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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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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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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
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Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

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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
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Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

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The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

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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
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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
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The man who hunts giants

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The 12 ways of Christmas

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From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

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A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

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