Sport Bayern Munich midfielder Toni Kroos

English champions may have to wait to sign the German star

Houllier finds the humour in Villa's relegation battle

Everton 2 Aston Villa 2

Everton need official help to counter Bent double

Everton 2 Aston Villa 2

Gary Cahill hails improvement of Ashley Young

Gary Cahill believes his one-time Aston Villa team-mate Ashley Young "can play on any stage" after fully realising his potential at international level during the past month.

Ashley Young keen to retain England place

Ashley Young wants to be part of Fabio Capello's new-look England after making another favourable impression during last night's friendly international with Ghana at Wembley.

Bent and Lampard snuff out Wales fire

Wales 0 England 2: Raucous home support quickly silenced as early goals make it easy for England

Poor start cost us, says Wales captain Ramsey

Wales captain Aaron Ramsey admitted that his side had been unable to recover from an awful start in their 2-0 defeat to England in their Euro 2012 Group G qualifier at the Millennium Stadium.

Bolton late show is another blow for under-fire Houllier

Bolton Wanderers 3 Aston Villa 2

Bolton snatch stunning late win over Villa

Bolton 3 Aston Villa 2

Downing's dazzling switch stakes England claim

Aston Villa 4 Blackburn 1

Battle for England starting places turns less than friendly

The term "meaningless friendly" has long been a cliche but with England's game in Copenhagen last Wednesday it was finally exposed for what some of us have always held it to be: an oxymoron. Poor indeed would be the manager/coach who could derive no meaning from 90 minutes of international football, let alone the preparation and training sessions preceding the match itself.

Wayne Rooney impressed with Jack Wilshere and Ashley Young

Wayne Rooney believes England now have strength in depth after witnessing the likes of Jack Wilshere and Ashley Young grab their chance with both hands against Denmark.

Bent seizes chance to show he is the very model of a modern target man

English strikers are in danger of making a comeback. The January transfer window saw two of that rarest of breeds switch clubs for monstrous sums of money, with Darren Bent moving to Aston Villa for £24m and then Andy Carroll topping that with his £35m transfer to Liverpool. Neither Gérard Houllier nor Kenny Dalglish subscribes to the opinion that England is suffering a dearth of talent in the attacking department, judging by the money they spent on home-grown players.

Aston Villa hope Ashley Young will remain at club

Aston Villa are hoping the signings made during the January transfer window will help convince winger Ashley Young his long-term future is with the midlands club.

Aston Villa close to Bradley loan deal

Aston Villa boss Gerard Houllier today revealed that United States international Michael Bradley is poised to complete a loan deal with Aston Villa, with a view to a permanent move.

Chelsea will pay £50m for Torres

Abramovich willing to part with British record fee to land Liverpool striker ahead of tonight's transfer deadline

Latest stories from i100
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 12 March 2015
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing