Papers: Gill's winter plan
Gill put break into winter
Manchester United chief executive David Gill is hatching a plan to squeeze in a winter break by splitting the Premier League in half. United boss Alex Ferguson has long advocated a two-week rest over Christmas and the New Year. But his pleas fell on deaf ears because of the crowded fixture list and TV paymasters liking good audiences for holiday-time games. On the second issue, the compromise Gill thinks might work is to divide the Premier League into two, with 10 teams playing over the Christmas and New Year period while the other 10 rest — and then vice versa at a later date. Gill is yet to formally share his idea with the other 19 Premier League clubs. And it is unclear how much of an appetite there will be from them, or among the FA hierarchy. In the Sven Goran Eriksson era, the FA were essentially given the choice of a winter break or a four-week cushion between the end of the season and major tournaments. They went for the latter. But current England boss Roy Hodgson may think a winter break would benefit his 2014 World Cup campaign. If so, the FA will have to make concessions on the FA Cup, abolishing replays and/or switching some rounds to midweek, to create fixture space. Dan King, The Sun
Meanwhile, Alan Shearer praises Tom Cleverley in his column in The Sun after the midfielder starred in England's 5-0 win over Moldova on Friday night. The Daily Mail report that Jonny Evans played through the pain in Northern Ireland's World Cup qualifying defeat to Russia and remains a doubt for Tuesday's home clash against Luxembourg.
In other news, the Telegraph say Real Madrid are preparing a joint statement with former Red Cristiano Ronaldo that should put an end, at least temporarily, to the speculation over his future.
More: Tom stars for England | Sir Alex widens American net