Ferguson hails English strength in Champions' League

Arsenal and Tottenham having given his Manchester United side – and Chelsea – hard acts to follow in the Champions' League this week, Sir Alex Ferguson has insisted with good reason that English clubs are still very much a force in European competition. The absence of Premier League representation at the semi-final stage last season caused some to question whether an era had come to end.

Street-wise Suarez promises a brighter future

Liverpool 1 Wigan 1

Suarez: 'Smiley guy' with a darker side who aims to have the last laugh

"A smiley kind of guy," is how Kenny Dalglish described Luis Suarez. A smiley kind of guy who stole the World Cup from Africa with a handball. A smiley kind of guy who, as Ajax and PSV Eindhoven players were debating a sending-off, leaned over and bit his opponent Otman Bakkal, earning a suspension that ensured he never played football in Holland again.

Luiz is granted work permit despite row with Benfica over £25.6m fee

Chelsea's application for a work permit for defender David Luiz was granted yesterday, even though sources in Portugal were claiming the £25.6m transfer has hit a problem.

Mark van Bommel joins AC Milan

Bayern Munich have confirmed the transfer of their captain Mark van Bommel to AC Milan with immediate effect.

Would the 'Cannibal of Ajax' add some more bite to Liverpool's attack?

Luis Suarez was one of the stars of the World Cup but his record in the Netherlands requires close inspection

Kezman signs for South China

Hong Kong club South China have followed up their signing of Nicky Butt with the capture of former Chelsea striker Mateja Kezman.



Ajax play hardball with Liverpool by demanding £21m for Suarez

Liverpool are involved in a tough negotiating battle with Ajax over Luis Suarez with the clubs understood to be more than £8m apart on price for the Uruguay international.

Tottenham fix sights on Suarez as key figures question Beckham bid

Striker is Redknapp's priority as Ajax hint at £17m price tag for Uruguayan / Deal would depend on Keane move

Hodgson will select Reds' big names for knockout ties

Fernando Torres was controversially omitted from Liverpool's Europa League team in midweek but he and Steven Gerrard will be featuring in the competition from now on, said Roy Hodgson yesterday.

Liverpool face Sparta Prague in Europa League

Manchester City will face Greek side Aris Thessaloniki in the first knock-out stages of the Europa League while Liverpool will take on Sparta Prague.

Outside Edge: Stop running down our referees

Scotland's top-flight referees are striking because they're fed up with clubs criticising them, but lower in the leagues it's the players the officials need to watch out for. A footballer in the Southport and District League swore at the referee, David Harkness, for failing to award a free-kick, so Harkness booked him. At which point Joseph Rimmer, a nightclub doorman (why are we not surprised?), stomped off the pitch, climbed into his Range Rover and tried to run Harkness down, before threatening to shoot him. Rimmer has now been shot off to jail for six months. Down in Cornwall's Mining League Division One, the referee was busy with his notebook as Madron FC learnt that it's advisable to field more than seven players when facing the league leaders; Illogan AFC beat them 55-0, leaving Madron with a record of played 10, lost 10 and a goal difference of -203. "I have nothing but admiration for their boys, they came into the bar afterwards," said Illogan's assistant manager. They might have been better off going to the bar beforehand, and staying there.

Mourinho denies Real red cards were planned

Uefa's disciplinary unit has launched an investigation after Real Madrid players Sergio Ramos and Xabi Alonso were sent off in suspiciously similar circumstances in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Football in Brief: Ajax

Ajax

The Dutch club have suspended striker Luis Suarez for two league matches after he bit PSV Eindhoven's Otman Bakkal on the shoulder during their 0-0 draw on Saturday. The Uruguay striker, who was sent off in the World Cup for handball on the goal-line, also faces disciplinary action from the Dutch FA.

Barcelona agree to sign Ibrahim Afellay

Barcelona have confirmed that they have reached an agreement with PSV Eindhoven to sign Netherlands midfielder Ibrahim Afellay in the January transfer window.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn