Sport Everton midfielder Ross Barkley will be offered a new improved contract for his breakthrough into the first team this season

Barkley has broken into the first-team this season and has been tipped for inclusion in Roy Hodgson's World Cup squad after making his England debut in September

Chelsea boosted by Liverpool woe says Ballack

Chelsea midfielder Michael Ballack says the Blues have taken extra motivation from Liverpool's inconsistent start to the season.

Chelsea strike it rich with 'unplayable' leading men

Chelsea 3 Burnley 0

Anelka adds finishing touch to Chelsea's finely-tuned machine

Chelsea 3 Burnley 0

Ancelotti's bandwagon cranks up

Sunderland 1 Chelsea 3

Mikel may pay high price as Ancelotti polishes diamond

Sunderland will be the venue for Chelsea to shuffle pack in struggling midfield

Ballack will not face action

Michael Ballack will face no further action for his off-the-ball challenge on Patrice Evra during yesterday's Community Shield at Wembley.

Ballack makes Evra admission

Michael Ballack admits he "blocked" Patrice Evra in the build-up to Chelsea's controversial second goal during their Community Shield victory over Manchester United at Wembley.

Ferguson backs Foster after Shield shocker

Sir Alex Ferguson maintains he has "no worries" over the ability of goalkeeper Ben Foster.

One game, one trophy for Ancelotti's Chelsea regime

Chelsea 2 Manchester Utd 2 (Chelsea win 4-1 on penalties)

Ferguson rages at referee over Ballack's 'elbow'

Sir Alex Ferguson began his 23rd season in charge of Manchester United with a trademark tirade, this time aimed at referee Chris Foy and Chelsea's Michael Ballack.

Chelsea beat United on penalties to win Community Shield

Chelsea 2 - 2 Man Utd (Chelsea win 4-1 on penalties)

Ancelotti closes on Pirlo deal

New Chelsea manager convinces club to move for veteran Milan playmaker

Chelsea step up bid to retain Terry

As Chelsea look to safeguard the future of captain John Terry, "buzzing" midfielder Michael Essien cannot wait to get back into action with the Blues.

Drogba will accept European ban for rant at TV camera

Chelsea striker Didier Drogba has revealed he will accept any ban Uefa impose for his outburst at referee Tom Henning Ovrebo at the final whistle of the Champions League semi-final with Barcelona.

Chelsea must find stability to progress - Hiddink

Guus Hiddink's exit from Chelsea and the likely appointment of Carlo Ancelotti this week means that the London club will be welcoming their fifth manager in less than two years.

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone