Sport Jermaine Pennant has left Stoke with immediate effect, the club have confirmed

The Potters chose not to activate a clause in his contract that would have seen him stay until the end of the season

De Gea undergoing Manchester United medical

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is set to push his summer spending close to £50 million later this week when he completes the signing of goalkeeper David de Gea.

Welbeck keeps England on track after Spain get a helping hand

Spain Under-21 1 England Under-21 1

Zaragoza apply for voluntary administration

Real Zaragoza have applied to the courts to go into voluntary administration in a bid to sort out their finances, the Spanish club said on Wednesday.

Paul Lambert aiming for more Norwich signings

Paul Lambert intends to continue his summer recruitment drive as he looks to give Norwich a foothold in the Barclays Premier League next season.

Real Madrid delay coronation of Barcelona as La Liga champions

Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat-trick to lead Real Madrid to a 4-0 home win over Getafe last night, denying leaders Barcelona the chance to win the La Liga title without kicking a ball.

Martinez: We will pass our way out of trouble

Wigan manager, who is using lessons learnt when he beat relegation with Swansea, is refusing to change his football philosophy to avoid the drop, he tells Ian Herbert

Blame me, says Mourinho as 10-man Real get whistled off...

Real Madrid 2 Real Zaragoza 3: Another home defeat and red card, but the controversial coach plays a different tune

Mourinho refuses to back down over criticism of Barcelona

Hostilities between Real Madrid and Barcelona show no signs of abating as the two sides prepare for their first league matches since both reported the other to European football's governing body Uefa.

Mourinho puts party on hold as derby looms

Real Madrid, having broken one hoodoo, will hope to extend another this weekend as they face their city neighbours Atletico tomorrow.

Irish FA open to Pennant's bid for senior cap with Trapattoni

Republic of Ireland chiefs would consider Jermaine Pennant's desire to play international football if he made contact.

Republic of Ireland will consider Jermaine Pennant

Republic of Ireland chiefs would consider Jermaine Pennant's desire to play international football if he made contact.

Javier Mascherano: 'We're never satisfied, we don't settle for 1-0 wins'

Javier Mascherano has struggled to fit in at Barcelona, but tonight he will get his chance against old foes Arsenal. Pete Jenson hears how he has embraced the Catalans' ethos

Barcelona captain Carles Puyol set to be fit for Arsenal visit

Barcelona captain Carles Puyol is back in training ahead of tomorrow's Primera Division match at home to Zaragoza and looks set to be fit to face Arsenal in the teams' Champions League last 16 second leg on Tuesday night.

Mourinho rails at 'hypocrites' over fixture bias for Barça

Jose Mourinho, the Real Madrid coach, has lashed out at what he called the "hypocrites" who did not agree with his complaints that the La Liga calendar was unfair on his side and favoured Barcelona over other clubs.

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there