Sport Villas-Boas has promised that Jermain Defoe will not be sold in January

Following the confirmation of his move to MLS side Toronto FC, Defoe brings to an end a somewhat unfulfilled partnership with Spurs that often saw him - rightly or wrongly - overlooked

Manchester derby is a 'six-pointer' says Alex Ferguson

Sir Alex Ferguson is banking on Manchester United's form in the second half of the season to act as a safety net if Sunday's derby against Manchester City goes against them.

Ryan Giggs could play at 2012 Olympics

Ryan Giggs, the most decorated player in British football, could grace the twilight of his career with the chance of an Olympic medal.

Blatter to reveal plan for restoring Fifa's battered reputation

Sepp Blatter will today reveal his proposed reforms to how Fifa is governed in a final attempt to restore credibility to an organisation he has led for the last 13 years. The depth of reform will depend on whether he can secure the backing of the Executive Committee (ExCo), a body that has been plagued by allegations of corruption.

Platini urges Blatter to salvage Fifa's reputation

Sepp Blatter will today reveal his proposed reforms to how Fifa is governed in a final attempt to restore credibility to an organisation he has led for the last 13 years. The depth of reform will depend on whether he can secure the backing of the Executive Committee (ExCo), a body that has been plagued by allegations of corruption.

Alan Pardew insists quality signings still on Newcastle agenda

Alan Pardew has insisted Newcastle's self-imposed ban on "trophy" signings does not mean they will not be in the market for top players.

Jonny Evans reveals support when Manchester United form dipped

Jonny Evans has been happy to listen to harsh words from friends and family in his bid to get back to form.

Evra faces uphill battle to support racist allegations

Manchester United's Patrice Evra has been advised that he will need secondary evidence of the racist abuse he says he received from Luis Suarez at Anfield last Saturday, with the Football Association likely to start their investigation by speaking to him within 24 hours.

We're getting there, says Wenger after Ramsey winner

Aaron Ramsey's late winner for Arsenal against Marseilles in France last night put Arsène Wenger's team on course for qualification for the knockout round of the Champions League and was more evidence, Wenger said, that his team are heading in the right direction.

Fabio Capello issues hint over Wayne Rooney Euro 2012 fate

England coach Fabio Capello has dropped a clear hint that Wayne Rooney will be going to next summer's European Championship.

Alex Ferguson turns attention to Manchester derby

Sir Alex Ferguson cannot wait for Sunday's Barclays Premier League derby showdown with leaders Manchester City.

Rooney on the spot to rouse United

Otelul Galati 0 Manchester United 2

'Slighted' Evra stands by racist abuse claims

There is a happy precedent about Manchester United failing to win either of their first two Champions League group stage games. Only in the season of 1998-99 have they done the same in the modern era and no one needs reminding what that campaign led on to.

'Slighted' Evra stands by racist abuse claims

Ferguson says United defender is 'adamant' he wants to pursue complaint against Suarez

Reds stand behind Suarez

Liverpool and Manchester United were on course for a bitter dispute last night with the Anfield club ready to demand that Patrice Evra be banned if his claim that Luis Suarez repeatedly racially abused him prove to be unsubstantiated.

Van Persie shows Wenger what Arsenal would miss

Arsenal 2 Sunderland 1

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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
Spain
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