Gossip: Courtois, Defoe, Schmeichel, Isco, Neil, Gestede

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Real Madrid are determined to tempt Chelsea's ex-Atletico Madrid keeper Thibaut Courtois, 24, back to the Spanish capital at the end of the season. (Sun)

West Ham are targeting former striker Jermain Defoe, 34, as Sunderland manager David Moyes fights to keep his leading scorer. (Daily Mirror)

But Hammers manager Slaven Bilic says there is no truth in reports suggesting he will make a loan move for Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford, 19, in the January transfer window. (Daily Mail)

Tottenham could move for Real Madrid attacking midfielder Isco as the 24-year-old Spain international considers his future after failing to play regularly this season. (Daily Mirror)

  • How many of the rumours that appear in the gossip column actually come to fruition? Which clubs have the most accurate rumours? And which sources are the most reliable? Find out here as we celebrate 15 years of the gossip column

Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri says Kasper Schmeichel will not be sold next month following reports linking the 30-year-old Denmark goalkeeper with a move to Liverpool in January. (Daily Star)

And the Foxes' Italian boss has indicated the £15m arrival of 20-year-old Nigeria midfielder Wilfred Ndidi from Belgium side Genk will be announced in the next few days. (Leicester Mercury)

Meanwhile, Leicester have also made an £8.5m bid for Sassuolo's 28-year-old centre-back Francesco Acerbi. (La Gazzetta dello Sport - in Italian)

Norwich chairman Ed Balls gave manager Alex Neil a secret deal in the summer which means it will cost £2m to sack the 35-year-old Scotsman. (Sun)

The Sun
Harry Kane's title talk leads the back page of Friday's edition of the Sun

The Professional Footballers' Association has called on the game's authorities to consider a ban on heading the ball for children aged under 10. (Daily Telegraph)

Italian side AC Milan will move for Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas, 29, once their Chinese takeover is complete. (Corriere dello Sport via Talksport)

Championship side Aston Villa want to sign 26-year-old Middlesbrough striker Jordan Rhodes - but not for the £11m asking price. (Daily Telegraph)

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola tried to sign Spanish defenders Lucas, 20, and Theo Hernandez, 19, in a double deal from Atletico Madrid, the Spanish club have claimed. (Manchester Evening News)

But Athletic Bilbao defender Aymeric Laporte, 22, has hinted he could be on the way to the Etihad Stadium after turning down a move last summer.(Daily Star)

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has invited Livingston's 17-year-old midfielder Matthew Knox to the club for a third trial. (Daily Record)

Watford striker Jerome Sinclair, 20, is not close to leaving the Premier League club on loan, despite being linked with a number of Championship sides. (Watford Observer)

Newcastle United are confident that striker Aleksandar Mitrovic, 22, does not want to leave the club despite the player being linked to both Crystal Palace and Swansea in the January transfer window.(Newcastle Chronicle)

Stoke manager Mark Hughes is eyeing loan moves for Napoli striker Manolo Gabbiadini, 25, and Leipzig forward Davie Selke, 21, when the transfer window opens. (Stoke Sentinel)

Burnley are set to continue with their plans to re-sign 34-year-old midfielder Joey Barton, despite the move being thrown into doubt after he was given a Football Association misconduct charge for betting offences. (Lancashire Telegraph)

Middlesbrough's £6m move for Aston Villa striker Rudy Gestede, 28, could be completed early next week. (Middlesbrough Evening Gazette)

The Guardian
The back page of the Guardian leads on Swansea's hunt for a new manager

Sunderland have not been approached by any of their Premier League rivals for keeper Jordan Pickford, 22, or 27-year-old defender Lamine Kone, says manager David Moyes. (Sunderland Echo)

Black Cats striker Fabio Borini, 25, will not be moving back to Italy despite interest from AC Milan and Roma, says his agent Roberto De Fanti. (Chronicle)

Arsenal right-back Mathieu Debuchy, 31, says he did not appreciate Arsene Wenger blocking a move to Manchester United last January, saying he hopes to leave the Gunners when the transfer window reopens. (L'Equipe - in French)

Best of social media

Premier League footballers might earn a princely pay packet - but it doesn't mean they should not be rewarded for random acts of kindness. And Hull City defender Alex Bruce is going to treat himself to a festive drink after being tracked down by the man who he helped deal with his conked-out car.

Alex Bruce
Alex Bruce

Manchester United defender Luke Shaw has not had much cheer in an injury-hit 2016. So the England left-back says winning the Community Shield against Leicester in his first game in 11 months was particularly sweet.

Luke Shaw

And finally

A non-league footballer netted a world record on Boxing Day by scoring hat-tricks for two teams in two games on the same day. (Daily Mirror)

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