The Sun have revealed the reason behind Mario Balotelli being dropped for City's game with Spurs, and predictably it isn't for the 'football reasons' first cited. The paper claim the striker was caught partying less than 24 hours before kick-off, and was subsequently axed by Roberto Mancini. The departure of cult-figure Balotelli would make way for City to sign Falcao from Atletico Madrid, with the paper claiming Mancini has already met with the player's agent, as he attempts to beat Chelsea to his signature. However the Guardian strongly disagree with the Sun exclusive, arguing Balotelli being dropped was simply because of his poor form, and that the striker is desperate to stay in Manchester. Balotelli's agent has also said he has no intention of returning to Italy at present.
Thomas Ince has spoken of his joy at being linked with a big Premier League move, but says he owes all his success to Blackpool; and for now is fully committed to them. Manchester United are favourites to sign him, but Newcastle and Spurs are also said to be monitoring the left-winger's development.
United are also linked once again with signing Colombian winger James Rodriguez from Porto. The twist this time, is Rodriguez' reported £24 million release clause, write the Mirror, which is far less than the £36 million price tag Porto were said to be wanting for him.
Newcastle are reportedly set to revive interest in French international right-back Mathieu Debuchy. The Lille defender is a £5 million January target, although the Mail claim Barcelona are also keen on the 27-year-old. Debuchy played as Lille were hammered 6-1 by Bayern Munich last week.
England new boy Wilfried Zaha is also the subject of discussion, with it claimed now that Real Madrid want to sign him. The Mirror claim Jose Mourinho has sent scouts to check on the winger, and is keeping a close eye on his progress. Crystal Palace are also said to be increasingly keen to hold onto their player amid their promotion push, with the windfall they would get from reaching the Premier League far more valuable than any transfer fee.
Rio Ferdinand's future is up in the air, with the defender refusing to guarantee his future to Manchester United. The 34-year-old's contract is up in the summer, and is expected to be offered a one year extension, but says he will weigh it up in December with regard to his fitness and what he can offer the club. The centre-back also had a very public disagreement with Sir Alex Ferguson over the Kick It Out row, although the pair have since put differences aside.
Arsenal are casting an eye over Burnley defender Kieran Trippier, claim The Sun. The former Manchester City trainee is an England under-21 international, and is being looked at as cover in case Bacary Sagna leaves next summer.
West Ham are looking at Dinamo Zagreb starlet Andrej Kramaric. The striker is currently out on loan at present but has scored 14 times during the spell, and the under-21 international could be available for just £1.2 million. Italian side Chievo are also interested.
Molde defender Vegard Forren is a target for Fulham boss Martin Jol, as the manager bids to strengthen the club's defence in January. Forren has just won a second successive Norwegian title, and has even been touted in connection with a move to Manchester United.
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