Thursday's gossip column

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Sir Alex Ferguson's former Manchester United assistant Mike Phelan claims the champions would have made "a star signing - one of the absolute best players in the world" in the summer if the Scot and chief executive David Gill had not left the club.

Full story: Daily Mirrorexternal-link

Davide Astori
Cagliari defender Davide Astori was sent off on his international debut for Italy against Ukraine in 2011.

Chelsea and Manchester City are competing to sign Paris St-Germain midfielder Blaise Matuidi, 26, on a free transfer. The France international's contract expires in the summer.

Full story: Daily Expressexternal-link

Southampton will renew their interest in Cagliari's Italy international centre-back Davide Astori in January. The Saints considered signing the 26-year-old in the summer.

Full story: Daily Mirrorexternal-link

Chelsea hope to beat Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund to the signing of 17-year-old Wolfsburg winger Julian Brandt.

Full story: Daily Starexternal-link

Stoke's American winger Brek Shea is ready to go out on loan. The 23-year-old was substituted at half-time in his only appearance of the season so far.

Full story: Stoke Sentinelexternal-link

Aston Villa midfielder Daniel Johnson, 21, is a loan target for Blackpool following a trial at Paul Ince's side.

Fully story: The Sun

Brighton have signed Arsenal defender Tom Dallison, 17, on a two-year deal.

Full story: The Sun

Newcastle are considering a move for MK Dons winger Dele Alli, 18, after Alan Pardew sent scouts to watch him.

Full story: The Journalexternal-link


Emmanuel Adebayor
Emmanuel Adebayor scored nine goals in 38 games for Tottenham last season.

Emmanuel Adebayor will make his first appearance of the season in Tottenham's Europa League game against Moldovan side FC Sheriff on Thursday. Manager Andre Villas-Boas said he would have allowed the 29-year-old striker to leave this summer.

Full story: Daily Mirrorexternal-link

Mike Phelan and former striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink are the favourites for the vacant manager's role at Middlesbrough.

Full story: Daily Mailexternal-link

GLOBAL GOSSIP (sourced by BBC Monitoring)

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho plans to return to former club Real Madrid for midfielder Sami Khedira, 26, and intends to get the Germany international "at any cost".

Full story: As.comexternal-link (in Spanish)

Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo, 28, says he was close to signing for Italian side Juventus in 2003, but chose Manchester United because of then manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

Full story: Lastampaexternal-link (in Italian)


Roy Keane's mum is upset at comments made about her son in Sir Alex Ferguson's autobiography, calling the Scot's remarks "very nasty".

Full story: Irish Sunexternal-link (subscription required)

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