Wednesday's gossip: Van Gaal, Mourinho, Vardy, Matip

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Louis van Gaal: Staying or going?

The Sun back page
The Sun report on Louis van Gaal's future at Manchester United

Jose Mourinho's agent denies a deal has been agreed for the former Chelsea boss to replace Louis van Gaal at Manchester United. (Globoesporte - in Portuguese)external-link

Van Gaal is getting closer to the sack, with executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward spending Tuesday in a meeting at the club's London headquarters. (Sun)external-link

Ex-Norway striker and German television pundit Jan Age Fjortoft believes Van Gaal will be sacked and replaced by assistant Ryan Giggs in the next few days, possibly even before Christmas. (BBC Radio 5 live)

Former QPR manager Neil Warnock says United must make Jose Mourinho their new manager before the former Chelsea boss is employed again, but doubts the club's owners have the 'bottle' to dismiss Van Gaal. and overlook assistant Ryan Giggs. (BBC Radio 5 live)

United are considering Paris St-Germain boss Laurent Blanc as a potential replacement for Van Gaal, should they fail to land outgoing Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola.(Buzzsport - in French,external-link via Metro)external-link

Other gossip

Leicester striker Jamie Vardy, 28, has been the subject of a tentative enquiry from Manchester City, but Chelsea's interest is more solid. (Telegraph)external-link

Chelsea are looking to make Inter Milan and former Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini their next permanent manager.(FcInterNews via Daily Star)external-link

Telegraph
The Daily Telegraph say Chelsea and Manchester City will fight for the signing of Leicester's Jamie Vardy

Meanwhile, the Blues have agreed to sign £30m-rated Brazilian midfielder Alex Teixeira, 25, from Shakhtar Donetsk.(Daily Star)external-link

Everton are set to be taken over by an American-led consortium within the next six weeks. (Times - subscription required)external-link

Arsenal are hoping 27-year-old Germany midfielder Mesut Ozil will commit to a long-term deal, which will surpass his current £140,000-a-week contract due to run until 2018. (Daily Mail)external-link

But French midfielder Mathieu Flamini, 31, is set to leave the Gunners when his deal expires in the summer despite having never lost a league game at home. (Mirror)external-link

Former England, Chelsea and Arsenal left-back Ashley Cole is set to join LA Galaxy. The 35-year-old is a free agent after being released by Roma. (Sun)external-link

Cameroon defender Joel Matip, 24, is closing in on a move to Liverpool after rejecting a contract offer from Schalke. (Bild - in German)external-link

Bournemouth look set to beat Watford to the signing of 22-year-old Roma forward Juan Iturbe. (Bournemouth Echo)external-link

Midfielder Steve Sidwell, 33, is expected to leave Stoke in January after falling out of favour under manager Mark Hughes. (Talksport)external-link

Sampdoria want to sign Leicester's 28-year-old French defender Yohan Benalouane in the January transfer window. (Gazzetta World)external-link

Celtic captain Scott Brown has criticised the organisers of a petition who are calling for manager Ronny Deila to be sacked. (Daily Record)external-link

Kenwyne Jones' ongoing contract saga at Cardiff City is not causing the 31-year-old striker to lose his focus on the pitch. (Wales Online)external-link

Manchester City striker Wilfried Bony, 27, says he was "disappointed" he was dropped for Sergio Aguero by manager Manuel Pellegrini for Monday's match against Arsenal. (Independent)external-link

Real Madrid are interested in 17-year-old Monaco striker Kylian Mbappe. (Marca, via Le Journal de Dimanche)external-link

Former Manchester United striker Diego Forlan, 36, is interested in playing in the MLS. (L'Equipe)external-link

Neil Warnock reveals how he tried to poach striker Troy Deeney, 27, from Watford when he was boss of Crystal Palace.(Radio 5 live)

Best of social media

Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo invited fans to take a look around his Madrid mansion

Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo, 30, has given his Twitter followersexternal-link a look around his £4.8m mansion, which has seven bedrooms, a swimming pool and mini football pitch.

Ronaldo's Madrid team-mate James Rodriguez, 24, is off enjoying La Liga's winter break and posed for a photograph on Instagramexternal-link with a chimpanzee in a red hooded sweater.

Southampton tweeted a pictureexternal-link of goalkeeper Fraser Forster, 27, on his return to full training after nine months out with a knee injury.

And finally

Omar Gonzalez dressed as Darth Vader
"Omar, you are my new signing."

The force was strong at Mexican side CF Pachuca after they unveiled their new signing, 6ft 5in defender Omar Gonzalez, in a Darth Vader costume. The 27-year-old - signed from LA Galaxy, far, far away - was complete with lightsaber. (101 great goals)external-link