Owen Hargreaves

Mancini interested in cut-price De Rossi

Manchester City are monitoring Daniele de Rossi's protracted contract negotiations at Roma and believe that £5m may be enough to secure a deal for a player in whom manager Roberto Mancini has a keen interest.

Hargreaves and Woodgate released by clubs

Manchester United's Owen Hargreaves, Tottenham's Jonathan Woodgate and West Ham defender Matthew Upson are some of the bigger names to be released by their clubs this summer.

Neville retired in fear of being United 'passenger'

Gary Neville has confirmed his intention to remain at Manchester United for the remainder of the season, as Owen Hargreaves' exclusion from United's Champions League squad leaves it doubtful that he will play for the club again.

Thornton falls in step on road to recovery

Given that their first baby is due three days before Christmas, Robert Thornton's wife could be pardoned for taking a suspicious view of his determination to get out of the house. To anyone else, however, the very possibility that he could already be back at work is a matter for undiluted celebration. Told that he might be out for 12 months after a fall at Newton Abbot in July, Thornton is so far ahead of schedule he could even treat a schooling spill yesterday as another significant breakthrough.

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Berbatov: I'm ready to throw off burden of £30m price tag

Dimitar Berbatov has spoken of being haunted by the price tag which made him Manchester United's most expensive player and revealed the "dark moments" which he has experienced amid his struggle to gain universal recognition at Old Trafford.

Capello must move fast to cap German-born wunderkind

Fabio Capello has the opportunity to claim the Germany under-21 captain Lewis Holtby as a senior England international if he caps him before the German-born midfielder, who has an English father, plays for Germany's senior team.