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Brendan Rodgers looked like a man who suspected a wind-up when he was asked, half an hour after his side had defeated Manchester United on  1 September, whether he harboured hopes of winning the Premier League. There was a brief, uncharacteristic silence, then a little laugh before he managed to put together a reply. “It’s a fair enough question,” he said, before dismissing it.

Spain and Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes

Victor Valdes could be out for six weeks as Barcelona injury list lengthens

Xavi and Cristian Tello are doubts for the weekend, while Lionel Messi is expected to be out until the new year

Barcelona manager Gerardo Martino has ruled out a move for either David Luiz or Daniel Agger

Transfer news: Gerardo Martino rules out Barcelona move for Chelsea defender David Luiz and Liverpool centre-back Daniel Agger

'Tata' says he is happy with his current options and that he can strengthen the squad in January if needs be

Marc Bartra celebrates after winning the European Under-21's Championship with Spain

Transfer news: Tottenham 'interested' in Barcelona defender Marc Bartra but move dependent on David Luiz or Daniel Agger making Nou Camp switch

22-year-old has become frustrated with the lack of first team football after his agent claimed he is '25,000 times better than Alex Song'

Cesc Fabregas scores Barcelona's sixth goal against Santos in the pre-season Gamper Cup

Transfer news: Gerardo Martino deals another blow to Manchester United after he confirms Cesc Fabregas will not leave Barcelona

New Barcelona boss was speaking after the midfielder scored a double against Brazilian side Santos

Steven Gerrard says it is illogical for Liverpool to sell Luis Suarez

Exclusive: Selling Luis Suarez to Arsenal - at any price - 'doesn't make sense at all' for Liverpool, claims Steven Gerrard

Captain says Liverpool's season will depend on whether Suarez remains at the club or not

Transfer news: Pep Guardiola rules out any move to bring Chelsea defender David Luiz to Bayern Munich

Guardiola says there is 'not truth to the speculation' but questions still remain over Barcelona's interest

Thiago Alcantara

Gerard Pique says Barcelona must keep Thiago Alcantara amid interest from Manchester United

The midfielder scored a hat-trick in the European Under-21 Championship final against Italy

Luis Suarez will learn his fate after today’s hearing

Luis Suarez bite: Liverpool striker admits 'my actions were not acceptable' after opting not to contest 10-match ban

Liverpool have decided not to contest the heavy punishment handed down to the striker following his bite on Branislav Ivanovic

Luis Suarez pictured training with Liverpool today

Luis Suarez bite: The Liverpool striker does not need rehabilitating - he needs to learn

The Liverpool striker has accepted the 10-match ban handed down for his bite on Branislav Ivanovic

Manager claims every time the striker takes a step forward he is ‘struck down’

Luis Suarez bite: FA are 'throwing Luis Suarez into the garbage' with 10-match ban claims Brendan Rodgers

Liverpool manager admits he would understand if Uruguayan quit Premier League after 10-game bite ban

Luis Suarez leaves his home in Liverpool

Luis Suarez bite: FA seeks seven-game suspension for Liverpool striker

Governing body wants to throw increased ban at Liverpool striker  for violent conduct

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi scores against PSG in the Champions League

Barcelona v PSG: Lionel Messi fitness race keeps PSG guessing ahead of Champions League quarter-final

The Argentina international came off injured in the first leg

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi scores against PSG in the Champions League
Barcelona forward Lionel Messi scores against PSG in the Champions League

Lionel Messi adds to Barcelona injury crisis ahead of Champions League second leg against PSG

The Spanish side drew 2-2 in Paris and now the spotlight turns on their misfiring strikers to ensure progress to the semi-finals

Messi made up for a disappointing showing at the San Siro by lighting up the Nou Camp
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Mickey Rourke celebrates his victory against opponent Elliot Seymour
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Gordon and Tana Ramsay arrive at the High Court, London
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Actor Burt Reynolds last year
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Johnny Handle, Northumberland, Ted Relph, President of Lakeland Dialect Society, and Sid Calderbank, Lancashire, founder of the National Dialect Day
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The data shows that the number of “unlawfully” large infant classes has doubled in the last 12 months alone
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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game