Wednesday's gossip column - transfers and rumours
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Monaco are set to test Manchester City's resolve to hold on to Belgian defender Vincent Kompany, 27, in January by making a £17m offer for the player's services.
City are believed to be ahead of Manchester United and Inter Milan in the race for Argentine midfielder Bruno Zuculini, 20, currently with Racing Club de Avellaneda in his home country.
Stoke are plotting a January move for Dutch striker Luuk de Jong, 23, and manager Mark Hughes has not given up hope of getting a work permit for American forward Juan Agudelo, 21.
Barcelona will attempt to sign Chelsea defender David Luiz, 26, in January for £29m.
Arsenal face competition from Liverpool for the signature of Hamburg's highly rated Turkey midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu, 19.
Newcastle United's 32-year-old striker Shola Ameobi, out of contract at the end of this season, is a January target for Hull City.
Tottenham new boy Erik Lamela, 21, could be set for an early White Hart Lane exit with Atletico Madrid interested in taking the Argentine former Roma winger on loan.
Barcelona striker Antonio Sanabria, 17, has decided to leave the Nou Camp and commit his future to Roma, even though Arsenal have made a major offer for him.
Chelsea and England defender Ashley Cole, 32, has told club and national bosses Jose Mourinho and Roy Hodgson he is not past his best.
Arsenal players have been put on a security lockdown amid major Champions League safety fears and have not been allowed to leave their hotel in the run-up to the game against Napoli.
Argentina striker Gonzalo Higuain, 26, says he is desperate to put one over on Arsenal in the Champions League.
Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson says he fears crooks have attempted to fix Premier League matches for 10 years.
Steven Gerrard hopes to be available for Liverpool again in around four weeks after suffering a hamstring injury that has ruled the Reds' 33-year-old captain out of the festive fixture programme.
Blackburn must wait to find out whether striker DJ Campbell, 32, is guilty of spot-fixing before they can cancel his £25,000-a-week contract.
GLOBAL GOSSIP (from BBC Monitoring)
FC Barcelona vice-president Javier Faus says there is "zero chance" that the club will sell Lionel Messi, 26, but he also believes the Argentine superstar's contract won't be improved this season.
German club VfL Wolfsburg could be interested in signing Kevin De Bruyne if Chelsea decide to sell the 22-year-old Belgium midfielder.
David Beckham says he still pines for Manchester despite his jet-set lifestyle - with the 38-year-old describing his spell at Manchester United as the best of his career.
Chelsea captain John Terry, 33, who earns £170,000 a week, has been spotted bargain hunting in Poundworld.