Thiago Alcantara

Thiago Alcantara unlikely to improve first-team chances at Bayern Munich, but his arrival could threaten Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery

The Barcelona midfielder is understood to favour a move to the Bundesliga over a switch to Manchester United

Henrikh Mkhitaryan with Jurgen Klopp

The signing of Henrikh Mkhitaryan signals Borussia Dortmund have joined the European elite - yet keeps them under the radar

Their louder and brasher rivals Bayern Munich continue to take the limelight - but that suits BVB

Mario Gomez

Mario Gomez has mixed feelings after being granted 'wish' to leave Bayern Munich for Fiorentina

The striker won the treble with Bayern last season

Asylum seekers sit in an outdoor camp in Munich

Postcard from... Munich

Mario Götze caused embarrassment by arriving in a Nike t-shirt

Pep Guardiola and Mario Götze have the power to change Bayern Munich's FC Hollywood image

Humble duo can alter the perception of the German giants

Ernie Els ready for Scottish Open

Ernie Els is set to become a late addition to next week’s Scottish Open field before defending his Open title at Muirfield.

Carly Booth will make her major championship debut at the US Open

Carly Booth's trip from minor to major

Scottish golfer who sacrificed much of her childhood to reach the top of the game has qualified for the US Open in New York

Andre Schurrle

Chris McGrath: What does André Schürrle’s desertion say of the 'perfect template' that is the Bundesliga?

Schürrle has left Germany’s third best team to be a squad player at Chelsea

Arsenal transfer news: Laurent Koscielny will stay 'for now' at Emirates despite interest from Bayern Munich - will Huguain join him?

Defender Laurent Koscielny has again reaffirmed his commitment to Arsenal - and believes the Gunners can use their superb end to last season as a springboard for success in 2013/2014.

Pep Guardiola arrives at Bayern Munich - giving German public first glimpse of a messianic figure

So good is the former Barcelona manager, that Bayern were willing to part with a club legend who finished his tenure by winning the treble

Pep Guardiola

Pep Guardiola unveiled by Bayern Munich: Coach impresses with early command of German

The former Barcelona coach has officially returned to work

Pep Guardiola

Pep Guardiola unveiled by Bayern Munich: Former Barcelona manager intends to 'maintain high level'

The Spaniard takes over a team that won the treble last season

Sound of Munich is sweeter than mutterings of Merion for Sergio Garcia

Sergio Garcia responded to a disappointing showing at the US Open to vault into contention for the BMW International Open here with a spectacular third round of 65.

The Last Word: From film star to director, Pirlo is the legend with a living legacy

He is unlikely to match Zanetti for longevity but his look implies virility

Mario Balotelli reacts to abuse from Roma fans

Manchester City face possible reunion with Mario Balotelli

City will place AC Milan during a pre-season tournament

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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