Sport Mario Balotelli is being linked with a big-money move to Liverpool

Reds closing in on Balotelli as Rodgers' men prepare for City test on Monday

Clarence Seedorf takes charge of his first AC Milan match

Clarence Seedorf enjoys victory in first game in charge of AC Milan, before dedicating win to fans

The former midfielder returned last week as manager

The Portugal forward picked up a pass from Angel Di Maria on the left, cut inside and unleashed a powerful shot past home goalkeeper Stephan Andersen for his 21st league goal of the campaign

Round-up: Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema thrill as Real thrash Betis

Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema took Real Betis apart to give Real Madrid a resounding 5-0 win yesterday that put them level on 50 points with Barcelona and Atletico Madrid at the top of La Liga.

Micah Richards admits he is savouring the good times having gone through the bad in 2007 when Manchester City didn't score in eight matches

Manchester City v Cardiff City: Micah Richards is savouring the good times having experienced the bad as City approach 100 goals

Richards was part of the side that went eight matches without scoring back in 2007 and admits he can't believe his eyes when he looks around at his teammates

Clarence Seedorf (centre) is mobbed as he arrives at Linate Airport in Milan

AC Milan confirm Clarence Seedorf appointment

The club's former midfielder has retired from playing in order to take up the role

Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie could both miss the New Year's Day fixture with Tottenham

Manchester United striker Robin van Persie believes strike partner Wayne Rooney compliments his style to make him better

Van Persie feels that the pair can work together to make United even better in their attempt to secure a top four finish

Clarence Seedorf (centre) is mobbed as he arrives at Linate Airport in Milan

Is Clarence Seedorf the man to save AC Milan? There are doubts in Italy

Milan’s decision to appoint as coach a former player with no experience has raised many eyebrows. Glenn Moore reports on Berlusconi’s latest bombshell

Clarence Seedorf pictured after winning the Champions League with AC Milan in 2007

Former AC Milan midfielder Clarence Seedorf returns to the San Siro as manager to replace Massimiliano Allegri

The former Netherlands international has hung up his boots to take the position

Lower league clubs in talks over new European competition - reports

Representatives from the Championship were reportedly involved in the early discussions

Massimiliano Allegri

AC Milan sack Massimiliano Allegri following defeat to Sassuolo

The Italian manager was due to leave the club at the end of the season

Mario Balotelli for AC Milan

Transfer news: AC Milan's Mario Balotelli rejects link to Chelsea

Former Manchester City striker isn't interested in a return to England

Massimiliano Allegri has confirmed he will be leaving AC Milan at the end of the season

AC Milan manager Massimiliano Allegri confirms he will leave the club at the end of the season

Milan are already 27 points behind Serie A leaders Juventus in 13th position and Allegri admits he will not be in charge of the club beyond the summer

An AC Milan v Ajax scarf is left in a pool of blood left after violent clashes between fans of the two clubs

AC Milan 0 Ajax 0: Three Ajax fans stabbed and another man injured in violent clashes before Champions League match

Ajax supporters clashed with both AC Milan fans and Italian demonstrators as violence marred the build-up to the Group H decider

Champions League round-up: Roberto Mancini enjoys Wesley Sneijder’s snow celebration

Roberto Mancini has succeeded in taking Galatasaray through to the knockout stages of the Champions League – a feat he never managed with Manchester City.

Manchester City’s central defender Vincent Kompany
Mathieu Flamini has hit the ground running during his second spell at the North London club

Mathieu Flamini tells Arsenal to focus ahead of games with Napoli, Manchester City and Chelsea

A tough run of games before Christmas awaits the Premier League leaders

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there