Nani ruled out after bad break on training ground

Nani yesterday became the second Manchester United player to exit the World Cup before a ball has been kicked when he withdrew from the Portugal squad with a shoulder injury.

Mourinho's praise for 'box-to-box' stars reignites Gerrard speculation

Jose Mourinho has been praising the virtues of the British box-to-box midfielder leaving Madrid press to speculate that despite his prediction of a quiet summer at the Bernabeu, a move for Liverpool's Steven Gerrard could yet come to pass.

Alves rules out switch to Chelsea

Barcelona defender Dani Alves has ruled out a move to Chelsea but has admitted to being flattered with their reported interest in securing his services.

Round-up: Keane's late winner leaves Trapattoni speaking Italian

Victory over Cyprus has Republic coach anticipating world champions' visit

Carragher's title aim may be wide of mark

Liverpool's defensive linchpin still has eyes on that elusive medal but the Reds squad doesn't look strong enough to finish on top.

Alonso wants Real move

Xabi Alonso's Liverpool career appeared to be coming towards an end as he arrived for training today.

Benitez sets 48-hour deadline for Alonso to decide on Anfield future

Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez has told Xabi Alonso to make a decision once and for all on his Anfield future in the next 48 hours.

Liverpool must keep stars insists Torres

Liverpool striker Fernando Torres believes the club have to hang on to the likes of Xabi Alonso and Javier Mascherano if they are to depose Manchester United as Barclays Premier League champions.

Johnson hits jackpot with Anfield move

Offer of £80,000 a week should seal England full-back's £17m transfer to Liverpool

Liverpool need Alonso, pleads Mascherano

Javier Mascherano has urged Liverpool to do all they can to keep the "influential" Xabi Alonso.

Stevie wonder makes it to No 1

Gerrard's tough year off the pitch and a great season on it has been capped with the footballer of the year award, writes Ian Herbert

Benitez rails at United's 'lucky penalty'

Liverpool manager goads Ferguson after highlighting tough run-in for title rivals

City ready to move for Valencia's £35m Villa

Spanish striker is top of wish list as Hughes prepares for busy summer of transfers

Benitez admits he must sell before buying this summer

Rafael Benitez has admitted that he must again sell before he can buy this summer but he has already identified his targets, with Valencia's David Silva, Raul Albiol and a return for Aston Villa's Gareth Barry seemingly in his sights.

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Day In a Page

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