Transfer news and football gossip: Manchester United leading Jadon Sancho race, Arsenal want Chris Smalling, Jose Mourinho eyes first Tottenham signing

Real Madrid are reportedly willing to offer Manchester United James Rodriguez and Gareth Bale in order to sign Paul Pogba in January. Bale has made no secret of his desire to leave the Spanish capital, while Rodriguez has started just four LaLiga games under Zinedine Zidane since the end of his two-year loan spell at Bayern Munich. Pogba has been linked with a move to Real for the best part of 18 months, although it seems as though the Spanish giants will have to offer much more in order to prise the World Cup winner away from Old Trafford. (FULL STORY)

Jose Mourinho has reportedly identified the first player he wants to sign in the January transfer window, but faces stiff competition. The Tottenham Hotspur boss is keen to sign Juventus defender Merih Demiral next month, with fellow summer signing Matthijs De Ligt the first choice centre-back under Maurizio Sarri. However, Arsenal and Manchester United are also reportedly keen to sign the former Sassuolo man. (FULL STORY)

Jose Mourinho lauds Tottenham forward Heung-min Son for 'Ronaldo-like' goal

Manchester United have reportedly been handed a huge boot in their efforts to sign Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund. The £100m England international had fallen out of favour in Germany under Lucien Favre after questions about his attitude, leading to speculation he could return to the Premier League. And it appears as though former side Manchester City have decided against exercising their option to bring their former academy starlet back to the Etihad. (DAILY MIRROR)

Arsenal are leading the race to bring Chris Smalling back to the Premier League, according to reports. The centre-half, who is still a Manchester United player, is currently excelling out on loan in Serie A with Roma. Unai Emery was reportedly a huge fan, and it seems as though the Gunners board would be keen to sanction a move for the 30-year-old if the next permanent manager decides to pursue a deal. (THE SUN)

Newcastle United will make at least one new signing in the January transfer window when it opens next month. Steve Bruce is continuing to defy critics who slated his appointment in the summer after Rafael Benitez walked away from St James’ Park. And, despite claims it is too hard for the Mapgies to bring in the ‘right’ player, it appears as though the club will back their manager in the transfer window. (SUNDAY TELEGRAPH)

Chelsea want to bring academy graduate Nathan Ake back to the club now their transfer ban has been lifted. The Blues learned on Friday that CAS has decided to halve their transfer ban, meaning players can make a move to Stamford Bridge in the January transfer window. Bournemouth defender Ake has impressed on the south coast since making his move permanent in 2017, but would cost the Blues £40m if they wish to strike a deal (DAILY STAR)

Arsenal executives went for a dinner party last week to determine who the club’s next manager will be after ALREADY losing patience with Freddie Ljungberg. The Swede was appointed as interim boss at the start of the month after Unai Emery was relieved of his duties at the Emirates. However, the club held serious reservations about his coaching pedigree. And after a draw to Norwich City and a loss to Brighton, it appears as though Ljungberg’s time is up. (MAIL ON SUNDAY)

Patrick Vieira could be the man to succeed former teammate Ljungberg after being backed by… another former teammate. Edu, who partnered Vieira in midfield during their time at Highbury together, is now the Gunners’ sporting director and is said to be championing the Frenchman to take control. The captain of the famous Invincibles team of 2003/04 is currently in charge of Ligue 1 side Nice. (SUNDAY TIMES)