Last updated : 17 January 2007 By Ed

* This from the Guardian:

'Manchester United are edging closer to a deal to sign Gareth Bale, with sources indicating the 17-year-old is "90% certain" to leave Southampton for Old Trafford before the transfer window closes at the end of the month. It is likely that the fee will be significantly more than the £5.5m United want to pay, with Southampton looking for closer to £10m, but an agreement is set to be reached whereby the Premiership club make an initial down payment and the remainder is subject to specific clauses.

That scenario is unlikely to prove problematic, however, with the defender expected to move to Old Trafford shortly before the end of January. Tottenham, desperate to recruit a left-sided player, have also been tracking Bale but the player has all but made up his mind that he will join Sir Alex Ferguson's side. The pull of United, together with Ryan Giggs's presence - a player Bale knows well from international duty with Wales - means there is effectively no decision to make.

Spurs had an £8m bid rejected last week, with Southampton confident that United's pursuit of the player would drive up the price. Having agreed a deal with Arsenal this time last year for Theo Walcott that could potentially be worth £12m, Southampton hope to secure a fee for Bale close to that figure. United may well balk at such demands but their desire to purchase a player who is regarded as the most promising left-back in the country should prevent any impasse.'

* The Sun claim that Everton and Wigan have enquired about Alan Smith.

* And more from the Supersoaraway:

'Tottenham are to make a £5million bid for Manchester United defender Gabriel Heinze.
But the move could hinge on United successfully completing a £6m swoop for superkid Gareth Bale.

Argentina World Cup star Heinze has been pushed out at Old Trafford in favour of Patrice Evra.

Spurs boss Martin Jol wants him to fill his problem left-back berth, having lost confidence in his present duo of Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Lee Young-Pyo.

Heinze, a £6.9million signing from Paris St Germain in 2004, is still rated one of the best left-backs in the Premiership.

But after the player missed most of last season through injury, United chief Alex Ferguson has tended to go for the more attacking option of Evra during his side's current title assault.'

* Sky Sports:

Ben Foster concedes he has no desire to return to Old Trafford next season and play second fiddle to the club's more established goalkeepers.

The promising 23-year-old has been on loan at Watford all season and while the Premiership new boys have struggled to make any kind of impression in the top flight, Foster's displays have been a rare beacon of light.

A series of assured performances have already caught the eye of England's management team and Foster feels that were he to return to Manchester, for reserve team football, it would be a step back.

"I just want to play first team football," he added.

"If I'm going to go back to Manchester United I want to be trying to push van der Sar all the way to No.1."