Clubs on alert as Cole talks stall

Manchester United, Liverpool and Manchester City are taking a keen interest in Chelsea's contract talks with Joe Cole according to reports.

James Lawton: In three words, Hicks Jnr has spoken volumes about football's ruling class

The average fan is utterly deluded if he thinks he is worth anything more than the price of a ticket or a TV subscription

Essien faces four-week lay-off

Chelsea have confirmed that midfielder Michael Essien will be out for up to four weeks with a hamstring tear.

Ghana to investigate Essien absence

The Ghana Football Association will investigate the absence of the Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien, Internazionale's Sulley Muntari and the Rennes striker Asamoah Gyan from the squad which travelled to Luanda for yesterday's friendly against Angola.

Everton turn down £14m Chelsea bid to lure rising star Rodwell

Chelsea have made their first significant move since their transfer embargo was suspended by making a preliminary £14m offer for the Everton teenager Jack Rodwell, which has been rejected by the Merseyside club.

Ancelotti dismisses swine flu fears

Chelsea coach Carlo Ancelotti gave his squad a clean bill of health amid scares of a possible outbreak of swine flu at Stamford Bridge.

Drogba urges Chelsea to make Vieira swoop

Didier Drogba has urged Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti to make a move for ex-Arsenal midfielder Patrick Vieira in the January transfer window.

Drogba double has Chelsea off to winning start

Didier Drogba's double strike gave new Chelsea coach Carlo Ancelotti a winning start to his Barclays Premier League career.

Sbragia quits as Sunderland revel in rivals' demise

Sunderland 2 Chelsea 3

Lampard scoops record hat-trick of Chelsea awards

Frank Lampard has been named Chelsea's Player of the Year for a record third time.

Dream Teams: Chelsea

Chelsea are safe in the knowledge that two of their current crop have been selected in the Blues' Dream Team.

Pete Jenson: Messi forced into the margins

Argentine prodigy is cast adrift in Chelsea's sea of yellow shirts on night he hoped to underline world-class talent

Gerrard to return for mission impossible

Injured Liverpool captain expected to face Blues after sitting out Blackburn game

Chelsea ready to swoop for £40m Villa

Abramovich set to make cash-strapped Valencia an offer they cannot refuse

Gerrard to sit out Chelsea return

Muscle strain forces Benitez to choose between playing talisman in league or Europe
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Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
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His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
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How to make a Lego masterpiece

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Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

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Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam