Sport

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.

Hodgson confirms Mascherano wants to leave Liverpool

For Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson news that striker Fernando Torres is looking forward to another season with the Reds far outweighs the unsurprising announcement by midfielder Javier Mascherano that he wants to leave.

Gerrard pledges his future to Liverpool

It is turning into a good week for Roy Hodgson. The day after completing his first signing by bringing Joe Cole to Anfield, Liverpool's new manager was given the sizeable boost of Steven Gerrard, a key figure in persuading his World Cup colleague to head to the North-west, publicly declaring his desire to stay with the club.

Hodgson not concerned by Mascherano silence

Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson insists he is not concerned that he has not heard from Javier Mascherano since trying to contact the midfielder last week.

Outside the Box: Oswestry breaking new ground with slot in Champions' League

Those who have not been paying attention to the small print on the results pages may be unaware that not only is a new Champions' League campaign under way, but that this week England will have a new venue for the world's grandest club competition. Joining Old Trafford, Stamford Bridge and the Emirates – and beating White Hart Lane to the punch – is The Venue at Park Hall in the Shropshire town of Oswestry (population 15,613). It's the home of Welsh Premier League champions TNS, which now stands for The New Saints (of Llansantffraid and Oswestry) rather than the name immortalised by Jeff Stelling on Sky's 'Soccer Saturday' in his catchphrase: "They'll be dancing in the streets of Total Network Solutions." TNS is a result of the merger of Llansantffraid and Oswestry Town, one of the world's oldest clubs, in 2003. They became The New Saints in 2006 and moved over the border to the new ground in 2007. The year before, in a Champions' League appearance, they had been drawn against the holders Liverpool and put up two commendable performances before losing each leg 3-0, the home game being played at Wrexham. On Tuesday, TNS meet Bohemians of Dublin in the second leg of their second qualifying round tie, having lost the away leg 1-0 last Wednesday.

Roy Hodgson stands firm on Fernando Torres

Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson has insisted striker Fernando Torres is not for sale.

Transfer Talk: Inter offer hope to Manchester clubs over Balotelli deal

The Internazionale president, Massimo Moratti, has hinted that a deal may be on the cards to sell 19-year-old striker Mario Balotelli if a club makes the right offer. Speaking just hours after the sporting director, Marco Branca, had given assurances that Balotelli was not for sale, Moratti insinuated that, while a transfer would not be ideal, they would be willing to sell the Italian Under-21 international to one of the Manchester teams he has been linked to. "I believe they are both serious clubs that will evaluate what the right transfer market value is for them," Moratti said. "It will be up to us then to decide if that value is the same also for us."

Mascherano would relish Inter Milan switch says agent

Javier Mascherano's agent claims the Liverpool midfielder would jump at the chance of a reunion with Rafael Benitez at Inter Milan.

Thompson: Rumours might drive Gerrard away

As the only other home-grown Liverpool captain to lift the European Cup, Phil Thompson has more than an inkling about how Steven Gerrard is feeling today.

Hodgson targets Champions League with Liverpool

New Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson admits he has to sell himself and his ideals to the club's star players but hopes they will not be tempted to "jump ship".

Reaction to Hodgson's appointment

Former Liverpool captain Phil Thompson believes the appointment of Roy Hodgson as manager will hopefully signal the beginning of a new era at Anfield.

Maradona claims Brazil are still favourites

Argentina coach Diego Maradona was keen to play down the growing expectations surrounding his in-form side, insisting Brazil are still his favourites to walk off with the World Cup.

All unexpectedly calm in Maradona's camp

Preview: Greece v Argentina, 7.30pm, Polokowane, BBC1

Mascherano agent hints at Inter switch

Javier Mascherano's agent has revealed they are in talks with Internazionale over a possible move to the Nerazzurri, which would reunite the Liverpool midfielder with his former manager, Rafael Benitez.

Benitez heads to Inter but Liverpool in no hurry

Liverpool may take a month before appointing a new manager, with prospective candidates having been made aware that there will be no discussions with prospective successors to Rafael Benitez for at least two weeks.

Group B: Argentina, Greece, Nigeria, South Korea

Our unmissable guide to the World Cup: Messi's magic versus maradona's madness
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