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

We can reach Europe by sticking to beautiful game, insists Martinez

Since his arrival in 1995, as one of three bewildered young migrants from Zaragoza, Roberto Martinez has been crafting a culture shock of his own for British football. The culture bit – a scrupulous belief that football can have no true substance without style – remains a work in progress. Few, however, failed to register the shock of his latest home result.

Barcelona happy with Guardiola

Barcelona president Joan Laporta is confident that his club made the right decision in appointing Pep Guardiola as their new head coach just over a year ago.

Small-town Romanians face challenging debut

The Romanian club Unirea Urziceni face a daunting welcome to the Champions League tonight with a first group match at Seville.

The pressure's on – time for the Galacticos to shine

As La Liga kicks off tonight, football's biggest spenders know Barcelona will not easily surrender their supremacy. Pete Jenson reports from Madrid

Hull admit defeat over Negredo

Hull boss Phil Brown has admitted his disappointment at his failure to sign Real Madrid striker Alvaro Negredo.

Hull continue pursuit of £12m Negredo

Hull boss Phil Brown is refusing to admit defeat in his attempts to sign Real Madrid striker Alvaro Negredo.

Alonso wants Real move

Xabi Alonso's Liverpool career appeared to be coming towards an end as he arrived for training today.

Deportivo interested in Tottenham's Dos Santos

Deportivo La Coruna manager Miguel Angel Lotina has been quoted in the Spanish press as declaring an interest in Tottenham Hotspur forward Giovani Dos Santos.

Hleb eyes Barcelona exit

The agent of Barcelona winger Alex Hleb has confirmed that his client would relish the chance to move to Italy to join Serie A champions Internazionale.

Platini blasts big-spending Real

UEFA president Michel Platini has launched a scathing attack on Real Madrid.

Elano on way out after City leave him at home

The Manchester City career of Elano is hanging by a slender thread, with the Brazil international left out of the club's trip to South Africa and seemingly top of their clear-out list.

Benitez attacks Barry and City for feeding cash frenzy

Liverpool manager 'doubts passion' of the one who got away as he unveils Johnson

Guardiola: Barça in his blood

He was always destined to return to the Nou Camp after 17 years as a player, yet, writes Pete Jenson, in one season as coach he has even eclipsed his mentor Johan Cruyff

Sampdoria delighted with Pazzini

Sampdoria's sporting director Beppe Marotta has hailed the start that striker Giampaolo Pazzini has made to his time in Genoa.

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Day In a Page

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
A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?