International fever is taking hold, and Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole are both in the spotlight.
There’s also plenty of club news to digest, with a big-name striker closing in on a bumper new deal.
There is no shortage of transfer speculation and it’s all here in Friday’s edition of the Paper News and Gossip Roundup.
Earlier this week, Alan Nixon of the Mirror suggested Jose Mourinho was set to make a personal check on Monaco forward Radamel Falcao on Thursday.
Those reports proved to be correct, as the Chelsea boss was in attendance to see Falcao score in Colombia's 2-0 win over Belgium.
A deadly finisher, Falcao sprang the offside trap and surged clear before curling the ball beyond Belgium keeper Simon Mignolet.
Mourinho is seeking out January reinforcements, and the Mail's Thom Drake claimed the Colombia striker looked sharp throughout and was a thorn in the side of the Belgium defence.
Should Mourinho make a move for Falcao in January, he could take the place of Demba Ba.
A report by the Mail's Simon Jones claims the striker is keen on a move to Turkey. Jones quotes an agent and says Besiktas are in the frame for a January raid on West London.
Premier League big guns Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool face competition from Borussia Dortmund for Atletico Madrid forward Diego Costa, writes the Mail's Richard Arrowsmith.
Costa has emerged from the shadow of Radamel Falcao this season, and he has plundered 12 goals in La Liga.
The striker, who is set to represent Spain at the World Cup after snubbing Brazil, was linked with Liverpool in the summer but remained loyal to Atletico.
However, he is still attracting interest, and Arrowsmith quotes a report from German paper Bild which states the striker has a £20.1 million release clause in his contract.
Arrowsmith states the clause has alerted Dortmund, who are lining up alternatives for Robert Lewandowski.
Ashley Cole is facing a battle on two fronts, with his England and Chelsea places under threat.
The left-back has been the undisputed first choice for club and country for a number of years, but he has Cesar Azpilicueta pushing him hard at Chelsea and it's a similar situation for England.
Injury saw Cole lose his place to Leighton Baines recently and manager Roy Hodgson has warned the defender that he is now one among many.
The Star's Jeremy Cross carries the quotes:
I’m still very happy to consider Ashley Cole as a potential England left back.
But the competition in that spot is particularly fierce. Baines is playing well and we’ve got Gibbs and Shaw—two younger players who have definitely put these senior ones under more pressure.
If there was no Ashley Cole or Leighton Baines, I wouldn’t be worried about Gibbs or Shaw playing.
Frank Lampard's thoughts are on England as he prepares to lead the side out against Chile on Friday, but he has half an eye on Chelsea and has made it clear he wants a new contract.
Lampard is in the final year of his Chelsea contract and there has been talk of him heading to play in MLS.
The midfielder has conceded, per a report from the Mail's Neil Ashton, he would have to consider his future if an offer is not forthcoming. However, his desire is to remain at Stamford Bridge for one more season.
Ashton has the quotes:
I feel good. I want to play for a few more years and I’d love to do that at Chelsea for as long as they want me and for as long as I feel I’m contributing there.
There’s a long season still to go, we’re not even at Christmas yet, but I hope to keep performing.
If the time came when Chelsea said 'thanks very much for your service', I’d have to look at that one.
Looking to Friday's game with Chile, Lampard says his place in the squad for next summer's World Cup is not guaranteed.
The Star's David Woods has the quotes:
You have to worry about yourself and perform as well as you can.
If you end up looking around at others wondering who's performing better, you take your eye off the ball. I'm not silly. I understand that, with age and at different parts of your career, you have different challenges.
I'm very determined in my challenge to show the manager, regardless of age—and he's always said it doesn't matter if you're 17 or 35 going on 36, he'll not look at you any differently, so that's nice to hear. The rest is up to me.
Manchester United are pressing ahead to tie Wayne Rooney down to a new deal, says Neil Custis of the Sun (subscription required).
After a summer of uncertainty, Rooney has been in sizzling form for the Red Devils this season. That has placed him in a strong bargaining position.
Per Custis’ piece, United are aware of this, and he claims they are ready to yield to his demands.
In the article, which is tagged as exclusive, Custis says a contract worth a total £52 million over four years will be pushed through early next year.
Salomon Kalou is open to a return to the Premier League and has been offered to Arsenal, writes the Mail's Sami Mokbel.
Kalou currently turns out for French side Lille, but Mokbel says he wants to return to England—preferably London.
According to the report, the Ivory Coast striker has a clause in his contract that means he can move for £2.5 million.
The Mail writer also claims Arsene Wenger has an interest on account of him having tried to sign Kalou from Chelsea in January of 2012.
It seems Arsenal boss Wenger is looking at strikers all over the world.
Wilson suggests comments from Llorente about his early struggles at Juventus have been enough to convince Wenger that a deal can be done.
Per Wilson's piece, Llorente said:
I had problems in settling and adapting to new methods of training.
I was not used to so much work and my body was not right. I started to have doubts about my decision to join Juventus, about me and about everything. I felt bad.
Cross, though, suggests it is Dzeko who Wenger will look to bring in to aid Olivier Giroud in January.
It the Gunners are also understood to be watching developments closely on Dzeko and, given any encouragement, they would move on him.
Italian heavyweights Inter Milan are also keen on the Blues' Bosnia & Herzegovina international, who wants game-time ahead of his homeland's World Cup finals debut in Brazil next summer.
Sporting Lisbon winger Carlos Mane has come on Manchester United's radar, writes the Mirror's John Cross.
Liverpool are plotting a raid on Hamburg defender Dennis Aogo, writes the Express’ Ben Jefferson.
Express scribe Jefferson also states that Barcelona are plotting a raid on Manchester City for striker Sergio Aguero.
In other news, the Express claims any attempts by Manchester United or Manchester City to prise Marco Reus away from Borussia Dortmund in January will fall on deaf ears.
Hull City are readying a January bid for West Brom forward Shane Long, reports the Mirror's Bill Cooper.
They say money talks, and the Star's Jack Wilson reports that a flood of cash has come in for Jermain Defoe to leave Tottenham for West Ham.
Gus Poyet is planning an overhaul of his Sunderland squad, reports the Star's Ian Murtagh. According to Murtagh, Poyet wants to bring in five new faces and offload some of the 14 players brought in by his predecessor, Paolo Di Canio.