The last paper gossip of 2013 inadvertently reads a little like a recap of some past additions, with a number of transfer rumours that dominated the year back in the headlines once again.
At Manchester United, David Moyes' pursuit of a left-back has seemingly seen him return to two targets he has long been linked with, while Chelsea and Liverpool are both being tipped to finally sign targets that have both been mentioned in dispatches over the past few months.
Elsewhere, though, there is an interesting story about Ravel Morrison—who might just be the transfer story of January to watch, with his contract situation somewhat unique and plenty of clubs apparently ready to take a risk on his talent.
Click on for all that and more. What will 2014's paper gossip bring?
On Monday, Manchester United were being linked with a £50 million move for Ross Barkley, by Tuesday it is Leighton Baines who is back on the club's radar.
The Daily Mirror reports that David Moyes will return with a £16m bid for the England international left-back when the January transfer window opens, although the paper is not convinced that will be enough to get a deal done.
The Mirror reports:
David Moyes is ready to battle Everton again for Leighton Baines with a fresh £16million bid.
The Manchester United boss failed to get his man in the summer when he launched a double raid for Baines and Marouane Fellaini.
But he is now preparing to go back with another assault on his former club when the transfer window opens to try to get the England left-back to move to Old Trafford.
Moyes expects the Toffees to fight hard once more to keep Baines. Despite the fact he has not signed a new deal promised to him when Everton rebuffed United’s offer last summer, Everton are unwilling to let him go.
The United boss could have to dig deeper to try to tempt Everton as he also feels Baines is not the type of player to demand a move.
And that could leave Moyes searching elsewhere for the left-back he needs.
If Baines proves difficult to pry away, the newspaper says United will turn their attentions to Luke Shaw of Southampton. However, the Daily Mail expects that pursuit to be similarly fraught.
The Mail adds:
Shaw, 18, is also on Chelsea’s radar but Southampton have made it clear they are determined not to sell. Rated one of the most promising young English players in the country, the teenager will leave the south coast club before too long but it looks as though it will not be before the summer.
Chelsea will complete a £14m deal for Inter Milan midfielder Freddy Guarin in the next month, according to the Daily Express.
The west London club have been linked with the Colombian for a number of weeks now, with a deal apparently close to completion.
The Express reports:
With a heavy schedule ahead, Mourinho wants reinforcements in his midfield positions and has lost the services of Frank Lampard, 35, for at least a fortnight after he suffered a thigh injury in Sunday’s 2-1 victory over Liverpool.
Defender Branislav Ivanovic has also been ruled out of tomorrow’s trip to Southampton with a knee injury.
Guarin, a strong-running player who can operate centrally or on either flank, has featured regularly for Inter this season but Chelsea have already begun negotiations with the club and the player’s agents.
Fulham look set to test West Ham's resolve surrounding Ravel Morrison in the January transfer window, according to the Daily Telegraph.
The newspaper has reported in recent days that the club are prepared to let the midfielder leave in the window in order to finance additions elsewhere in the squad, while the former Manchester United youngster's unique contract situation could possibly be exploited by some rival Premier League clubs.
It appears Fulham will be the first side to test the waters, however, with head coach Rene Meulensteen a long-term admirer of Morrison from their time together at Old Trafford.
The Telegraph reports:
They realise the likelihood of them landing the England Under-21 international is remote, but that will not stop them becoming the first club to attempt to take advantage of his contract situation.
Morrison has only 18 months remaining on his West Ham deal, which is littered with clauses. There is a straight £18 million release clause and another that states West Ham would have to quadruple the midfielder’s wages to £60,000 a week if they receive a £10 million bid and want to keep him.
While Fulham will not bid anywhere near those figures, it is understood West Ham may reluctantly let Morrison, 20, leave this month if they receive the right offer to raise money for new signings.
Newcastle are also believed to be interested in the player.
Liverpool are confident of signing Basel winger Mohamed Salah when the transfer window opens, according to a report in the Daily Mirror.
The paper reports:
They have been tracking Salah for months and the Egyptian scored home and away against Chelsea in the Champions League this season.
Although Brendan Rodgers claimed yesterday that no signings are “imminent”, negotiations over a deal for Salah are progressing.
Rodgers only wants to sign players who will go straight into his team and believes the winger could make an impact because of his creativity and goals.
The 21-year-old has scored 17 times in his 26 appearances for his country and fits the profile of player Rodgers wants.
Arsenal have not completely given up hope of landing Alvaro Morata on loan from Real Madrid, reports the Daily Telegraph.
Asamoah Gyan is looking for a return to the Premier League on loan in January, according to the Daily Mirror, with West Ham reportedly interested.
Borussia Dortmund have joined the chase for Atletico Madrid's Diego Costa, says the Daily Express, complicating the pursuit for Arsenal and Chelsea.
The Daily Mail is confident Toronto FC will finally confirm the signing of Jermain Defoe from Tottenham at the end of this week.