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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Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
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A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?