Bruyne to Fight on at Chelsea
Kevin De Bruyne has signalled his determination to prove himself to Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho.
After featuring for the Blues in preseason, De Bruyne was dropped by Mourinho following his display against Swindon in the Capital One Cup.
Talk of a January exit was fuelled when De Bruyne was made to train with the reserves rather than travel with the first team for a Champions League clash with Steaua Bucharest.
De Bruyne is still an integral figure for Belgium, and he was on target in the draw with Wales on Tuesday.
After the game, De Bruyne—per a report by Phil Cadden of the Daily Star—said:
I will work hard and hope that I get my chance. I have to show the coach my level.
I was disappointed just like the other players who didn't travel, but I wasn't the only player who wasn't there.
He knows what I can do. I played a good 90 minutes and showed everyone that I am fit. I can only do my best.
Tottenham Working on Paulinho Deal as Real Madrid Hover
How good is Paulinho? Pretty good must be the answer, as the Star's Nick Lustig claims Tottenham have opened contract talks with a player who only arrived at the club in the summer.
Spurs shelled out a fee in the region of £17.5 million to sign the 25-year-old from Brazilian side Corinthians, and he has settled nicely into the White Hart Lane club's midfield.
It would appear Paulinho has been catching the eye as Lustig, citing reports from Brazil, claims Real Madrid are interested.
Per Lustig's report, Spurs want to add an extra year onto Paulinho's current deal, which expires in 2017, with a hefty pay hike thrown in.
Wesley Sneijder Told to Join Chelsea
Wesley Sneijder’s international boss Louis van Gaal has told the classy Galatasaray midfielder to join Chelsea.
Sneijder’s future is the subject of speculation, with a report from the Daily Express’ Ben Jefferson suggested he could be part of swap deal for Manchester United’s Nani.
There has also been talk of a move to Arsenal, but van Gaal feels the former Real Madrid man should head to Chelsea to work under Jose Mourinho.
"I know Chelsea and Jose Mourinho want Sneijder," Van Gaal told Vatan, per Nick Lustig’s piece in the Daily Star.
"In my opinion, if possible Sneijder should leave Galatasaray and join Chelsea."
Bits and Pieces: United Face Hummels Fight, Falcao Coy on Move Talk
Michael Regan/Getty Images
Jiloan Hamad might not be a name familiar to many, but the Star's Nick Lustig says he is being chased by Fulham, Norwich and West Ham. Lustig also states that the Malmo midfielder is set to dash the Premier League sides' hopes and head for the Bundesliga.
Armed with a £100 million war chest in January, per Jack Wilson of the Star, Manchester United boss David Moyes is ready to do battle with Barcelona for Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels.
Micah Richards has commanded plenty of headlines in recent weeks, with the latest transfer speculation surrounding the Manchester City man concerning a move to Roma—according to David Anderson of the Mirror.
Monaco striker Radamel Falcao has refused to talk about a possible move to Real Madrid, instead thanking los Blancos for their kind words about him, reports the Independent’s Simon Rice.