What the papers say
A look at what is making the headlines on the back pages of Friday's press.
THE SUN: Rafa Benitez is in line to land the Chelsea manager's job permanently. Also: Lionel Messi turned down a monster £460,000-a-week offer to quit Barcelona.
DAILY MAIL: English football took a step backwards yesterday when referee Mike Dean chose not to report Sir Alex Ferguson for his bizarre behaviour during Manchester United's Boxing Day victory over Newcastle. Also: Alex McLeish has returned to football as the new manager of Nottingham Forest.
DAILY MIRROR: Cristiano Ronaldo has put Manchester United on red alert by refusing to sign a new contract with Real Madrid. Also: David Villa wants to quit Barcelona next month - and is targeting a move to Chelsea.
DAILY EXPRESS: Referee Mike Dean has come under fire from his former colleagues for failing to stop Sir Alex Ferguson's tirade. Also: Harry Redknapp is plotting a move for Fulham linchpin Brede Hangeland when the transfer window opens on New Year's Day.
DAILY STAR: Roberto Mancini is plotting a shock bid to beat Chelsea to the signing of Barcelona star David Villa. Also: Sir Alex Ferguson is set to escape an FA charge - despite his Boxing Day meltdown at Old Trafford.
THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: Sir Alex Ferguson will not be disciplined for his on-field altercation with Mike Dean because the referee deemed the Manchester United manager's Boxing Day protest "reasonable and rational". Also: Alex McLeish has been appointed manager of Nottingham Forest but is already facing another backlash from supporters.
THE TIMES: Alan Pardew has told Demba Ba that he does not want him to leave Newcastle United during the January transfer window, but warned the striker unless he ditches the release clause in his contract. Also: Sir Alex Ferguson escaped any sanction from the FA yesterday for his touchline behaviour on Boxing Day because, according to the authorities, the Manchester United manager's antics looked worse than the actually were.
THE GUARDIAN: Sir Alex Ferguson has escaped censure from the Football Association for his confrontation with the referee, Mike Dean, during his Manchester United team's 4-3 home win over Newcastle United on Boxing Day. But Alan Pardew, the Newcastle manager, has suggested that Dean ought to have sent off Ferguson, as he described the pressure that the referee was put under as "tough to take". Also: Nottingham Forest have risked an angry backlash from some of their supporters after the club's Kuwaiti owners appointed Alex McLeish as their new manager.
THE INDEPENDENT: Blackburn Rovers descended into one of the most farcically run football clubs in Britain yesterday, with minimal prospect of finding anyone credible to manage the club in tandem with two coaches - one of them a novice at this level - who are expected to start work imminently. Also: Sir Alex Ferguson will not face punishment for confronting and haranguing referee Mike Dean and his assistants at Old Trafford on Boxing Day, the Football Association ruled yesterday after Dean failed to mention it in his report.