The January transfer window is coming into focus and for the first time in some time, there’s talk about Wayne Rooney.
Ashley Young is in the news and he has had his say on diving. Some of you might not agree with what he’s said.
There's also plenty of other chatter, and it all features in Thursday’s edition of the Paper News and Gossip Roundup.
There's been a feeling of the transfer window bubbling under the surface for a few weeks. It now seems it could be ready to kick into gear, as the Mirror's Martin Lipton claims Chelsea are ready to go back in for Wayne Rooney.
Chelsea failed with a bid to lure Rooney away from Manchester United in the summer and the saga appeared to be put to bed when the England international made a sizzling start to the season.
It was expected that a new contract would be thrashed out, but United boss David Moyes said last month that nothing was in the pipeline.
This has alerted Chelsea, according to Lipton, who he claims will press ahead with a move in the summer should United fail to thrash out a new contract.
In his piece, Lipton wrote:
Unless United make their move soon, Rooney will be left with a decision to make over whether the club is as committed to him as he has shown himself to be to them this season.
It means Old Trafford chiefs risk Rooney going into the summer with just 12 months left on his contract—the same position as Arsenal were in when Robin van Persie forced his cut-price move from the Emirates to United in summer 2012.
The Metro have put a twist on this by suggesting Rooney has rejected the chance to open talks with United over a new deal.
If Rooney is concerned about his situation, he can console himself with a report which says he is the highest earning English player in the Premier League.
A report by Wealth-X, picked up by the Star's Steve Hughes, claims he is worth £45 million.
Ashley Young has fronted up in the diving storm and put the focus squarely on the referees.
The Manchester United man has come in for severe criticism for seemingly going to ground too easily in a bid to win free-kicks and penalties.
Young has not apologised for his antics, neither has he stated he will eradicate it from his game. He has said that it is up to the officials to make a judgement.
I think it’s one to ask the referees—they are the ones giving free-kicks and penalties.
I remember getting booked against Crystal Palace and then won a penalty. Against Real Sociedad it was another penalty that was given. Refs have got tough decisions to make, they have a tough time out there making decisions, but I think they have made the right decisions.
I don’t take notice of the headlines or the debates. That’s for the media to debate and everyone is entitled to have their say on it.
For me, the referees have made decisions and that’s it.
Former United boss Sir Alex Ferguson gave Young words of warning on diving and his successor, David Moyes, has done the same. Per Cross' piece, Young said:
It’s been talked about obviously by the previous manager and the current manager, but that’s in-house.
I’m not going to comment on what’s been said.
I've spoken to the previous manager and the current manager and the referees are giving decisions and that is where I think it lies.
Chelsea are hopeful of heading off Arsenal and Manchester United in the race to sign Schalke's Julian Draxler by offering Kevin De Bruyne as a sweetener, according to the Star's Nick Lustig.
Draxler is one of Europe's hottest properties, but has spoken of his frustration at being played out of position by Schalke boss Jens Keller.
Lustig claims United and Arsenal are keen, but that Chelsea feel they have a trump card in De Bruyne.
De Bruyne has made no impact on Chelsea's first team and a move could appeal with the World Cup on the horizon.
Ashley Cole may have a future at Chelsea beyond the end of the current season.
The full-back's future has been in doubt since he lost his place in the side earlier in the season.
However, he was restored to the side for the game with Steaua Bucharest and Blues boss Jose Mourinho has suggested a new deal could be thrashed out.
The Star's David Wright has the quotes:
The club politics, and these are correct politics I have to say if you analyse it by the club's perspective, is not to give long-term contracts to players over 30/31 years old.
But these players, Ashley, John (Terry) and (Frank) Lampard, Petr Cech, all these guys are very positive guys in the club even if they are not playing match after match, like for example Ashley Cole isn't.
But they are very, very important, our club is a fair club, it is a club that understands what the players give to the club and what they have to give.
Normally by the lesser part of the season they have to renew their contract and to stay for one more season I think that's the logical evolution of the situation.
In the same way the club trusts them and I think they trust the club. Everybody is calm and nobody is speaking about it every day because we think the situation will be a no problem situation.
The defender broke a toe in the Merseyside derby with Liverpool on November 23 and it was reported that he would be sidelined for up to six weeks.
Baines is unsure as to when he will be able to return, but is hopeful of featuring at some stage in the hectic festive period.
Prenderville picked up on an interview Baines gave to the club's official website. The defender said:
Obviously the schedule thickens up around Christmas and New Year so you like to think you would be back and available to help the team at that point. But it's just one of those things. You just have to wait and see.
I've not been able to do a lot to treat it because it's a break, so I've just sort of tried to see how it heals really and take it a day at a time.
William Carvalho appears to have made a positive impression on Manchester United, as the Mirror's John Cross says the club have had him watched for six games in a row.
The midfield is an area Red Devils boss David Moyes wants to strengthen, having missed out on the likes of Cesc Fabregas in the summer, and Cross says the club have posted scouts at the last six games involving Sporting Lisbon.
Cross suggests Carvalho will not come cheap, as he claims Sporting "are demanding £20 million for the services of a player who has been on their books since the age of eight."
What does the future hold for Erik Lamela at Tottenham? A move to Spain on loan, if a report from the Express’ Ben Jefferson is to be believed.
Lamela arrived at Tottenham in the summer as one of the many additions to replace Gareth Bale.
But it’s not gone according to script for Lamela, who has struggled to adapt to life in the Premier League.
It has got so bad, according to Jefferson, that Spurs will send him on loan to Atletico Madrid.
Arsenal and Chelsea are set to do battle for St Etienne defender Kurt Zouma, according to the Mirror's John Cross.
Liverpool are looking into the option of signing forward Ola Toivonen on loan until the end of the season with a view to a permanent move from PSV Eindhoven in the summer, according to David Maddock of the Mirror.
West Ham will be players in the January transfer window, according to the Star's Darren Witcoop, after co-owner David Gold admitted making a mistake in not adding cover for striker Andy Carroll.
A striker in West Ham’s gaze is former Newcastle man Obafemi Martins. The Telegraph’s Matt Law suggests a loan move from MLS side Seattle Sounders could happen in January.
Everton are ready to reward Ross Barkley for his fine form with a new deal, reports John Parry of the Telegraph.