Arsenal transfer news: Bayer Leverkusen's reject £20m bid for Lars Bender

Bayer Leverkusen have turned down a €23m (£19.7m) offer from Arsenal for midfielder Lars Bender, according to reports in Germany.

Isco of Spain celebrates scoring a penalty during the UEFA European U21 2013 Championships Final match between Spain and Italy

Real Madrid confirm Isco deal - leaving Manchester City still scouting for a playmaker

Reports in Spain suggest fee will be about €27m

Andre Schurrle

André Schürrle excited to work with Jose Mourinho

New Chelsea forward Andre Schurrle is excited about the prospect of working with Jose Mourinho after becoming the Portuguese's first signing of his second spell at Stamford Bridge.

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

Andre Schurrle

André Schürrle signs for Chelsea: Profile

Thee Chelsea and André Schürrle transfer saga is finally over.

Chelsea want to buy midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia from Seville

Chelsea target £10m France midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia

Jose Mourinho makes Seville defensive midfielder a key target and warns against over-spending

Andy Carroll

Liverpool striker Andy Carroll set for medical at West Ham

The England striker spent last season on loan at Upton Park

New Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho talks to the media during the Chealsea FC press conference at Stamford Bridge (Getty Images)

Jose Mourinho says FFP rules will be a 'motivating' factor in second spell at Chelsea

Spending will be restricted to ensure significant losses are not made

Chelsea have agreed a fee of £19m for Leverkusen’s André Schürrle

Roman Abramovich's senior adviser, Marina Granovskaia, joins Chelsea hierarchy

Granovskaia has been involved in the club since 2010

Andre Schurrle

Transfer confirmed: Chelsea reach agreement with Bayer Leverkusen over forward Andre Schurrle in £18m deal

The German has been a long-term target for the west London club

Alex Ferguson:

Sam Wallace: I survived the hairdryer, but there's a lot more to Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson than that

Reporters were always a thorn in the Manchester United manager’s side but rows often owed much to what he thought had been written

£20m Bayer Leverkusen star Andre Schurrle 'has already signed for Chelsea'

General manager Wolfgang Holzhauser reveals suspicion that German international has signed a pre-contract with the Premier League club

Bayern Munich celebrate their 7-0 aggregate victory over Barcelona

Champions League: Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund prepare for dress-rehearsal in the Bundesliga this weekend

The sides meet this weekend before the Champions League final later this month

Barcelona's head coach Tito Vilanova (R) talks to his players during a training session

Tito Vilanova pledges to carry on at Barcelona

The Barcelona coach, Tito Vilanova, has vowed that he will still be in charge next season – as long as his health allows him to continue.

Andre Schurrle

Chelsea to secure £20m Andre Schurrle deal 'within days'

The Bayer Leverkusen player looks destined for Stamford Bridge

Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
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Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
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Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas
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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
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
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