Out of favour: Real Madrid's Fernando Gago
Everton are said to be leading the race to sign Real Madrid midfielder Fernando Gago. Reports in the 23-year-old's native Argentina say he has discarded any thoughts of returning to Boca Juniors.
Everton and Fiorentina are reportedly interested in a player who has struggled for first-team opportunities following Xabi Alonso, Esteban Granero and Lassana Diarra arriving at the Bernabeu in the last year.
Wigan boss Roberto Martinez has tipped Chris Kirkland to be England's World Cup keeper.
'Chris would be the perfect choice,' said Martinez. 'He has proved beyond question that he is one of the best English goalkeepers and is now in the best form of his career. When you look at the options Fabio Capello has got, Chris is as good as anybody.'
Rafael van der Vaart has responded to reports linking him to Arsenal by insisting he is happy to finish the season at Real Madrid, despite limited opportunities at the Bernabeu. However, his club may be looking to cash in on the Holland international after failing to raise as much cash as expected in the summer.
Meanwhile, Van der Vaart insists Madrid do not need to buy to cover for injured defender Pepe. Madrid legend Roberto Carlos says he would return if asked, while the club have been linked to Ricardo Carvalho (Chelsea), Nemanja Vidic (Manchester United) and Gael Clichy (Arsenal) among others.
The group representing families of those who died in the 1989 Hillsborough Disaster have welcomed the appointment of the Bishop of Liverpool as the chair of a panel which will oversee the release of thousands of documents relating to the tragedy.
The Government have signed financial guarantees of £300million for England's 2018 World Cup bid and made other commitments regarding security, visas and tax. The guarantees required by FIFA have been signed off several months ahead of the May deadline. England 2018 will announce on Wednesday which of the 15 cities will be part of their bid.
Barcelona striker Keirrison, who was linked with a move to Liverpool while he was at Palmeiras earlier this year, has knocked down reports that the Brazilian will sign on at Anfield this winter.
The 21-year-old has been struggling to get a game on loan at Benfica and his agent Naor Malaquias believes it would be just as hard to get a look-in at Liverpool.
'Keirrison has a contract with Benfica and Barcelona has a contact with Benfica,' added Malaquias. 'They don't have the interest right now to change the player.'
Former Liverpool and England winger Alan A'Court has died at the age of 75. A'Court made 381 Liverpool appearances and scored 63 goals in an 11-year spell at Anfield after signing in 1952.
His strong and direct performances on the left flank earned him a place in the England squad at the 1958 World Cup. A'Court also had the distinction of scoring the Reds' first competitive goal under Bill Shankly, who began his tenure as Liverpool manager 50 years ago this week.
Former Portsmouth manager Alain Perrin has been sacked bySaint-Etienne. The 53-year-old, who won just four matches in aneight-month spell at Fratton Park, had been under considerable pressurein France following a poor run of results which has left the side lying17th in Ligue 1. A 3-0 defeat by Paris Saint-Germain at the weekendproved the final straw.
Axed Sheffield Wednesday manager Brian Laws believes he had built 'thenucleus of a very good side' at Hillsborough. The 48-year-old left theclub on Monday after sliding into the bottom three of the Coca-ColaChampionship.
'It's disappointing to be leaving to be fair,' said Laws.'I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Hillsborough, but you just have tomove on. But I'll be back, I'm sure of that. I've experienced a lot ofhighs in football, as a player andas a manager and I've still got a lot to give.'
On his way? Sergio Aguero
Atletico Madrid appear to be preparing for life without Chelsea targetSergio Aguero as they test the market for new strikers.
Sources inSouth America say that the Spanish club are keen on Chile strikerHumberto Suazo and Paraguay's Salvador Cabanas.
Both targets arecurrently playing in Mexico and Club America's 29-year-old hot shotCabanas was recently linked to West Ham.
Chelsea hope to do a deal forabout £40m for Aguero, but Manchester United are also monitoring thesituation.
French striker Olivier Giroud is ready to quit Ligue 2 side Tours in January after revealing 'persistent' interest from Celtic and Middlesbrough.
Tours have admitted they are open to offers for the £2.5million-rated player and the 23-year-old, who has scored 14 goals in 17 games this season, said: 'We're now at a stage where a lot of thinking has to be done.
'There is a lot of interest in me. Celtic and Middlesbrough are the most persistent but there is also interest from Montpellier, Valenciennes, Monaco and Toulouse. Most clubs want me for the start of 2010 because they need to re-inforce their attacking options quickly, so they won't wait.'
Target: Tours striker Olivier Giroud is on Celtic and Boro's radar
The former agent of Aston Villa winger Stewart Downing has been charged with five counts of fraud. Ian Elliott was arrested in September last year in relation to allegations of financial irregularities made by the former Middlesbrough player.
A Cleveland Police spokesman said: 'A 51-year-old man from the Tyneside area has been charged with five counts of fraud and is due to appear at Teesside Magistrates' Court in the new year.'
Guus Hiddink is interested in leading North Korea at the World Cup, according to reports in Holland. However, his agent has reiterated that the Dutchman is seriously considering staying on as Russia boss and does not expect any negotiations or announcements until February.
Hiddink, linked with a return to Chelsea as technical director, recently said he wouldn't take a job at the World Cup next summer out of his respect for the Russia players who failed to qualify.
The Scottish Football Association could seek a financial sponsor for a new national coach if the preferred candidate is out of their price range. The Republic of Ireland were able to employ Giovanni Trapattoni after entrepreneur Denis O'Brien donated £1.5million to pay half of the former Italy manager's salary over two years.Scotland's last boss George Burley was reported to be on £300,000 a year.
Wolves striker Kevin Doyle has vowed that tonight's trip to Manchester United is not mission impossible. Doyle said: 'Obviously United are one of the best teams in the world and it's always extremely difficult to get something there. But you have to go into every match believing you can get a result and we're confident after winning the last two games.'
Faith: Kevin Doyle is going to Old Trafford with belief
Martin O'Neill insists he is 'not doing a disservice' to Aston Villa winger James Milner's World Cup hopes by moving him into a central midfield role. Milner has forced his way into contention for Fabio Capello's squad for South Africa after impressing with his work-rate and crossing ability on the right flank.
But he has been switched into central midfield for the past three games. O'Neill said: 'His performances in there have been very encouraging. He is a very good player. He came essentially as a wide right player who could also play wide left.
'His ability to play in a number of positions would enhance his credentials for England rather than the other way around.'
Steve Bruce is hoping Lee Cattermole's impending return to action could rekindle Sunderland's Barclays Premier League charge. The 21-year-old midfielder has missed the last seven league games with a medial ligament injury and in his absence, the Black Cats have collected three points only once.
Bruce said: 'He had such an influence in the team early doors that we haven't looked quite the same without him. Without his competitive skills, which he has in abundance, we have missed him, it's quite simple to see that.'
Birmingham midfielder Barry Ferguson is adamant he has nothing to prove in tonight's home clash with former Blackburn and is viewing the Barclays Premier League encounter as 'just another game'.
Ferguson made the switch from Rangers to Ewood Park in August 2003 and insists he made a positive contribution until suffering a serious knee injury before he moved back to Ibrox after two seasons.
He said: 'I had a knee-cap injury at Blackburn. A lot of people said I didn't enjoy my time there. That was not the case. I have not got a point to prove. I started off well but then I got the bad injury. I came back from it and I played a lot of games for Blackburn. I did well. I was captain there.'
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