What the papers say

  • Last Updated: December 22 2012, 8:01 GMT

A look at what is making the headlines on the back pages of Saturday's press.

Benitez: Winning over the Chelsea fans
Benitez: Winning over the Chelsea fans

THE TIMES: Rafael Benitez is facing an internal battle with the Chelsea hierarchy to be given permission to sign players during next month's transfer window. Also: The Vall d'Or golf club in Porto Colom, Majorca, is decked in twinkling Christmas lights, its tree fully adorned, and Rafael Nadal takes a soft seat in a corner that is a touch cramped so that he has to keep moving around, feeling for and flexing the most talked-about left knee in tennis.

THE GUARDIAN: Sir Alex Ferguson has warned the rest of the Premier League to watch out if Manchester United are still top of the table on New Year's Day. Also: Ken Bates was in short supply as Gulf Finance House Capital announced its takeover of Leeds United yesterday.

DAILY EXPRESS: Roberto Mancini took a sip of champagne to celebrate his third anniversary as Manchester City manager yesterday - then made a trophy guarantee. Also: Darren Clarke has opened the door for Colin Montgomerie to become Ryder Cup captain for a second time and go head to head with Tom Watson.

THE INDEPENDENT: Sir Alex Ferguson declared yesterday that his Manchester United side will have a major claim on the Premier League trophy if they can emerge from the Christmas fixtures at the top of the division. Also: The Manchester City Christmas prosecco isn't quite what Roberto Mancini would have ordered.

DAILY MIRROR: Sir Alex Ferguson claims Ryan Giggs can play into his 40s and become Manchester United's oldest post-war player. Also: Frank Lampard is ready to become David Beckham's replacement at Los Angeles Galaxy.

DAILY MAIL: An Everton academy coach has been suspended while Merseyside Police investigate complaints he punched the club's women's team goalkeeper in the face at the staff Christmas party. Also: Arsenal could make an audacious swoop for Barcelona striker David Villa.

THE SUN: Alex Ferguson has told Cristiano Ronaldo to come back and play for Manchester United. Also: Arsene Wenger admits his future at Arsenal is out of his hands.

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: Manchester City head into the crucial Christmas period with manager Roberto Mancini guaranteeing he will deliver more trophies for the club this season. Also: John Terry may not play any part in Chelsea's Christmas schedule, with interim manager Rafael Benitez unsure when the centre-half's knee injury will permit a return to action.

DAILY STAR: Manchester United are set to offer Rio Ferdinand a new deal to extend his Old Trafford career into a 12th season. Also: Rafa Benitez last night claimed he was winning over Chelsea fans.

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