Monday's gossip: Van Gaal, Mourinho, Guardiola, Mahrez

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Several newspapers are reporting that manager Louis van Gaal will be sacked if Manchester United lose to Stoke on Boxing Day. (Various)

And United made contact with former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho about replacing Van Gaal, even before Saturday's defeat to Norwich. (Sun)external-link

Mourinho, 52, would "jump at the chance" to manage at Old Trafford. (Daily Mail)external-link

Chelsea have lined up Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini as a permanent replacement for Mourinho. (Fox Sports)external-link

Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror back page

Manchester City are favourites to land outgoing Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola, but they face competition from Manchester United, Chelsea and Paris St-Germain when he leaves the Bundesliga side at the end of the season. (Guardian)external-link

Manchester United will bid £29m in January for Leicester's Algeria winger Riyad Mahrez, 24. (Le 10 Sport, via Daily Express)external-link

Netherlands winger Jeremain Lens, 28, has been dropped from the first team by Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce and fined two weeks' wages for refusing to take part in a post-match workout, after the 1-0 defeat by Watford on 12 December. (Daily Mail)external-link

And Allardyce will try to sell Lens when the transfer window opens in January. (Daily Mirror)external-link

Chelsea's Colombia striker Radamel Falcao, 29, wants talks with new manager Guus Hiddink to find out if he has a future at Stamford Bridge. (Daily Mirror)external-link

Guus Hiddink, in charge on a temporary basis until the end of the season, wants former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba to be part of his coaching staff at Stamford Bridge. (Times - subscription required)external-link

Drogba is being groomed as a future Chelsea manager with Roman Abramovich keen to bring the 37-year-old back to the club. (Sun)external-link

Manchester United midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger, 31, has responded to critics of his performances this season, who say he is too slow. (Welt am Sonntag - in German)external-link

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed he regrets not signing Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling, 21, while the England international was at QPR. (Sky Sports)external-link

Manchester City's Spanish midfielder David Silva, 29, wants to see out the final three-and-a-half years of his contract.(Manchester Evening News)external-link

Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri has suggested he might have a Premier League-winning side.(Daily Star)external-link

Swansea look set to allow caretaker boss Alan Curtis to continue over Christmas instead of bringing in Marcelo Bielsa.(Wales Online)external-link

Best of 5 live sport

Pep Guardiola's next management role looks 'likely' to be at Manchester City, according to European football journalist Archie Rhind-Tutt.(Listen to the clip)

Manchester United should sack Louis van Gaal and appoint Jose Mourinho, according to former Wales striker John Hartson.(Listen to the clip)

Best of social media

Gareth Bale
Who needs a fairy or a star when you have the match ball

Gareth Bale took home the match ball after his four-goal display in Real Madrid's 10-2 win over Rayo Vallecano...and put itexternal-link on top of his Christmas tree. The Wales forward tweetedexternal-link to say it was the "perfect Christmas present".

Barcelona's Brazil forward Neymar posted a picture on Instagramexternal-link holding the Fifa Club World Cup, writing: "It's not everyday that we are world champions."

Manchester United striker Anthony Martial has tweetedexternal-linkhis disappointment after Saturday's defeat to Norwich, and says the club "have to win the next game".

After winning the Fifa Club World Cup, Barcelona defender Gerard Pique tweetedexternal-link "for my superiors" in response to Real Sociedad's Esteban Granero. Former Real midfielder Granero had defended Los Blancos defender Alvaro Arbeloa over a dispute with Pique and told the Barcelona defender to "respect your superiors".

Gerard Pique

Social mediaexternal-linkgoes crazy over Inter Milan midfielder Felipe Melo's neck-high challenge on Lazio's Lucas Biglia.

Felipe Melo
Brazil midfielder Felipe Melo acknowledges he might have made an error

And finally

Liverpool appeared to jinx goalkeeper Adam Bogdan before he made his first Premier League start for the Reds. The club's official Snapchat uploaded a photograph of Bogdan in the pre-match warm-up with the caption 'safe hands'. Just three minutes into the match, the Hungarian dropped a corner, allowing Nathan Ake to tap in. (Metro)external-link

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal gave a trial to a youngster who had stood outside the club's training ground for weeks and begged for a chance. (Daily Star)external-link