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

Eurozone: Ronaldo scores four to help Real return to top of La Liga

In a week when a current Manchester United forward decided that remaining at Old Trafford was the preferable option after all, one of his former team-mates showed once again just what the club are missing.

Parker pounces to secure West Ham's first point

Stoke City 1, West Ham United

Gudjohnsen signs permanent Stoke deal

Stoke's transfer deadline day coup of landing Eidur Gudjohnsen from Monaco became even bigger today after they converted his loan move into a permanent one-year deal.

West Ham miss out after World Cup Klose show

West Ham have revealed that they were to sign Miroslav Klose, but his excellent performances in the World Cup have now made a deal unlikely.

Villa completes Barcelona transfer

Spain striker David Villa has completed his move from Valencia to Barcelona, signing a four-year contract at the Nou Camp after passing his medical this morning.

Barcelona turn attention to La Liga

Their Champions League dreams over, Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola will need to pick his players up quickly or risk seeing their hopes of Primera Division glory suffer a major setback as well as the Catalan giants make the tricky trip to Villarreal this weekend.

No love lost as the Milito brothers prepare to resume family feud

Barça defender Gabi hopes that winding up striker Diego will help his side win tonight

Benzema denies under-age sex scandal reports

Karim Benzema's lawyer has denied allegations the Real Madrid forward had sexual relations with an under-age prostitute as reports continue to rage over a sex scandal concerning several France internationals.

Kaka embroiled in club versus country accusations

Real Madrid’s Brazilian ace Kaka has voiced his unhappiness at critics doubting the severity of the groin injury which kept him sidelined for six weeks.

Referees discriminate against small clubs, says Stoke's Pulis

Stoke City manager Tony Pulis has claimed ahead of today's game at Chelsea that smaller Premier League clubs are being discriminated against in the choice of referees and the decisions they make.

Benzema back in Real Madrid squad

Real Madrid coach Manuel Pellegrini is confident striker Karim Benzema is "perfectly calm" after hitting the headlines for all the wrong reasons this week.

Barça fear Walcott's pace can turn tide for Arsenal

The England winger is seen by some as an unfulfilled talent, but he is causing panic in the Catalan ranks

Video: Lionel Messi's recent goals

Lionel Messi comes to England tonight to take on Arsenal in the Champions League.

Fabregas, Messi, Pique: Class of 2002

Barcelona's greatest ever youth side was built on three boys destined to conquer the world. As they prepare to meet again in the Champions League, Pete Jenson ask the relatives, team-mates and coaches about a golden generation's early years

The Andy Cole Column: We all know Messi is great – the question is how do you stop him?

Fired Up! He now faces Arsenal in a match of two Total Football sides. What a prospect
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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