Gossip column: Vertonghen, Strootman, Pereira, Cech

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TRANSFER GOSSIP

Manchester United are weighing up a bid for Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen, with the 27-year-old Belgium international said to be unhappy at a lack of first-team action with Spurs. (Mirror)

Kevin Strootman
Kevin Strootman joined Roma from PSV Eindhoven

Netherlands international midfielder Kevin Strootman, 24, has already "shaken hands" on a move to United from Roma. (Talksport)

Arsenal are preparing to beat Liverpool to Benfica defender Maxi Pereira. The 30-year-old Uruguay international is out of contract at the end of the season. (Express)

AC Milan will rival Arsenal for the signature of Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech, 32, who has found himself on the bench for much of the season at Stamford Bridge. (Daily Star)

Queens Park Rangers are in talks with the Argentine defender Pablo Alvarez. The 30-year-old former Catania man is currently a free agent. (Evening Standard)

Real Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira, 27, has signed a pre-contract agreement to join Bayern Munich. (Independent)

Wigan's Scotland international winger Shaun Maloney, 31, is wanted by MLS side Chicago Fire. (Express)

Nottingham Forest striker Dexter Blackstock, 28, has turned down a loan move to Sheffield United. (Yorkshire Post)

OTHER GOSSIP

During the international break, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho gave the likes of Didier Drogba and John Terry eight days off in order to take a holiday. (Mirror)

Liverpool are compiling a dossier on Daniel Sturridge's medical history to find a cause for the injuries that have wrecked the England striker's season so far. (Telegraph)

Arsenal's Jack Wilshere hopes that his performances in a deep-lying midfield role for England will convince manager Arsene Wenger to employ him in a similar role for the Gunners. (Express)

Meanwhile, the Gunners are lining up Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola to replace Wenger. (Daily Star)

Jay Rodriguez
Jay Rodriguez has scored 26 goals in 76 appearances for Southampton

Southampton striker Jay Rodriguez, 25, has been told by medics to slow down his recovery programme following knee surgery after having to have fluid drained from his knee. (Daily Star)

Swansea boss Garry Monk doesn't plan to recall striker Michu, 28, from a loan spell at Napoli to cover for the absence of Wilfried Bony, who will soon depart for Africa Cup of Nations duty with the Ivory Coast. (Daily Mirror)

Everton manager Roberto Martinez says criticism of the club's approach to players reporting for duty with the Republic of Ireland by Ireland's assistant coach Roy Keane is nonsense. (Guardian)

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal claims Arsenal striker Danny Welbeck would still not get a game at Old Trafford if the England international, 23, had stayed at United. (Daily Express)

Manchester City will look to extend the loan spell of former England midfielder Frank Lampard, 36, beyond the start of January, with Ivory Coast international Yaya Toure set to miss key games due to the Africa Cup of Nations. (Times - subscription required)

BEST OF SOCIAL MEDIA

Paul Scholes has not lost his touch and training with fellow ex-Manchester United player Phil Neville went well, according to a tweet from Karen Baird, the chairwoman of Salford City, the club bought by 'the Class of 92'.

AND FINALLY

American comic book giants DC Comics are suing La Liga side Valencia over the use of their club logo, which the company says depicts a bat just like that sported by superhero batman. (Yahoo Sport)

Swiss third division side Grenchen sacked 11 players after a 10-0 defeat at the hands of the Lucerne youth team. (Guardian)

If sold in today's transfer market, former Manchester United midfielder Roy Keane would be worth £32m, ex-Tottenham playmaker Glenn Hoddle would fetch £37m and former Newcastle striker Alan Shearer would cost £50m. (Daily Mail)

A nine-year-old school boy applied for the manager's job at Bolton Wanderers but was pipped to the post by Neil Lennnon. (Guardian)

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